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Executive Viewpoint 2017 Prediction: iQuate – Transformation Starts With Hybrid Application Mapping

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Digital Transformation is the buzz word of 2016.  Despite the mass amounts of information on why you need to do it and what the ramifications will be if you don’t – companies are still struggling with how to get it done.

Our conversations with our customer point to an over-arching theme: As part of the transformation – companies will need to understand whatthey currently have in order to determine the how: best path forward to succeed.

2017: Year Gaining Visibility & Control

Although Digital Transformation is top of mind for the CEO and the strategy of what and why they need to do it – the CIO must be hyper focused on the how for the foreseeable future.  Determining the how is no easy task. Although the evergreen adage of People, Process and Technology holds true for Digital Transformation, I will primarily focus on the technology.
Many Tools but Not the Right Focus

The current crop of tools are either based off of managing legacy environments or newer cloud environments but not both. They cater more towards the pure technology mindset and assume a world of centralized, everything contained within four walls approach to management.

The reality is that the business is the new buyer and they are not purely focused on technology but what they can achieve with it.  What that means is that there will be a pause in technology purchases for solutions that cannot talk to both the business and technology buyer.  What is needed is a solution that connects the dots between revenue and margins and the underlying application and technology Infrastructure.

Yes, there is a virtual ocean of tools that claim to map the application or infrastructure dependencies.  Many do it well for one or the other case where truly the customer has a centralized workload to migrate.  Unfortunately, few Enterprise class solutions are based off one centralized solution.  In order to understand the right environment for a given application – technology teams will need to understand how the application currently maps out today.  Not just over the centralized service workloads but how it stretches across via integrations to 3rd party clouds, SaaS, and even mobile solutions

Given that Cisco has cited that the average company has over 1120 cloud based shadow IT solutions – it is safe to assume that the current maps created by someone on the technology team may be inaccurate.  An effort needs to be made to map the connections, threads and impact across the hybrid application to understand the true cost of migration and usage in 3rd party provided services.

At the IAITAM conference last year, one of the speakers mentioned being surprised by 2 areas of their cloud migration.  First, they were hit with the migrated solution not working because of firewall configuration and license compliance concerns before it went live.  Second they were concerned with extra costs due to data that was not forecasted in the model that was created to determine the best place for the workload by the line of business.

Suffice to say both situations are very common. They are also completely avoidable if you map out the solution at the “application” versus infrastructure layer.