IT heterogeneity exists in today’s computing environments for three reasons:
- Legacy technologies still support critical business processes.
- The distributed computing era’s best-in-class technology approach led to enterprise IT integrating and managing multiple products and technologies.
- Mergers and acquisitions increase IT heterogeneity through acquired technologies and products.
IT heterogeneity poses both a challenge and an opportunity, depending on how an IT team chooses to address it. In this slideshow, Mahesh Kumar, vice president of strategy at BDNA – the company behind Technopedia.com, the world’s largest IT reference catalog – shares the benefits IT professionals receive when they adopt a common language of IT to tackle the variability issue that exists within their IT departments.
Click through for seven benefits of using a common language to address IT heterogeneity, as identified by Mahesh Kumar, vice president of strategy at BDNA.
Because 70 percent of an IT budget is spent keeping the lights on, funding for innovation is constrained. Improving IT efficiency frees up more money for innovative projects, which lead to greater profits.
Identifying improvement opportunities is a first and critical step, and the plethora of technologies and heterogeneity itself is an impediment to this. Aligning data across various IT systems along a common language of IT provides the clarity enterprises need to identify immediate opportunities for improvement. For example, aligning data across purchasing and operations systems allows you to eliminate unused software license costs, resulting in millions of dollars in saving. A common language of IT creates data alignment. When data from different enterprise systems can be organized regardless of taxonomy differences, formats and sources, it leads to strategic insight, operational flexibility and big data analytics.
Distributed computing created highly efficient and specialized processes, but large pockets of inefficiency still remain in interstices across processes. Process automation is one approach to improve efficiencies. However, end-to-end automation can only be achieved when one system accurately and consistently understands the inputs from another. A common language of IT provides this bridge and delivers stable integrations that enable automation across processes.
Vendor lock-in is a major problem for enterprise IT, in part due to the complex and brittle integrations that connect products and processes. Communicating with a common language of IT adds stability to integrations and also provides enterprises the operational flexibility to replace some vendor products with minimal collateral impact to adjacent products and processes. This operational flexibility creates increased leverage when negotiating licensing contracts with vendors.
Rationalizing applications can reduce wasteful spending that can be put toward innovation projects. However, decisions on application rationalization require an assimilation of data from diverse sources such as discovery tools, service catalogs, asset management systems and application portfolio management systems. A common language of IT gives you the capability to assimilate data and identify and remove redundant applications.
Data center consolidation is a long-term decision that demands rigorous upfront analysis of a heterogeneous IT environment and generation of alternatives from different vendors. Accurate analysis is possible only through a comprehensive understanding of key data such as power, dimensions, CPU capacity and application compatibility with chosen hardware. A methodical approach, aligned to the common language of IT and using a common set of units, drives the right investment decisions that yield large benefits.
Applications considered not core but contextual to the business can be moved to the cloud. To identify this application set, IT needs to know which applications are deployed in the enterprise, which options for moving to the cloud are available, and how to evaluate the right trade-off analysis. This information is embedded in assorted IT systems with no way to align and assimilate the data. A common language of IT leads to this normalization of data so cloud migration decisions are made with the most accurate information and analysis.
Big data introduces hard-to-manage volume, velocity and variety. Too many IT departments focus primarily on data volume and data velocity, ignoring the data variety issue. The IT domain is often the worst offender and worst victim of the data variety issue, so enterprises must address this first. A common language of IT offers a consistent way to identify objects across diverse IT systems that produce big data. This enables IT managers to connect the dots on data coming from multiple IT systems leading to new and accurate insights. Mastering the variety challenge with a common language of IT is the key to simplifying and unlocking big data analytics in IT.