Moving to the cloud
A big part of the strategy was to harness the latest technologies while implementing a raft of cloud based applications to ease application management. Cloud computing plays a major role in IT planning.
One big driver of the move to the cloud was application sprawl. Mott said that when an inventory was taken of IT applications, it revealed a shocking amount of duplication.
“On average we had eight to 10 apps doing the same thing in different parts of our operations,” said Mott. “That kind of inefficiency meant we could only spend 10 percent of our time on innovation and the rest on keeping the lights on.”
IT staff were working flat out just to keep these apps running. Mott commented that in such a climate, IT hardly matters as a strategic element. Determined to make IT matter more, Mott streamlined its application portfolio by developing global applications and deploying many of them in the cloud. That was a key element in freeing up the time needed so that IT staff could focus more time on innovation to increase efficiency, cut costs and forward corporate strategy.
Such was the success of this move that more apps are being moved over to the cloud.
“In three years, 45 percent of our apps will be enterprise apps, and the other 55 percent of apps will be delivered as software as a service on the cloud,” said Mott. “In addition, a total of 50 percent of our apps will be mobile.”
He stressed that transforming IT is a difficult business, one that requires commitment and management buy-in. It takes leadership and vision to adopt a next-generation architecture and to push through all the barriers to achieve real gains.
“There is no ‘Easy Button,’ but with hard work transformation can be accomplished,” said Mott. “If IT is bogged down in only maintenance, IT doesn’t matter in the broad scheme of things. By driving change, however, perhaps only IT matters.”
Drew Robb is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles specializing in technology and engineering. He has a degree in Geology/Geography from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment, as well as hundreds of magazine articles.