Not too long ago, I shifted my role here at Forrester from Infrastructure & Operations to Enterprise Architecture. I was spending a lot of time looking at technical architecture topics and helping folks with assessing their infrastructure. Turns out, that falls into the kinds of things that EA folks are interested in as well. For the past few months, I've been focused on building tools and research that will help with assessing your infrastructure and getting it to where it needs to be in order to support future business demands. To that end, we've also begun research on best practices for making large-scale transformations successful. This could be moving from a mainframe to distributed systems, rolling out thin clients, or modernizing system management. Why do some organizations succeed at these types of transformations, while others take many years or fail to reach any consensus?
IT transformation is often likened to turning a large ship, due to the inertia of the status quo — so many organizations struggle with these types of changes. I've even seen firms put the project team in charge of the "to be" infrastructure in physically separate buildings, away from the influences of business-as-usual thinking.
Come to think of it, that's a good idea. What do you think? If you've successfully completed a large IT transformation — be it consolidation, migration, or something else — we'd love to hear from you.