See to Transform

See to Transform

By: Luis A. Varela

For humans, the sense of sight is perhaps the most important as it allows us to identify colors, shapes, distance, position, and movement, among many other characteristics. Now, imagine trying to put together a thousand-piece puzzle in a totally dark room… it would be an extremely complicated task that would take a lot of time and effort, almost certainly impossible to accomplish. 

Thus, in nature there are things that we can observe with the naked eye, such as trees, buildings and mountains, unlike others that are so small or so distant that we have had to devise instruments that provide us with visibility in order to appreciate them. 

In the world of technology, happens exactly the same way, we can be in a data center and observe the technological infrastructure that supports the critical services of an organization, but without the right tools we will not be able to know what is really happening. Will be like observing an iceberg, only considering the apparent without being able to identify the opportunities for improvement and, even more important, the potential risks that could negatively affect the company. 

Let us dig a little deeper. Even if we can use tools that allow us greater visibility, we need to properly interpretate the data obtained to turn it into clear information that allows us to make optimal decisions and establish the route we must travel to achieve the fulfillment of our objectives in the scheduled time and without major delays. 

A hardware inventory will give us visibility of the entire infrastructure, and its proper interpretation will allow us to identify that equipment that must be replaced due to being obsolete or due to being out of support by the manufacturer. This inventory also becomes a vital instrument as it helps us identify underutilized resources and consolidate opportunities that will entail savings in terms of energy consumption, physical space, licensing, time, and effort to manage them. In short, optimization equals saving time and money, the Holy Grail of any organization. 

A software inventory will allow us to know all the installed applications and identify if we are complying with the licensing required for their use, since, otherwise, we can face fines that involve large amount of money that only lead to the decrease in our planned budget, not to mention reputational risks. In the same way, we can identify unauthorized installed software, which could cause important security breaches that put at risk the availability of the systems and the confidentiality of the sensitive information that we custody. 

The periodic review of the support contracts associated with the infrastructure will allow us to better know the time required to recover from a possible failure at the hardware or software level, the service level agreements established with our suppliers, in addition to validate whether they are aligned with the criticality of the business services they support. As if that were not enough, it will help us obtain advantages in the contract renewal process by being clear about our needs and the projected use that we will give to these resources. 

The positive impact of the timely interpretation of the information and the opportunities for improvement that are identified is enhanced by being carried out in a comprehensive manner, 

understanding the interactions between the infrastructure components, and always keeping as a goal to maximize the availability of critical services for the business. 

The technological advances and the growing innovation that humanity has achieved have been the product of its ability to observe, understand, act, and implement improvements continuously, achieving the transformation of its environment. Basically, the ability of the human being not to only see but also observe, understand, and interpret, is the key to a successful and constant transformation.