Tag Archives: automation

No Silo’s in a Healthy Foundation.

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Last week I was lucky enough to listen to a number of you describing your IT environments and the current issues you face, and I’m a little shell shocked!

As EMC is an international company, we can sometimes convince international experts to visit and share their experience and knowledge with us. (Easier to do in our summer!)  Last week we had two such experts, (Healthcare and Life Sciences), tour the country. A great opportunity for me to meet hospitals and researchers, and learn first-hand about your issues. My lesson learnt from the week was that your issues are shockingly consistent: Growth and Budget, (too much of one and not enough of the other, you know which!). Living the ‘doing more with less’ cliché.

What might surprise you was that in each case the prime cause is ‘stovepipes’. Segregation of departments, budgets, projects, planning, leading to the implementation of disparate systems, applications and  datasets. (One person told us they had about 2000 applications in this single hospital, wow). So its not surprising that no-one seems to be able to provide a single patient view!

How were people thinking about solving this problem. Well on the whole a lot are not, they are too busy doing ‘business as usual’ or keeping the lights on, to even think about it.  Others were very optimistic about implementing an organisational wide EMR/EHR, but as many were very sceptical about getting a business case up and showing any return on the investment.

In my experience, working in other verticals, the journey has always started within IT.  The first step is to consolidate the environment, perhaps starting with the IT support systems and then moving into the ‘business’ applications. If you are a producer or consumer of IT services the goals remain the same:

  • To cut costs: by increasing utilisation when moving to shared infrastructure.
  • To become more responsive: by using virtualised technologies.
  • To improve the service: by using automation.

At the end of the day the results have been impressive across the board, as an example EMC itself has taken this journey from consolidation to virtualisation to automation and we estimate the savings in the millions but more importantly:

  • the amount EMC spends on ‘keeping the lights on’ from over 70% of the IT budget to less than 40%, and now invests in innovation.
  • the time it takes to stand up a new service from over 3 months to under 1 day, freeing up people to help drive business outcomes.

If you are a customer of IT how about asking what are they doing, this year to cut the cost of the services they provide by x%, and how are they going to be more responsive to your requests?

While this may sound very tech-centric it’s a good place to start.. it’s the foundation that needs to be laid in order to move into the making healthcare healthy, (sorry)!

EMC Forum – Relating to the Future Picture

In the last post introduced the EMC Forum theme of Transform IT+Business+Yourself and outlined the picture the futurist painted. Now what has this to do with Cisco, EMC and VMware? Well it seems to be the vision and strategy, that binds these three companies together.

We all identify with the IT Transformation message that the world is moving from consolidation, through virtualisation to automated and orchestrated infrastructures. No one questions this evolution any more, they just talk about where they are on in the journey. As Andrew Dutton, (APJ Lead for VMware), pointed out from the boardroom down, this is no longer a question of IF, it’s just a question of how quick!

The technologies needed to complete this infrastructure transformation, and realise the goal of a fully automated hybrid cloud being run as a service, are beginning to surface. It can also be tracked by following the acquisitions, such as VMware’s purchase of Nicira, (software defined networking), Cisco’s purchase of Newscale and Tidal, you can track the virtualisation, automation and orchestration path.

Transforming Business, is by far, the most interesting part of the market today. As we humans accept that the amount of data that is available to us is more than the human mind can cope with, we realise that technologies can enhance and improve everything we do! More importantly as many organisations look to modernise applications by moving them to framework based environments like VMware’s Spingsource, there is an opportunity to architect for the future. Why just take an old application and put it on a new platform?

In the process of modernising applications, think about the future of IT. IT’s job is to capture, store, and analyse all data to provide real-time analytic support to all parts of the organisation. EMC’s recent implementation of SAP used this idea to construct what we are calling the “Application Integration Cloud”, the use of an in-memory database to enable integration and to feed the Big Data store. Not only did this reduce the integration challenge between all our systems but set up a modern analytics platform that has revolutionised our BI process and enabled us to leverage all our data.

Now what about transforming yourself.. next time..