- Ten Commandments for Building a "World-Class" Infrastructure
- Thou shalt measure customer satisfaction.
- Thou shalt structure and mentor thy organization to focus on Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS).
- Senior IT management must focus at least 50% of their time, resource, and budget on organization, people, and process initiatives.
- Honor thy mainframe disciplines, and keep them holy—but keep out the bureaucracy!
- Keep all production systems equal in the eyes of the IT staff.
- Thou shalt maintain centralized control for infrastructure standards and processes.
- Thou shalt design the infrastructure as an internal XSP.
- Thou shalt build an attractive, cost-effective, and flexible IT infrastructure and thy customers will come.
- Measure all; verily, you cannot manage what you do not measure.
- Harris Kern's Enterprise Computing Institute
Ten Commandments for Building a "World-Class" Infrastructure
The first step in resolving many of the organization, people, and process issues in today's IT environments and building a world-class infrastructure is to establish the right methodologies to support a mission-critical production environment. These methodologies have proven to be effective in many Fortune 1000 companies. Very simply put, these methodologies are key to ensuring and preserving RAS (Reliability, Availability, Serviceability).
In today's global network environment, the 10 methodologies discussed in this article are key principles to a successful organization. These are critical elements to building a world-class infrastructure for the new millennium. I like to refer to them as the "The 10 Commandments of IT."
In order to ensure follow-through and adherence throughout the entire organization, executive sponsorship is a requirement.
I. Honor thy customers and communicate with them often.
Don't just talk about improving communication. Don't rely on monthly or quarterly get-togethers. Network computing has destroyed what little communication there was between IT and its customers and internally within IT, especially between the applications-development and infrastructure-support organizations. There needs to be a process that promotes and instills effective communication practices on a daily basis.
We recommend using a process that brings together key IT staff and their customers as new systems are being deployed from applications development into production. We refer to this process as production acceptance. You can find a detailed explanation in our book IT Organization: Building a Worldclass Infrastructure (Prentice Hall PTR, 2000, ISBN 0-13-022298-4).