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How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
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pcalento011
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pcalento011,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2013 | 2:50:15 AM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
Scalable/flexible/dynamic/quick-to-execute infrastructure probably isn't built from scratch anymore. That's the advantage of start-ups. Getting started begins with business requirements, a cloud services framework and, very likely, an enterprise IT consulting partner (HP et al). Yes, you can go it alone. But should you? Speed to market critical. --Paul Calento
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
10/18/2013 | 7:34:30 PM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
100% cloud based. I would not build my own data center. I would buy it like electricity from a service provider. I'd let Microsoft or Google run the corporate e-mail and calendaring. There'd be no desktops in the house. Employees would have a modest stipend to buy an access device of their choosing. The device would be used for local e-mail, calendaring and web access. The device would also access a virtual desktop also purchased from a service provider. I'd carefully consider core solutions as SAS vs. installing them in the service provider's data center. I'd also have to seriously considered SDN to eliminate configuration hassles of engaging multiple service providers and SAS offerings.

Around this I would build a responsive IT staff that is partially or mostly embedded in each business group. Although there would still be a centralized IT that "manages" the relationship with service providers, it's function will never be to say no. They provide costs and make sure there are standards around requesting, funding and maintaining environments.

My biggest concern is security and how to protect data that will never be physically housed in a building owned by the company. The second biggest concern is how to make sure connectivity is always available. Perhaps a dedicated link directly from the service provider as well as a VPN backup through the Internet?
parkercloud
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parkercloud,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2013 | 1:52:30 AM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
I am the one that is...
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/17/2013 | 5:08:11 PM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
The questions you pose about infrastructure choices are all cost related. Startups are usually small, so choices you make then may not be as cost effective as you grow up. Inhouse infrastructure cost is better at scale, cloud/subscription models favor smaller organizations. It also makes a huge difference what your business is. A heavy duty manufacturer and E-Bay would be expected to make completely different choices of infrastructure. Would you really want to run your mfg shop floor completely dependent on a working internet network link? Probably not. But E-Bay, no working internet link and they aren't doing business anyway, whole different decision.
Rob also correctly pointed out the cost of transition from one technique to another can be prohibitive. And that cost never adds business value. Is there more business value because your email/collaboration system is hosted versus inhouse, assuming both work just as reliably? So why would you pay even $1 to migrate if the result is email working exactly like it did before and operating cost is the same?
Virgil brought up a much different viewpoint, how IT integrates with the business? I'm questioning his statement that IT is incapable of knowing the detailed business processes. When did this change? When I got my BS in Comp Sci in 1985, with a business minor, my title was Programmer/Analyst. I was expected to understand the business and translate that into the code of a working system. I still do that today. Is this not the way it is anymore, you are either a code writer OR an analyst? When did that change?
proberts551
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proberts551,
User Rank: Strategist
10/17/2013 | 4:56:34 PM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
VirgilB130

You are absolutely
correct!

I have a job at a F-500 Company just because of that reason. Abnout 80% of the workers have been made contract. The company has cut to the bone.
I was hired because the Corporate I.T. cannot meet the needs of
the department. (One that you mentioned above) The poor response time, lack of knowledge of the environment drove the department managers nuts.

All the individual building support was laid off. The "Department" Got fed
up, and Hired "Yours Truly" (Contract) who set up a mini I.T. infrastructure,
building from the ground up a one man support system. Right along with installing our own server with 40TB of raid, populating a Sharepoint site to keep track of assets, projects, details on Wireless, everything.

Working with I.T. , not being under their control, I can move fast, act fast, forecast needs ahead of where they want to be. As long as I protect Corporate, follow certain guidelines, keep it secure, all is golden. I play in their sandbox without being strapped down. Productivity of the department rises, and Department managers control their own environment. I.T. has been gracious allowing me to use elevated rights to do my job. I save them a ton of calls a day- thus..the reason. They push for control, canG«÷t get it. Eventually, if the industry changes, I might go aboard with them, but for now they get what they need without much from Corporate I.T.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2013 | 4:51:35 PM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
The SaaS model has made it easier than ever for a business group to start from scratch without involving IT, of course. Turning your back on longstanding process and technology that your team worked hard to create goes against traditional IT credo. This is a huge culture shift. Culture shifts are painful. That's another reason people don't do it.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
10/17/2013 | 4:23:59 PM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
I suspect there are two main reasons IT organizations don't start over from scratch: that transition is very expensive, at least in the short term, as lots of company processes and expertise are tied up in those legacy systems; and the people who oversee those legacy systems are protective of their and their people's jobs and organizational standing.
VirgilB130
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VirgilB130,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2013 | 4:17:09 PM
re: How Would You Build IT From Scratch?
Where I believe we have messed up is the way we are part of the company.

Right now the IT dept, or MIS, sees itself as the keep of the keys to the kingdom.

It is their responsibility to protect the data, and everything else, and they are right.

Problem is, it does not fix their business problems.

Take for instance a company that has:
R & D consisting of math, and artwork depts
Engineering consisting of electrical, electronic and mechanical
QA

Manufacturing

IT supports all of these depts, but it is not involved in their day to day duties, nor does IT sufficiently understand their day to day duties which ultimately means that IT is found wanting when the finger pointing starts.

I believe a better solution is to have a person or persons working in each department that works first for the department, and secondly for the IT dept

This way when it came to developing new software, etc., the IT group would understand every inch of the process flow, and they could map out the business requirements which could be handed off to a team of developers and support engineers.

Sure, the business stakeholders should be doing this now, but as we all know, most business stakeholders will pass the buck as they are too busy and even if they did participate, they are not actively involved in the day to day grind that their department experiences

Virgil
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