Hi and thanks for taking the time to read my Blog. My name is Mark Grindle and I'm part of HP's Data Center Transformation Practice. I've been in the industry and working with Data Center Infrastructure my entire career and that is a lot more years than I want to think about! During my career I've worked for some GREAT companies like GE (Corporate, Plastics, Global Research, and Capital), The Gillette Company, and now HP. I've worked internationally and had the opportunity to build data centers, consolidate data centers, refresh infrastructure including mainframes, servers, super computers, storage, network and pretty much everything else that has to with IT Infrastructure and Architecture. Enough about my background though, this Blog isn't about me but I did want to explain my background and experience a little. My goal is to provide my thoughts and views on IT as it is today and where it might be going. I want to get people thinking by sharing my views and I really hope to stimulate some lively conversation. Please feel free to provide your opinions and views to my posts.
So to start with, let me say that I firmly believe that transformation is doable by any IT group and "reasons" like: I don't have the money, the CEO isn't asking for transformation and won't support it, and the businesses won't support the change are excuses in my opinion. Yes, it is difficult and challenging to get Transformation moving but if you can explain, clearly, the business benefits of the transformation then I think your odds of success go up. I've talked to CEOs, Boards, CFOs, CIOs, and business leaders and convinced them that transformation is vital to the company and convinced them to give me funding rather than a business function. It wasn't an easy task but by providing robust, HARD, financial data as well as drivers that directly tied to the business, they understood the value. It also meant that I had to track "value realization" during the life of the program and constantly report on progress against commitments. This wasn't easy by any means but was worth it in the long run. The key is justifying in business terms and sticking to financials that really impact the budget (productivity only works as a justification if it ties directly to headcount). I'd also suggest involving your support functions earlier rather than later. That means legal, finance, HR, procurement, real estate, and any other groups that would be involved in the program. And don't forget your vendors. All of them don't need to be heavily involved but including your key vendors could provide real benefit. They will have a lot of great advice (once you weed through the push to buy their hardware and software! ) and will be able to accelerate your program if tightly coupled with your strategy.
Those are my thoughts for the day. I hope you find them useful, or at least interesting.