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Chinese food and IT: homemade or takeaway…or both?



G12481002082010_JPGHighres.jpgBy Fil Zanasi, Business Development Director for HP Software UK&I


This blog post originally appeared on the Enterprise CIO Forum.


I love Chinese food. Who doesn’t? And we’re lucky because we’ve got all the options in and around our village. We have a lovely, elegant restaurant in a grade II listed building. We have a nice “eat as much as you like” Chinese buffet restaurant. We have a great takeaway that will also deliver. Which do I prefer? It depends on my requirements.


So where does IT come into this? Well, just like Chinese food, IT can be consumed in many different ways:


Homemade: When I cook at home, I go out and purchase the required ingredients at a reasonable price with the given budget. Similarly organizations can also buy all the separate ingredients and build their own IT systems and manage them in-house.


Order-in: Most organizations decide to pick and choose. This reminds me of when my family and I order Chinese to eat-in, we always try and get just the right amount and put it in the middle to share. Organizations can purchase IT systems from a 3rd party supplier, just like building a cloud environment in which the initial platform may be supplied by another but can be used as its own by the organization.


Dine out: In restaurants the purchasing of ingredients, the process of cooking and service is dependent on the restaurant’s own staff, equipment and logistics. Customers are expected to do nothing but enjoy their surroundings and the food delivered to them. Similarly, some IT organizations do just that.  They outsource the whole of their IT systems and processes to another organization. So just like a customer in a restaurant they own nothing, enjoy the service and simply pay a bill at the end of the service.


So how do we manage this complex, hybrid approach of mix & matching to the likes of consuming IT?


Well, an IT performance system offers the tools to manage the different challenges of the different approaches. How? Let me use the examples above. If cooking at home, an IT performance system can automate the building, testing, releasing and management of IT infrastructure and software applications. This reduces costs and the time-to-market. If ordering-in, it can monitor all the parts of the complex IT environment and predict and fix outages before they happen. This maximizes IT reliability. If dining out, it can monitor the end-user experience and both alert people of any issues and initiate diagnosis and fix. This maximizes quality of service to the customer.


It’s true that technology is not yet advanced enough to incorporate IT performance systems into a restaurant-environment. But for an IT department, it can yield higher quality applications with better security, deliver to the market in a quicker turnaround time.


For now, I’m enjoying my local Chinese restaurant and buffet as they are. After all, in reality it wouldn’t be a full restaurant experience without the occasional wrong orders, kitchen disasters and front-of-house mishaps. But just imagine the accumulated chaos this would cause in an IT department if these happened daily!

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