Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Blog Feed Post

Modernization or Transformation | @ThingsExpo #IoT #Cloud #DigitalTransformation

Which is the right IT fix for your business?

Much of IT terminology is often misused and misapplied. Modernization and transformation are two such terms. They are often used interchangeably even though they mean different things and have very different connotations. Indeed, it is somewhat safe to assume that in IT any transformative effort is likely to also have a modernizing effect, and thus, we can see these as levels of improvement efforts. However, many businesses are being led to believe if they don't transform now they risk becoming irrelevant when they would be equally well-off to simply modernize existing IT services saving millions over transformation.

I often witness solution architects using the term transformation with regard to their designs, and upon review I see that the solution doesn't affect how the IT organization is operating. Ultimately, they have new tools and modern capabilities, but the same "towers" that are there now remain in tact in the to-be architecture. In these cases, I question the architect, "where is the transformation?" The transformation should result in a fundamentally different working organization post-transformation than when it started, otherwise, it's simply a modernization effort.

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with a modernization approach if the business is achieving it's goals with the current IT systems and processes. I'm working with one such client right now that is struggling with service management quality issues. We don't need to transform the client's data center environment to succeed, we simply need to modernize and consolidate some of the tools and approaches in order to incorporate more automation and more predictive monitoring. Alternatively, I asked Tim Crawford, CEO, AVOA, and well-respected CIO advisor, to provide an early review of this blog to wit he pointed out that it's also important not to adopt a mantra of modernize when transformation is required or to avoid the complexity that transformation entails. That is, all too often, IT organizations use modernization as a replacement for undergoing a longer and more expensive transformational effort meanwhile the cycle of deterioration of their systems continues.

A great analogy that captures this home renovations. If the structure of the house is sound, but the style of the home is dated, then modernization efforts will update the look of the home without replacing critical infrastructure. For example, replace carpets with laminates, update kitchen and bath with new appliances and fixtures, and provide a new coat of paint. Essentially, the home space may be more maintainable and support a simplified lifestyle, but the flow and layout are still same.

In contrast, transformation incurs changing the physical structure of the home. Perhaps tearing out a wall to enlarge a living space, adding an extension or finishing an unfinished space. In each of these examples you're changing the use and flow for how the house is lived in.

There are extreme variation in costs between these two approaches. Modernizing a home can be done for a fraction of the cost for a transformative effort, while still providing great enhancements to the living situation. And, the same is mostly true with regard to delivering IT services. For example, if you provide compute infrastructure on an application-by-application basis and you switch to cloud computing, you are undergoing a transformative approach, however, if you are already using virtualization software and you move to cloud, the way you think about resource management, governance, deployment, etc. all remain fairly similar, but there may be a need to learn new tools to support these processes.

So, when is transformation required over modernization? When change becomes too high of a risk, then modernization is no longer an option. Many businesses are caught in this pattern right now where they'd like to be more agile and responsive to business requirements, however, are limited by a multitude of factors that unknowingly work together to lock IT in this state of immovability. Examples of these factors include:

  • A culture of fear to contribute (or keeping your head down)
  • Failure results in severe penalization
  • Loss of too much tribal knowledge with no documentation
  • Year over year reductions in IT budgets
  • Business stopped paying annual maintenance on software and/or running software versions that are no longer supported by vendor
  • Forced to extend end of life for hardware beyond reasonable limits
  • Little to no investment in training and/or modern IT skilled individuals

While many academically talk about undergoing IT transformation or are one of the small percentage of inspirational success stories, there are tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of businesses that live this existence everyday. To make matters worse, the executives of these businesses are now being told by the market that they need to "digitally transform" or they may be gone in ten years. In turn this pressure to transform is then cast upon the already immovable IT organization.

In these cases, modernization should be considered "putting lipstick on a pig." The key business processes and underlying systems of record have become so complex and difficult to change that changes are enacted usually only once annually and the period for actual development on these systems is shortened significantly due to the need to ensure thorough testing.

One may wonder, couldn't these businesses institute a parallel transformation effort? Sure, which is from where recommendations, such as Gartner's Bi-modal strategy, emanate. However, I view Bi-modal strategies as an approach to take when between a proverbial rock and a hard place. They are required because nothing else will work given the current operating environment. Moreover, it would require that someone be empowered to lead a parallel effort, which is unlikely given the current conditions. Unfortunately, for many of these businesses, they will be required to have a "rock bottom" moment as motivating event to invest in transformation.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By JP Morgenthal

JP Morgenthal is a veteran IT solutions executive and Distinguished Engineer with CSC. He has been delivering IT services to business leaders for the past 30 years and is a recognized thought-leader in applying emerging technology for business growth and innovation. JP's strengths center around transformation and modernization leveraging next generation platforms and technologies. He has held technical executive roles in multiple businesses including: CTO, Chief Architect and Founder/CEO. Areas of expertise for JP include strategy, architecture, application development, infrastructure and operations, cloud computing, DevOps, and integration. JP is a published author with four trade publications with his most recent being “Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks”. JP holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.