- 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
VIII. Thou shalt design the infrastructure as an internal XSP.
We've been involved with IT since the late 1960s, and as long as I can remember the emphasis has been on software development. One of the first methodologies designed by MIS was the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). SDLC is practiced religiously, regardless of the technology (Cobol, Fortran, Java, and so on). Even with the technology/Internet craze of the past 10 years, this methodology is still practiced on a daily basis. But the key to building a world-class infrastructure is designing, implementing, and religiously practicing an Infrastructure Development Lifecycle (IDLC 0) methodology!
IT needs to change the infrastructure's mindset to that of a service provider. The IT infrastructure organization can no longer be labeled as a support group. IT must do all of the following:
Rapidly transition the traditional back-office IT infrastructure function into a full-scale development and support environment.
Architect and implement the complex networks and hosting environments that new applications require.
Satisfy demanding new service levels.
IT must have three fundamental elements to be a successful internal XSP:
A comprehensive IDLC with these phases:
Don't forget the necessary services and tools:
Back-office tools (project management, service tracking, and so on)
Customer satisfaction survey
Charge back methodology
And the appropriate organization and processes:
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities
Inscribed career-development program
Service Level Agreements
Three-tier support model
Architecture and standards