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Modern Infrastructure: Cross-Cloud defines measures for business value. (Part 2 of 5)

Considering an infrastructure refresh in data center consolidation, edge deployment, or compute refresh and consolidation? Today’s decision-making requires analysis, vision, calibration, and foresight for the next request from the business. For successful organizations and leaders, this requires a review of the success factors for business, technical and compliance/risk goals.

This is part two in a five-part blog series for organizations considering a refresh of computing infrastructure, moving, or migrating to the cloud or application consolidation. At VMware, we take these inputs into consideration with our operating model for premise and cloud. See the considerations below.

In Part 1 of this modernization series, we provided an overview for organizations looking to prioritize decisions in your datacenter modernization. In this post on business goals, the focus is on what business goals should be evaluated for refreshing infrastructure. This should include a review of applications, defining applications capacity processing or latency.  Licensing considerations also play a role, such as for databases, middleware, and application locations and contractual models.”

Review this video to hear how Kostadis helped Zynga’s platform team through the process of understanding business needs for their infrastructure.

Kostadis helped Zynga’s platform team Transform

Defining the context and requirements for your infrastructure transformation business goals:

As part of this process, it is important that you consider your existing customers and users. These areas include current trends and existing projects and programs, such as:

  • Customer and user trends
  • Industry and competitor trends
  • Initiatives, programs, and projects in progress

Mapping your business success for outcomes often applies to your highest priority needs; however, identifying these can be difficult. To simplify the requirements, review the following prompts in the context of your business goals.

Business goals require a plan, a vision, and a baseline map to achieve success

Many of our customers start out with a target state goal based on input from business, financial and technical stakeholders, which might include:

  • Target technologies and solutions
  • Vision and strategic development
  • Guiding principles

After defining these goals, many organizations proceed to create a map of their existing capability benchmarking against their desired outcome, including:

  • Gap analysis
  • Initiatives, projects, and milestones
  • Objectives and measures

The most challenging part of dealing with transformation and modernization is understanding the existing infrastructure, application, and resource patterns that support your existing infrastructure, such as:

  • Existing technologies and solutions
  • Problems, issues, and challenges
  • Focus on what needs to change

Example: existing (brownfield) infrastructure migration, dealing with the demands of modern data centers and related infrastructure, might require a review of capacity, service definition, financial, compliance, and operational business requirements.

Sample Requirement Matrix

Creating a map for cross-cloud or multi-cloud infrastructure transformation

Here, we’ll lay out the six workstreams that help support tying your business goals to your infrastructure transformation outcomes. It is often helpful to create a detailed spreadsheet that lays out each of the six swim lanes below with columns providing those specific goals.
1. Document and list business outcomes.
This workstream is the payoff for all the underlying activity. Items include business goals, formally declared strategies, and transformation objectives. Valuable information for cloud and infrastructure strategy and architecture roadmaps because it spotlights a direct link to tangible business outcomes. Break high-level goals into lower-level components or phases to present a more compelling roadmap.

2. Identify and label business capabilities.
Unify planning with business and enterprise architects by requiring the use of business capabilities as basic units to document outcomes. They can be key points for relating upward to business outcomes the desired business outcome may span multiple capabilities and downward to technology management projects, architecture development needs, and organizational change initiatives.

Example: your storage & information architecture requirements to business capabilities to ensure that business architecture planning incorporates related information architecture elements.

3. Describe technology organization projects.
Aside from basic day two operations, the most visible technology organization function is project delivery. Define the link between technology organization projects & application strategy activities.

Examples Include: business funded application development projects, commercial off-the-shelf implementations, and other technology initiatives like one-time data movement projects.

4. Describe cloud-ready architecture development.
This workstream shows the major steps of infrastructure transformation ready development and relates them to business goals and outcomes, technology organization projects, and other people, processes, and technology activities.

Examples include specific deliverables, such as subject-area maps (microservices, service-driven architecture) and glossaries (12-factor Applications, cloud-native and self-service automation), or for expanding specific subject areas within the deliverables, such as the continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) flow for a customer-facing application or the product area for the technology model.

5. Describe technology research and implementation.

This workstream describes activity related to information management technology, ranging from research into technology products to in-house prototypes, proofs of concept, trials to migration, upgrades, or implementation projects. Sources of information for this layer can include information architects, technology architects, or other architects and subject-matter experts.

6. Identify and describe people and process structures.
This workstream shows plans for managing the infrastructure transformation ready, from establishing business stewards in specific areas to articulating formal processes for storage metadata management. Defining roles, assigning individuals to fill them, and establishing structures and processes are early-stage activities. This workstream, along with the infrastructure architecture development and technology research and implementation lanes, embodies the transformation strategy, while the first three workstreams provide the context.

  • Infrastructure modernization starts with communication, road map, and stakeholder agreement
  • Generating a clear business plan connected to your infrastructure or refresh goals is not a one-time process. Keep these following points in mind when beginning your work.

Communicate your plans to all stakeholders including leadership, capture the execution steps necessary to achieve your business outcomes and review them with technical and business leaders.

Example: Building a road map gives both your business and technology organization a path to collaborate and resolve conflicts, from project inception to outcomes. Be on the lookout for relationships and conflicts that can sidetrack a modernization program, considering which providers are interoperable, multi-platform, and which are single focused on a functional (analytics) or technical domain (compute).

For large technology initiatives that require millions of dollars in investment and a complete resource model, be very aware of performance metrics and milestones that tie to your business outcomes. Never begin an investment and transformation effort without clearly articulating the business value for all stakeholders. One consideration that should always be present is the ability to deliver short-term results for business stakeholders.

Take Action: Work with VMware to launch your modernization efforts and make an impact with the next generation of modern infrastructure, hybrid and multi-cloud

Next: Review your goals for technical modernization with this series. Consider the inputs for your future-ready cloud and premise operating model.

Engage with us for a discussion about how to enable modernization efforts:

Part:1 Modern Infrastructure Refresh Preparing for Cloud Capabilities in your datacenter and the edge.

Part:2 Modern Infrastructure Define business success for budget refresh cycle and measures for value

Part 3 Review your Technical requirements, migration pattern and needs for capacity and availability.

Part 4: Identify your risk Frequency, Magnitude, Primary and Secondary Loss.

Part 5: Define Value across your technology refreshing using Business, Technical and Risk measures to identify successful value translation.

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