written by
Sudesh Girdhari

Define value across your technology platform: Use Business, Technical & Risk measures to map value (Part 5)

7 min read

Considering an infrastructure refresh in data center consolidation, edge deployment, or compute refresh and consolidation? Today’s decision-making requires analysis, vision, calibration, and foresight for the next request from the business. For successful organizations and leaders, this requires a review of success factors for Business, Technical and Compliance / Risk goals

This is part five in a five-part series for organizations considering a refresh of compute infrastructure, moving, or migrating to the cloud or application consolidation. VMware takes these inputs into consideration with our operating model for premise and cloud. See the considerations below.

In part one of this modernization series, we provided an overview for organizations looking to prioritize decisions in their datacenter modernization.

  • During part two of the series, we reviewed how to identify and execute on business goals related to infrastructure refresh. It's important that you have clearly defined business calls to build your technical use case and objectives.
  • In part three of the series, we dug into technical goals that define how they support consistent operations, common management, reduce repetitive tasks, and create a flexible model for operating your technology assets.
  • In part four of the series, we are reviewing the inputs into risk and compliance when making decisions around infrastructure modernization, data center refresh, and server replacement. We will review risk how to evaluate the frequency of security events, impact, and magnitude.

In this section, we’ll explore how you can define value for your datacenter update refresh and modernization efforts. You’ll get targeted summary recommendations and tie those to use cases and data.

Understanding how to define value and build a business case

Define value across your technology refreshing using Business, Technical and Risk measures to identify successful value translation. Use those to build the business case that fits your needs.

In the example below, you can see sample summary use cases for defining value across the infrastructure refresh cycle.
Use cases for defining value across the infrastructure refresh cycle

Common Use Cases for Technology Refresh:

We see some common use cases across the businesses we talk to today. Here's a look at those and how you might prepare. Review the list below to see what fits your needs or team goals.

On-premises infrastructure remains relevant in your technology model; technology leaders will need to automate and abstract the infrastructure services across silos and lifecycle stages and take care of all interdependencies. Developers focus on application logic and don't want to worry about infrastructure intricacies. The goal would be to enable the same functions available on cloud providers.

Example: abstract the infrastructure layer via innovative services like service mesh and API compute services that emulate “serverless” deployment.

Refresh and Modernization require a re-map of infrastructure strategy and roadmap to remain relevant in the age of containers, platform services, and lifecycle developer operations enablement. Application developers are shifting to newer platforms like containers that promise benefits such as flexibility, scalability, and application portability. Every infrastructure vendor is at a different stage of building compatibility into evolving container ecosystem standards.

Example: Shared virtual infrastructure serving containers in a flexible and agile manner

The use case for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning requires specialized infrastructure. Algorithms for training and inferencing AI application models consume large amounts of compute and therefore require specialized computer infrastructure. For many business stakeholders, the use of AI can quickly be used to fight fraud, deliver customer support and enhance existing customer experience.

Example: If a company uses video to train its AI models, a 1-hour video stored in 4K format consumes about 480 gigabytes of storage. Such video training data can easily run into hundreds of petabytes, an astounding figure for most enterprises. Next-generation storage must be performant and have ultra-high capacity.

Remote, 5G and Edge infrastructure characteristics differ from those of data center infrastructure. Along with cloud computing, edge computing has been one of the most important trends, as it enables a multitude of use cases for business professionals. As industry needs and use cases evolve, so will the infrastructure needs: for example, there is a strong use case for hyper-converged infrastructure for unified scale and management.

Infrastructure security, when distributed to support edge use cases, will increase the attack surface by orders of magnitude. Security holes in hardware are as risky as those in software. Businesses are being attacked from all sides and must guard against all attack vectors. It's not just software that has security vulnerabilities; they also exist at the hardware layer. Infrastructure leaders face considerable pressure to embrace infrastructure innovation and serve business requests without compromise even as they need to maintain or improve the overall security posture.

Example: Spectre and Meltdown demonstrated how failing to consider security results in insecure hardware.
Example of Use Cases that may fit platform & Infrastructure strategy
Fit For Purpose Use Case Examples

Take Action: Work with VMware to Launch your Modernization efforts and make an impact with the next generation of Modern Infrastructure, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud

  • Establish investment and benefit estimates with your first pass at modern infrastructure and multi-cloud model. Define your opportunity to your new modern cloud initiative, highlight common areas of caution and outline a specific approach. Review VMWare best-practice learnings from the targeted use cases but then dig into the implementation specifics for your company.
Using cloud migration as an example, successful cloud migrations. To get started, leaders must develop a baseline of existing costs from which to track the impact of cloud migration. Leaders can highlight the expected savings (e.g., space, power, cooling, licensing of hardware and software, operational support, ending of past-warranty support, labor monitoring, or security) and the costs they'll incur (e.g., decommissioning costs for unracking, disposition of equipment, labor, or professional services).
  • Identify and communicate which critical cloud concepts are needed beyond the public cloud. Describe how specific automation or self-service investment will enable employees to better serve customers, leading to lower costs, higher revenue, or all of the above. Merits such as customer self-service, smooth developer path to production and enabling business stakeholders to start projects quickly add up. Use cloud-native concepts requires leaders to successfully pitch the ROI of "Cloud concepts" and develop a vision statement for how it will improve business.
Example: Use "Refactor or Build," within a larger DevOps initiative, brand the theme with adaptive and resilient messaging to better react to changing business dynamics and customer needs. Migration usually connects to a platform economy messaging to enable differentiation. Modernization business cases often center around leaving the legacy apps and infrastructure behind. Which differentiates new customer experiences to stand out from the competition and enables expansion into new markets.
Work with VMware to launch a proof of value project to establish insights and adjust based on inputs. This project will gather specific inputs, such as costs, benefits, gaps, and other quantifiable information, use a target test group to collect data. POV's help uncover the factors that matter most in launching a successful modern infrastructure services initiative while also testing the commitment to the partnership that VMware possesses essentially tackling the remaining unknowns. Measure and observe other benefits, such as a motivated workforce, familiarity with emerging technologies, and real-time adjustments to achieve a high quality of service from your support team, as these will factor into the revised plan later.

Next: Review your goals for business value with this series. Consider the inputs for your future-ready cloud and premise operating model.

Engage with us for a discussion about how to enable a modernization effort:

  • Checkout out: Map Your Technical Future with the Operating Model for Multi-Cloud & Data Center Modernization
  • This eBook focuses on the importance of Cloud Strategy using a point of view for Cloud Architects, being a must-have list for developing an effective cloud strategy. We review the popular “cloud operating model” which provides a holistic but tactical plan for the "Who", "When," and "How" of ongoing management and governance of cloud service delivery. Readers will discover how the cloud operating model is your blueprint for delivering cloud services, and which key elements to include.
  • Want to find your cloud maturity: Review the Cloud Maturity Assessment
  • Also accompanied by the ebook
  • Start with the VMware Cloud Blog
  • Look for content that matches your goals:  Example “Security”
  • Engage with the Author to identify patterns in your business case.
  • Join us chat on Slack