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Author: Raymond Allen Jackson | 06/27/17

Are your IT Infrastructure and Enterprise Architecture aligned towards Agile, DevOps and Automation?

DevOps has the potential to have a direct influence on business agility, product time-to-market, and is capable of impacting company’s bottom line if end-to-end IT has continuously reduced total cost of ownership, coupled with quality continuous delivery. Read the e-Book on our 3-step approach to transform IT.

It is important to have a strong infrastructure and a well-designed architecture in place to enable DevOps as it is critical for reliable, repeatable and scalable operations.

Traditionally infrastructure was one of the key bottlenecks in delivering faster time-to-market. However, today many companies are looking at IT infrastructure as a mean to drive transformation. Software-defined Everything (SDx) that includes Software-defined Networking (SDN), Software-defined Storage (SDS), and Software-defined Data Center (SDDC), empowers organizations to treat their infrastructure as a software, enabling them to seamlessly deliver business outcomes of faster time-to-market and improved speed of delivery.

Gartner defines IT infrastructure as – “The system of hardware, software, facilities and service components that support the delivery of business systems and IT-enabled processes.”

Your IT infrastructure is essential to your enterprise’s success. However, it is often not given enough consideration as a key foundation component requiring true planning. It is typically addressed as an afterthought requiring some ‘bolt on’ later on down the road. It is important to put in some quality time in planning for an infrastructure that supports automation, scalability, availability (high availability where necessary), redundancy and security. All of these help support continuous integration with geographically dispersed resources, micro services, virtualized servers, storage, networks and containerization. Also, let’s not forget the elephant in the room – cloud enablement, as it can be an integral part of your current and long-term strategy.

If you are preparing for your journey, start with a solid well-thought-out infrastructure foundation. However, if you have already begun your journey, answer the below key questions and if your answer is ‘yes’ to all of them, you have a solid IT infrastructure that will support you in your journey towards continuous integration.

  1. Is your infrastructure automated and autonomic?
  2. Is your infrastructure configuration-driven and are these configurations maintained in revision control?
  3. Can you easily replicate your infrastructure in the event of catastrophic failure and re-establish a good known state?
  4. Can you expand and/or contract your capacity on demand?
  5. Can you establish the state of your infrastructure at any time through instrumentation, reporting and real-time dashboards for monitoring?

Enterprise Architecture (EA), has been always charted with aligning IT strategy and IT architecture with business architecture and strategy. However, over a period of time EA became a self-serving industry, with several organizations building complex EA paradigms including frameworks, processes and rules, which ended up slowing down business and IT, and limiting their ability to be agile and innovate quickly.

Gartner defines Enterprise Architecture as the following:

“Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analyzing the execution of change toward desired business vision and outcomes. EA delivers value by presenting business and IT leaders with signature-ready recommendations for adjusting policies and projects to achieve target business outcomes that capitalize on relevant business disruptions.”

If your answer is a ‘yes’ to the following questions, your EA is well on the path to continuous alignment, with continuous improvement on the horizon

  • Does your IT respond to the needs of the rest of the enterprise while ‘keeping the lights on’?
  • Is your IT proactive, and is it anticipating and responding swiftly to business-influenced demands?
  • Does your IT embrace automation as key to efficiency, and repeatable, traceable and consistent results?
  • Does your IT organization and culture integrate with DevOps with shared agile principles and frameworks?
    • Do enterprise architects actively participate and collaborate with development teams?
  • Does your IT have a continuous improving and learning mindset in the associated business verticals, with underlying Lean and Agile processes to facilitate innovation?

Micro service architectures, Application Programming Interface (API) architecture driven “service applications” for CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete)/ Mainframe legacy and proprietary solutions, cloud/private cloud and on-premises hybrid infrastructures supporting PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service)/ SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) with acceleration tools, Internet of Things (IoT) transformations as well as DevOps best practices for EA – all should be considered as enablers and lend themselves to Agile and DevOps affinity, keeping in mind the importance of automation.

Download our e-book to learn more about the 3 IT Integration Steps – Team Integration, Toolchain Integration & Process Integration

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