As the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa is 2723’, has 12.000 inhabitants and it cost $1.5B. It takes 36 workers and three to four months to clean the entire exterior facade. The daily water consumption is 250.000 gallons.
The Burj Khalifa has many secrets, one of them is that is does not connect to a sewage system, because Dubai does not have this basic infrastructure in place.
The 250.000 gallons of water and some additional stuff needs to be shipped out using eighteen-wheelers. They line up in the basement and discretely drive away after filling up.
IT solutions often follow the same anti-pattern. We build spectacular ERPs, Content Management Systems etc. without having the basic infrastructure in place. But first, what constitutes basic infrastructure and how would you know, that it is not in place?
A list of simple questions can help to detect the missing sewage system. The scope should be the whole IT stack of infrastructure, applications, information and process:
- How do we engage our IT customers?
- How many changes do we move to production per week?
- Where do we store identities?
- Can we list all the systems where a certain account exists?
- What would it take to move to IPV6?
- How many of our endpoints don’t have the latest patches?
- What is the most important service we provide?
- What happens, when we have a disaster?
- How many servers are older than n years?
- What is the next interruptive technology that will hit us?
- How many of our projects are “transformational”?
The list of questions can be customized to your environment. In the case of Burj Khalifa one might just ask: why is my utility bill $500? And by the way, what is this smell?
On Monday assemble your list of simple questions and start asking people: what is this smell?