It used to be easy. IT strategy and management was about recruiting the right employees. But, things have changed. Here is a little something to inspire your strategy foundation for the coming decades. And a few words about waffle consumption.
This blog post aims to give an overview of key issues for future IT planning.
Where do you keep IT stuff nowadays? Most likely a little bit here and a little bit there, in various setups. For instance, many keep older IT systems that are too profitable to be phased out. In such cases you might just leave things as is or migrate all or partly to the cloud.
Whether it’s about creating value out of legacy systems by cloud migration or establishing new applications, the question of operations applies.
Now that both private cloud and public cloud have become much more accessible with dizzying opportunities, the following issues arise: do you need infrastructure at all – physical computer equipment with associated operating systems and other software? Or, will you be comfortable using something readymade on the internet? Or would you choose something in between?
Strategy and waffles
Now, let’s talk about waffles.
In a waffle context the question would be to what extent you need to control the basic production. Do you need grain fields, sugar beets, hens, cows and a private spice plantation in Madagascar to get it right? Or is it ok to buy the ingredients in the grocery store, or even buy readymade waffles with jam and butter served at your local café?
A Michelin star chef and a starving office worker will view this very differently.
IaaS in a waffle perspective
To master the entire production might be the choice of a few Michelin star chefs with a high-level of waffle affinity. But most top-rated chefs would accept ingredients served as IaaS.
IaaS is a model of responsibility where you are not in charge of production but pick ingredients from stock. Servers, storage and network are delivered through self service portals and APIs. You enter the virtual world, but you don’t have to be on top of topics like keeping software on Dell or HP or IBM servers running.
The infrastructure components will be rolled out with explanatory definitions, infrastructure as code – all stored in a version control system.
You will be served even if a machine breaks down, or if a cow pass away. The infrastructure is taken care of by someone else.
PaaS – ”just add water”
Many of us must admit that we are happy with using a waffle mix. Just add water and be all set in no time. But we might want to do a few adjustments, like picking a waffle iron for the perfect waffle size and not to forget; selecting the jam.
With PaaS you get a ready mix, but still stay in control when it comes to configurations, adjustments and adding code and applications. By using PaaS you can focus on key elements for your business to stay ahead competition.
SaaS from the café
SaaS can be compared to waffles from the café. You must choose your favorite café but not much more, expect deciding which employees that shall be allowed access.
I.e.do you really need to manage and develop your own CRM system? For some, the answer is yes. For most, configuring some SaaS CRM will be sufficient as for office applications and web publishing. For others, you can look into PaaS and IaaS and various private cloud setups.
Geir Morten Allum is a Senior Cloud Architect at Basefarm working with next generation products for the service provider space. He has extensive experience with solution advisory for how to adapt IT services from the public cloud especially on the Microsoft Azure platform within various industries and technology areas. Twitter: @geirmorten