IT scale means automation and agility – i.e. the ability to grow your technology footprint without introducing a lot of new applications, infrastructure, processes, costs, risks, and (yes) more human employees. An organization’s “agility ability” is a direct reflection of it’s leaderships desire to:
- Be market pro-active, not re-active.
- Give Scale2 priority to achieve Scale1.
- Build a innovation war machine culture.
- Focus on process that improve customer service.
- Focus on technologies that improve customer service.
One thing I’ve found useful in judging an IT company’s “agility ability” is to speak to call center engineers. Listen to how cheerful (or plain) their speech is. More often than not, you will hear a weary voice, because they are being overrun by issues that are more the bi-product of leadership failure on the points above. Some facts:
- Gartner’s 2015 IT Key Metrics Data Report states first contact resolution averages just 64%.
- According to the 2014 HDI Support Center Best Practices and Salary Report, the number one reason for the increased ticket volume is the advent of new applications and systems.
- 2015 ticket volumes increased 57% per HDI support organizations.
When you are adding, moving or subtracting stuff from your application and/or network you need to do it with both eyes on the future, because whatever it is you are doing will impact tomorrow. The ability to scale/maneuver change quickly is one key reason for the rise of hosted solutions be they Salesforce.com, GitHub or AWS.
When we talk about scaling enterprise architecture one needs to recognize the benefits of standardization which allows you to:
- Improve Efficiency: reduce the number of apps and systems which lowers your OPEX and potential headaches too.
- Ease of Integration: frees you from having to cater to too many obstacles when adding new systems and applications.
- Economy of Scale: when you are sourcing from the same vendor(s) you should be fighting for (and getting) discounts.
Opponents of standardization lament that this approach can lead to stagnation (esp. w/ Windows environments) – but what they fail to recognize is that diversity alone doesn’t automatically improve anything – most of all security. Salesforce.com is an atypical approach to standardization that works inside a litany of internal caveats and is dominant across industries.
When you have been building, replacing, migrating, troubleshooting, and reverse-engineering networks and apps as long as I have you can appreciate tools and process that are working under some form of commonality. In this context- tools that help you visualize problems (esp. when the shit hits the fan). , can help you tackle these problems with the right data and uncover new ones you don’t know about (yet). The good folks at NetBrain are going exactly that, please click here to learn more.
We live in a world where technology has outgrown the limited physical and cognitive capabilities of its’ human masters. This has led to unprecedented achievement in every facet of human life, but it has come at a price. We are mistake masters, machines are not. They either work or break- and when they break it’s often because of a human! Technology exists in black and white we exist in shades of gray. That’s why tech will continue to scale better than we do.