Dynamic Computing’s Benefits and Pitfalls

What is dynamic computing? Dynamic computing is an approach that combines a series of best practices along with smart technology, helping enterprises be more agile by automatically scaling up or down, depending on the real-time business needs.

As the enterprise changes, dynamic computing helps enterprises bring new capabilities online more quickly and in a more cost-effective way. Thus, companies are able to run very tight and lean with technology that adapts to their needs.

To illustrate how dynamic computing can benefit a company, here are some scenarios we encountered with a large customer in the financial services industry:

1. Expecting the Unexpected: Dynamic computing allows companies to react to sudden spikes in demand rapidly and efficiently in an automated fashion, ensuring consistent availability of critical business processes. With the ability to ‘expect the unexpected’, the dynamic computing systems of a global bank were able to detect a surge in demand instantly. Rather than failing the service level agreement, the company was able to automatically bring additional capacity online to cope with the demand. They were also able to track for subsequent actions like billing.

This bank’s dynamic computing gives it the business agility it needs to meet customer needs in high-demand situations and stay on top of the market. As demand tails off the additional capacity is automatically reduced back to normal levels.

2. One-Click Scaling: A division of the investment banking department in the Tokyo branch of this bank planned to expand a pilot program to other offices on a global scale. Dynamic computing made this complicated global roll-out much more straightforward and simple. First the bank had developed a process for new functionalities to be rolled out to other offices and locations.

Once the IT department got approval for the roll-out, the bank’s automated IT systems kick in and moved the functionality for this solution to the global datacenters seamlessly without downtime for any existing users. The dynamic computing system allowed the organization to rapidly scale and grow its capability in response to new business requirements.

3. Retiring Old Applications: As new applications come on-line, the bank continually assesses and retires old services that are no longer filling strategic roles. For example, an aging collaboration platform for employees at the bank was on its way out, to be replaced by a newer version that offers more business benefits. Usage of the older platform had been dropping off, but not quite fast enough to hit the planned decommission date.

Rather than switching the functionality off all at once, the collaboration platform is kept operational but steps are put in place to accelerate its decommissioning. Services are automatically scaled down and moved to a lower SLA with higher cost for support, all without interfering with any live transactions running on the application. When the last user logs off the old system, the Business Collaboration Manager sends an email to the IT department confirming that it is no longer needed. The servers were already operating as virtual servers, so they are simply mothballed in storage in case of future need. The bank’s dynamic computing covers the entire application lifecycle, from development through production, and ultimately to easy decommission.

5. Enabling Innovation: Dynamic computing can also help IT departments shift from a ‘lights on’ operation to a proactive, forward-looking approach. For example, the bank implemented a high-performing computing environment. In doing so, it has been able to turn most routine business demands into structured policy-supported IT operations – it anticipates customer and employee demands and responds according to predefined policies. Having reviewed the activities of the day, the IT department considers how newer technologies can be applied to accelerate and improve the bank’s offerings in the market. This moves the bank’s infrastructure from an IT cost center and to a strategic business enabler.