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Your IT Transformation needs NonStop!

By Richard Buckle, Cofounder and CEO, Pyalla Technologies, LLC.


Richard Buckle Feb 2021

When the topic of IT Transformation was first raised by the editors of The Connection it made some of us think about Digital Transformation and whether the two were just different takes on the same topic. However, the more we looked at IT Transformation the more it became clear that the differences centered on technology versus business.

This just happens to be an age-old bone of contention among many IT professionals and yet, examining IT Transformation is a very legitimate exercise as without a foundation in sound technology, the ability to provide timely responses to business can prove less than satisfactory.

In her update News from HPE’s NonStop Division, Karen Copeland, Manager, NonStop Product Management Team, HPE Mission Critical Servers, drew attention to this article. Karen wrote that The Connection’s issue, “rounds things out this month with an article entitled, “Your IT Transformation needs NonStop!” which talks about the IT transformation journey that everyone refers to and what it really means. Are you on a transformation journey with your business and your data center? What are your business goals and what strategies are you using to reach them? Have you considered how the use of NonStop may help you reach some of your transformations faster?”

What follows below is the article that made its way into the January / February 2021 issue of The Connection and it is being republished here with the consent of the editor of The Connection. While it is a summary of the major points made in the article, make sure you read the article in full as published in the January – February 2021 issue of The Connection.

Richard Buckle Feb 2021 - 2

Let’s get definitions out of the way. If you have been wondering about the difference between IT Transformation and Digital Transformation (DX) then you are not alone. Many IT professionals and business commentators have stepped in to clarify what these differences boil down to, but in many cases they have only raised more questions. As we move into 2021, enterprises are deep into projects that are designed to better align technology with business outcomes and as they do so, the idea of transformation appears with almost regular monotony.

Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx (a group of Agile DX analysts) blogged back in September 17, 2018:

 “IT transformation, on the other hand, is easier to understand. After all, it is clearly about technology. Basically, enterprise IT typically sucks in so many ways that if we can make it all suck less, we can count such a transformation in the win column.

“Digital transformation, in contrast, centers on the customer. Not that technology isn’t important to digital transformation, of course. As we say at Intellyx, digital transformation is software-empowered and customer-driven.”

I turned to social media to look at how others treated the difference between DX and IT transformation because the topic kept coming up in my dealings with my clients. Almost exclusively, they want to see NonStop participating in transformations that result in the better alignment with business outcomes.

Of course, this is the view of NonStop vendors and when it comes to NonStop users there is a slight twist to the storyline. While they appreciate NonStop’s major attributes, they want to see a less intrusive participation by NonStop within IT. By this, they imply a reduction in the need to invest is special skills to program NonStop, to operate NonStop and in general, to manage the end-to-end workloads that typically find their way onto NonStop systems. NonStop users want to use the same tools, utilities and languages that are in-use already within the enterprise. This is where IT transformation is being seen as possible with today’s NonStop.

It’s hard to ignore the many hurdles HPE IT had to clear before it executed a plan to transform in a way that both surprised the industry and challenged the historical relationship it had with a major vendor. Optimizing the way HPE IT deployed databases, it chose to move away from the thousands of instances of Oracle to where NonStop SQL became the one database that all applications could access.

In so pursuing this IT transformation, it was made easier by NonStop SQL providing a level of Oracle compatibility that surprised many – how could you come off Oracle so easily and meet your database needs with NonStop SQL? How could you discontinue thousands of support and maintenance licenses in a manner that generated real savings across all of HPE IT? The simple fact is NonStop SQL is architected to never need to come down for any reason and that of itself, generated a level of support within the IT organization to push ahead with this major IT transformation.

When you consider how much change has taken place within the NonStop product portfolio, it is surprising to see that the number of options as to how best to deploy NonStop has never been greater. Following the move to commodity hardware and the support of industry-standard software – languages, tools and utilities – NonStop became a software solution capable of running on traditional or virtual machines. This transformation of NonStop should not be overlooked or ignored. It’s a major achievement that sets up NonStop for a bright future.

This is important for all IT organizations and really needs to be repeated on a regular basis. In terms of adding NonStop into your IT infrastructure, it can be treated in the same way as any other system. This is a huge accomplishment for the NonStop team and we cannot ignore the business value that this provides in terms of leveraging human capital already in place. IT transformation will always start with the makeup of the IT team and in this regard, NonStop is a worthy participant.

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