Your System – Not Guilty As Charged

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Talk about complexity in the Cloud !

Posted by Joel Schipper on January 25, 2017


The Wall Street Journal’s “CIO Journal” today has an article on why Cisco is buying AppDynamics just before it went public.  The bottom line is that the hybrid Cloud – the predominant model today – makes it harder to manage the overall efficiency of having applications in multiple clouds, and harder to fix problems when they arise.  Here’s the link, and some more thoughts below that.

http://tk.wsjemail.com/track?t=v&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0xJmF1aWQ9Jm1pZD02NjU5OTM1Jm1zZ2lkPTk5MjAwMCZkaWQ9Nzg0NDA0JmVkaWQ9Nzg0NDA0JnNuPTE3MDI5MDU5JmVpZD1qb2VsLm0uc2NoaXBwZXJAZ21haWwuY29tJmVlaWQ9am9lbC5tLnNjaGlwcGVyQGdtYWlsLmNvbSZ1aWQ9am9lbC5tLnNjaGlwcGVyQGdtYWlsLmNvbSZyaWQ9NDEwNDQmZXJpZD00MTA0NCZmbD0mbXZpZD0mdGdpZD0mZXh0cmE9&&&6010263&eu=2900&&&http://online.wsj.com/vib

I’ve said for a long time that if you are based around a packaged enterprise software offering, such as an ERP system like JD Edwards, Oracle E-business Suite, or SAP, then your system problems are much more likely to be something of your own doing, that is “your system” is not likely to be the guilty party in and of itself.

I’ve also said a number of times that custom (or “bespoke”) software is likely to be the reverse, simply because of the complexity of developing one-off software, and the disconnect that so often occurs between vision, requirements, design, and final delivery, and the errors introduced all along the way.  Back in the 1980’s I spoke at software testing conferences about the need to find errors early in the design process, not in the final software.

And now, today, with the easy availability of so many applications “in the Cloud”, with platforms as a service, with data bases as a service, with infrastructures as a service, an organization can be running on “stacks” of offerings from many parties.  Those applications may need to talk to each other.  The underlying data centers (in the cloud) may be diverse.  In short, the point of the article is you need a way to track all of that.

As a suggestion, consider focusing on a single “stack” – for example, get all of your Cloud from a single source – whether that be Oracle, Microsoft/Azure, SalesForce.com, or another provider.  Consider building a “sandwich” where

  1. The bottom layer is the Cloud platforms and services from one stack, such as Oracle infrastructure as a service, with an Oracle partner doing managed services, and using Oracle platforms as a service for application integrations, mobility, internet of things connection, etc.
  2. The middle layer, or “meat”, is your core ERP application, such as JD Edwards and any related mission critical applications, such as a chargeback-rebate program, or a crop inspection program, etc.
  3. The top sandwich layer are the Cloud based Software as a Service (SaaS) applications that you want in order to augment your ERP, such as HCM, CRM, Hospitality, eCommerce, supply chain planning, etc.

By focusing on a single provider “stack” you will at least have some sense that the applications are working on the same integration platform, and that the lower layer – infrastructure and platform and perhaps data base services – will work well, or at least better, with the upper layer SaaS applications and your core (licensed) applications running in a managed services Cloud facility which your in-house staff and your contracted managed services team understands well, and knows how to fine tune for optimum performance.

Got a different view?  Please comment!

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