Decentralization and cloudification

 

Why do IBM mainframes always make us think about prehistory and dinosaurs? Or is it only about different sociological or “ideological” perspectives?

 

Today’s employee: services consumer and focused on business goals

Today is about hopping between TV channels, online services, and political parties. Consumers are now the decision makers and they wish to have as many choices as possible offered to them. Competition has become very hard and aggressive, consumers are now able to buy in a single day from a small local grocery store and order a product from a Chinese website. Today’s world has become (breaking news…) a giant supermarket.

Within companies, employees claim more autonomy. Business is THE priority. In fact, both employee and consumer are just one – same – individual: they are services consumers, autonomous and innovative, focused on reaching their business goals.

But what is the point with dinosaurs and IBM mainframes? Of course, in this story mainframe is only a symbol of centralized, authoritarian, slow and lost in paper work IT system and organization.

The divorce between “legacy IT” and Operations

Chances are that “Legacy IT” are not operations and business-oriented employees’ best partner nowadays.

Indeed, asking the IT department to modify software to adapt to a new sales offer or for the implementation of a new Marketing application often implies long and painful processes. To launch such projects, all the steps need to be explicitly planned for IT, from initial requirements to operational acceptance testing. On operations’ side, such projects drain money and time, often wasted when you realize the initial need has evolved!

IT departments are becoming more and more isolated. Decentralization in favor of business units is happening…

Not all speed and agility leads to efficiency. Consumerization can lead to waste as departments choose competing applications for the same task that can’t talk to each other. Operations often sign contracts for services they forget to terminate.

From centralized IT to excessive decentralization

In this new fast, agile, decentralized environment security can be catastrophic, precisely because of how many things are decentralized. Autonomy often rhymes with chaos. The last defense against data leakage is operations’ close attention to confidentiality and security requirements regarding the information they handle. Something that can get lost with a relentless focus on speed of execution.

 

A centralized risk management is necessary, along operations’ autonomy

Business units cannot do without security and IT risk management. But they can’t take different approaches to regulatory compliance or reporting. Firms need a way to provide central control alongside a flexible environment and decentralized decisions.

Risk management needs to map resources and services that touch the company’s vital processes. To fully understand the impact of leaks, one needs to know what and where data is. You need a 360° degree view of your resources, access rights, and users’ behavior. Dinosaurs can still be useful… but eagles rather than brontosauruses

You need a tool capable of collecting all the information and to include it in continuous control and monitoring. 

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