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This chapter is from the book

Getting It Right

As time goes by, more businesses are buying, commissioning, and even renting applications in one form or another. Meanwhile, fewer companies are building their applications internally from scratch. In such situations, an adaptive infrastructure strategy becomes crucial to providing a versatile, flexible, and agile foundation for application deployment.

As your organization outsources more of its applications work, what's left for IT to do is to get the infrastructure right. From a practical standpoint, if you are implementing a database back-end, what differentiates your effort isn't the application itself, but how quickly you get it running and how well it works. In many cases, these problems aren't application issues; they're infrastructure issues.

As infrastructure becomes more important and increasingly separated from purely application issues, the resulting adaptive infrastructure solutions should exhibit several key traits:

  • Efficiency. The ability to provide reusable components that are priced reasonably and can be quickly tailored for application de-velopment projects.

  • Effectiveness. The easy integration of all components in a way that supports their robust operation.

  • Agility. Good planning and design processes that allow you to develop new applications quickly and to repurpose or upgrade ex-isting infrastructure to support new application requirements.

If you outsource the responsibility for running the infrastructure, your company must have at least one group that makes sure applications can run effectively on the outsourced infrastructure. This group must include infrastructure planners and designers, whose ability to manage separate service providers will be key in making your infrastructure efficient, effective, and agile. Of all the challenges you face in the burgeoning world beyond e-Business, this one is especially crucial.

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