I was reminded recently of the well-known parable, where each of six blind men touch different parts of an elephant, and therefore have a limited perception of the animal.
The tale cautions that a limited view or outdated perceptions can lead to misinterpretation.
It came to mind during a roundtable discussion we hosted recently as we talked about the risks of having a limited or inaccurate view of your IT environment.
Many IT organizations lack a current or complete view of their application architectures.
This is often the result of a sprawling, dynamic infrastructure where applications and services are continually added or modified, servers are decommissioned or consolidated, and other changes and moves aren’t always clearly documented.
Because of this, there are likely gaps in knowledge about not only all the applications and servers across the environment, but how they are interrelated and interdependent.
Shila Desai from Texas Mutual Insurance joined the roundtable to share lessons learned from a major data center migration they recently completed with help from TDS. As Shila shared on the webinar, it surprised her IT team when they discovered that they had many gaps in their view of their environment. They thought they had a good handle on it with a complete CMDB.
But, after the TDS team helped them to better capture the entire IT environment in the TransitionManager software platform, and then aggregate, normalize and analyze the data, they realized that they had an incomplete view. A clear picture of the IT environment then enabled them to see all physical and virtual assets including servers, applications, storage, databases, and, most importantly, the interdependencies between these assets and applications. And critical business facts such as RTOs, RPOs, TCOs and maintenance windows could to be tracked in a single pane of glass.
In addition, it quickly became apparent that their previous manual, spreadsheet-based process for tracking and communicating wasn’t effective. Their existing process made it difficult to make changes and was error-prone. She shared that giving everyone a birds-eye view not only made it easier to keep the data up to date, but it encouraged everyone to break down silos and be accountable for keeping it that way.
Having an accurate and centralized view of their data contributed to the success of their migration project, as well as set them up for success with future projects. As they continue to refresh their technology, reorganize their network and have to adapt to business changes, they are able to design solutions in IT with confidence — and move faster — knowing that they have a complete view of their environment and how all the pieces of it fit together – from tail to tusk!
To learn more about how Texas Mutual Insurance got a handle on their complex IT environment, watch the webinar replay here: