As we observe the direction enterprises are heading into with regards of their IT footprint we can observe a number of interesting trends. None of them are new, however, we see them picking up more and more momentum and becoming the new standard within enterprise IT. If we take a look at some of the directions enterprises are moving into and what the demands are from the internal users in the form of business departments we see the challenges faced.
The questions asked by the business are in some cases against the traditional way of working and doing things. To be able to implement them and satisfy the business some radical change is needed in some cases. Not only in the way IT departments work, also in the way the entire IT landscape is architected and how the entire IT landscape traditionally is build.
To be able to move from a traditional way of working, in most cases, a combination of application as well as infrastructure modernization and rationalization is needed.
Enterprises start adopting, finally, a more SOA way of working. Not necessarily in the way SOA is originally intended and not necessarily with the use of a service bus based architecture. What we do however observe is that enterprises start to think in webservices and API’s. New products that are purchased need to have an API to communicate with and new solutions that are being developed often have an API as part of the architecture standards.
By having a more loosely coupled integration between various components based upon API’s enterprises are becoming more and more flexible. Being less depended on large and complex interfacing between applications but rather make use of lightweight API integration is seen as the new standard in the majority of enterprises.
A more radical way of architecture, microservices architecture, is upcoming however has not been introduced in the majority of enterprises. However momentum is picking up.
Everything is an APP
The consumers from enterprise IT, the business as well as internal developers, tend to be more and more demanding and require applications as well as infrastructure to be available with a single click. Everything is expected to be available as an APP on your phone on tablet. And in line with the flexibility of getting an application, solution or a infrastructure piece also the removal of it is expected to be only a couple of clicks away.
The expectations of modern internal enterprise consumers is that they can request and remove everything from a single enterprise portal, have it executed in a couple of minutes and pay only for the time they use it in a pay-per-use model.
Freedom of location
As the consumers of enterprise IT become more tech savvy and are used to work with multiple devices in their private lives they expect the same from the applications used in the enterprises. Having an service which can only be accessed by using a application installed on a company workstation is not providing the flexibility modern employees do require.
Modern employees tend to more flexible solutions, having access to corporate systems and services from their laptop, their workstation however also from their mobile devices like tables and phones. While working from home, the office on during the commute they expect to have the same level of access in the most simplistic way. Experiences between devices should not be different. By providing services to employees in a way they can always access them in a secure fashion while honoring a good user experience makes them more flexible and more productive.
Information on everything
Modern day employees are for a large part grown up with access to the internet, this group of people will only grow over the upcoming years. In line with their experience in relation with access to public information they expect the same in their working environment. Access to information should only be a click away. Being it access to document or reports dashboards.
Providing employees with dashboards is nothing new and is implemented already in a large portion of the modern enterprises. However, a new generation of employees also want to have the ability to explore this data, access the raw data and make their own analysis. The information they need can be everything, for this enterprises need to open up more and remove the compartmented data. Some data will always be available only to a privileged group of employees however the majority of the data is currently not accessible due to security or compliancy restrictions, it is rather not accessible due to compartmented IT structures. Not being able to make the right decisions based upon data is costing enterprise enormous amounts of money and lost revenue on a yearly basis.
Taking the Oracle building blocks
To be able to move from a traditional way of working, in most cases, a combination of application as well as infrastructure modernization and rationalization is needed. Capgemini provides a portfolio of services to support enterprises in making the change to a modern IT organization. This portfolio consists out of services which include Oracle as well as non-Oracle approaches.
If we zoom into the building blocks Oracle provide from its product portfolio we can see that focusing on a Oracle centralized IT landscape can be beneficial for a large number of enterprises. Especially because the Oracle portfolio provides a wide range of solutions and products that can be used to build the IT landscape that will be able to support enterprises in the future.
If we take a look at the above diagram you can see that introducing a more API based solution serves multiple purposes. It provides you the ability to create flexible graphical user interfaces separately from the application logic. It also provides you a higher level of interconnection between the different applications. This satisfies the demand for choice of location and device to access business applications; it also satisfies the demand for flexible connections between business applications. A new business application will only need to know the way other business applications have defined their API and it will be able to interact.
Building applications and solutions that provide the needed and required access to information can be done by making use of the larger portfolio of Oracle for storage. Solutions like the Oracle database are well known, less known are the Oracle NoSQL database solutions, Oracle Big Data software and appliances. Combining the different data storage solutions with customer build applications and the standard Oracle business intelligence solutions provide the users with a rich set of tools that enables them to always access all available information and data on every device they want from any location they desire.
By developing both parts of the application, the graphical user interface and the application logic based upon a Java platform where Oracle ADF and HTML5 are used in the correct manner you are able to make use of the Oracle Weblogic platform to its full extend. Due to the fact you are able to use Oracle Weblogic you are also able to use Oracle Exalogic engineered systems to its full extend.
Oracle provides a range of engineered systems that enable enterprises to build a private cloud in a way that will honor the request from the business to consider every business application and solution as an APP. Applications, application components, application servers, databases, database servers, networks and operating systems can be packaged together to form a single installable package or APP. By using Oracle Enterprise Manager such an APP can be installed with the click of a mouse and will be deployed on the engineered systems that form the technical foundation of the private cloud.
Oracle Enterprise manager is the foundation of building such a private cloud and enable end-users to use a single portal to order complete apps or components in a self-service manner. In cases where other, non-Oracle, components are part of the self-service portal Oracle Enterprise Manager can be integrated with an existing self-service portal based upon the available API’s.
Building your entire solution stack on Oracle software and on Oracle hardware provides you the option to build the flexible architecture required by the business and at the same time provide a private cloud where customers can order everything they need in a self-service manner by using Oracle Enterprise Manager.
The full extent of the Oracle portfolio and the more detailed architecture and thinking behind the rationalization and modernization of a full IT footprint can be complex. Capgemini can provide, together with the Oracle product portfolio a foundation for a modern IT landscape which enables your business and takes away a burden from the IT departments by simplifying and automating large parts and ensuring the future readiness of the foundation of your IT in both architecture and implemented solutions.