The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

IT agility creates business agility

Posted by riverbedtest on May 20, 2009

David Spark reporting for Riverbed at Interop ’09, Las Vegas, NV.

On Wednesday, Interop ’09 in Las Vegas opened with a keynote from John McAdam, President and CEO of F5, IT architecture infrastructure developers and load balancers. His topic of discussion was “Staying agile in a dynamic world.”

For the past few years, and echoed this year once again during CIO Boot Camp, there’s constant discussion about synergy between business operations and IT operations. McAdam said the reason for that is IT agility can create business agility.

Value add is the differentiation for businesses. Without it, everyone is a commodity.

Being a leading innovator requires IT agility

IT agility enables increased businesses to speed up and scale out its innovation. Cost is a factor. IT agility can reduce operational costs, even if there is an initial outlay. You’ll drop costs in administration and deployment, management and troubleshooting, and purchasing upgrades, said McAdam.

You want to deliver value-added services faster than competitors, McAdam continued. First to market is a competitive advantage. It’s not the end all be all, but it is significant.

The innovation of scale is constantly dealing with variance, said McAdam. And variance can come from any of four areas: user interactions, secure access, applications, and data.

To be able to handle the cost, scale, and speed of innovation, what’s needed is a unified application and data delivery architecture. That requires an on-premise architecture, discreet and virtualized, plus augmenting some of that architecture with cloud computing, McAdam said. Some IT organizations will put all operations in the cloud for ultimate IT agility. It’ll take some time before that happens.

For more, check out all of Riverbed’s Interop ’09 Las Vegas coverage.

 

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One Response to “IT agility creates business agility”

  1. A hundred years ago we saw the introduction of a new process for organizing and performing work (now we’re looking for another one). That process employed the most powerful technology at the time – industrial technology – to deliver a significant increase in productivity that made possible the rise of the middle class in what we now call the developed world. That new way of working was called the assembly line. Manufacturing companies in the United States (led by Henry Ford) pioneered the introduction of the assembly line in their factories. Soon companies everywhere were using that new workflow process.
    So a hundred years later here we go again. Assembly lines and manufacturing no longer sustain a middle class standard of living in the developed nations because other countries can do those things just as well at much lower costs. We need to find a new way of organizing and performing work that employs the most powerful technology of this time – information technology – to create new value and deliver new productivity.
    In this search here’s a key point to keep in mind: The assembly line was to the last century as the agile and responsive enterprise will be to this century. An agile enterprise creates value because it evolves continuously as its customers and markets continuously evolve. Unlike the industrial enterprise, its operating procedures are fluid and flexible, not rigid and linear (like an assembly line). It is powered by technology but not controlled or dominated by technology. (There is a formula to measure business agility – see http://advice.cio.com/a-formula-to-measure-business-agility )
    FOOTNOTE: My newest book is Business Agility: Sustainable Prosperity in a Relentlessly Competitive World. It talks about all of this; reviewers say it’s a good read with a timely message. You can preview it on Google Books and you can get it on Amazon.

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