Engineered Systems

Get Ready to Change your Job

Street signs: Business as usual or the cloud?

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.
(Marcus Aurelius)

If you have a job in IT (and who among my readers hasn't?), then it is going to fundamentally change soon.

Why?

In my own job, I see the full spectrum from where IT innovation is created to the very last laggards who are still depending a lot on mainframes and other ancient technology. Some things in IT are new (like, every week there's a new startup/technology/trend that is shaking up the industry), and some things are just repetitions of stuff that has happened before, albeit in slightly different colors.

So now, the world of IT as we know it is changing (again) and this time, change will impact organizations, roles and jobs.

Let's dive a little bit into what's happening. Don't worry, change is good, but only if you prepare for it.

How to Avoid Your Next 12-Month Science Project

exalogic_ib_network.jpg

While most customers immediately understand how the magic of Oracle's Hybrid Columnar Compression, intelligent storage servers and flash memory make Exadata uniquely powerful against home-grown database systems, some people think that Exalogic is nothing more than a bunch of x86 servers, a storage appliance and an InfiniBand (IB) network, built into a single rack.

After all, isn't this exactly what the High Performance Computing (HPC) world has been doing for decades?

On the surface, this may be true. And some people tried exactly that: They tried to put together their own version of Exalogic, but then they discover there's a lot more to building a system than buying hardware and assembling it together. IT is not Ikea.

Why is that so? Could it be there's more going on behind the scenes than merely putting together a bunch of servers, a storage array and an InfiniBand network into a rack? Let's explore some of the special sauce that makes Exalogic unique and un-copyable, so you can save yourself from your next 6- to 12-month science project that distracts you from doing real work that adds value to your company.

The Business Value of Engineered Systems

Engineered Systems mean Business

If I had to formulate in one sentence what my job and that of my teammates is, I'd say something like:

"To show our customers the business value of Oracle's Engineered Systems"

Because at the end of the day, customers pay real money only if there's some real value they see in a solution.

And that is the problem most people in IT struggle with: How is what you do in IT related to your company's total value chain?

Most of the time, people, both those working in IT and those selling and supporting into IT departments are consumed with functions and features, tech specs, standards and other tech stuff. Worse yet: Some people look at Oracle's Engineered Systems like Exadata and Exalogic and they only see a bunch of servers in a rack, because all they know is components, servers, tech stuff.

This is dangerous terrain: Because if you can't show the business value of your IT to your company, you're going to be put on the list of cost centers to be squeezed, and budget cuts are never a good motivator for your job.

So what is the value of IT to the business? Or more specifically, what is the value of Engineered Systems for our customers' businesses?

Engineered Systems and Enterprise Architecture (or: How to Sell Dog Food Online)

A dog. And the TOGAF ADM cycle.

One of the first things that customers and sales teams realize when dealing with Engineered Systems is: They fundamentally change the IT architecture of a business.

Change is good, it means progress. But change is sometimes seen as a bad thing: Change comes with fear.

The truth is that Engineered Systems really empower IT architects to add value to their business, application and data architectures, without worrying about the technology architecture.

To understand this, we need to dig a bit deeper into Enterprise Architecture, specifically the TOGAF flavor of it.