It is pervasive. It is a key driver of business growth and innovation.
Without IT most businesses could not function. Banks are now software houses that also lend money. Insurance companies are software houses that also bet on risks. Even metal thumpers are included, with the likes of Ford and VW increasingly being software houses that also assemble cars.
As IT gets pushed further to the frontline in business growth, it needs to become more agile so that business opportunities can be exploited while they still exist. The use of Saas, cloud hosting, outsourcing, insourcing, etc are tactics that can help improve agility and reduce costs.
There are risks in whatever is done. If IT operated today as it did 30 years ago, there is a risk that time-to-market is downplayed, resulting in lost business opportunities and ultimately a smaller business. If the focus is on cost reduction, then cloud hosting and outsourcing may be persued blindly giving a risk that IT may not be agile enough to respond to changes in business requirements.
If the focus is on IT being agile and able to respond quickly to changes in the business environment, then the right mix of Saas, cloud, out/in sourcing will become more obvious.
Last year I was part of a project moving my employer's server estate to AWS. This has risks - it is not unknown for AWS to have a data centre (AZ) outage. But then, our old DCs have had their own outages, so maybe the risks are about in balance. What we have found is that we no longer have scalability issues. We had times in the past where increasing disk capacity a few TB took over 6 months because a SAN needed an upgrade so it could cope. Now, we know we can get a few TB from seeking approval through to in use in a day or two.
Our focus on working with the business to understand and sometimes to predict their needs has provided the sales teams with the tools they use to successfully grow our market share. The move to AWS hosting, coupled with already existing exploitation of SaaS vendors such as SalesForce, Venda, etc, we think gives us the right mix of agility, cost, and risk. Running agile development teams in-house reinforces IT confidence that we can deliver real business value that meets time-to-market requirements. The feedback we get from the business is that we have just about got things right. At least for today.
Original author: SQL Server FineBuild 1-click install and best practice configuration of SQL Server 2017 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 and 2005. 14 Mar 2017
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