IT Agility

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2004-11-05 Print this article Print

The company provides a wide array of services, including 62 employer services, 21 brokerage services, 11 dealer services and five claims services spread over the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Brazil, he said. Wide use of the Internet is helping the process to break down the organizational silos and support the move to utility computing, he said. But it has also forced the companys IT groups to confront "cleanup and integration challenge" to bring existing applications into line with the utility computing vision. But before doing this, IT and company management has to "know what the cost of repositioning those service and the business value of repositioning them," Terbush said.
Jon S. Stumpf, vice president and senior technology officer at New York-based American International Group, an insurance and financial services company, echoed the views of other IT executives that successfully implementing utility computing isnt a matter of developing new technology.
To read David Chernicoffs commentary on why Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM lead the pack in utility computing, click here. "Companies today already have the technology required to offer IT as a utility," Stumpf said. But more companies dont implement utility computing because they dont have their business processes documented or defined well enough to support it, he said. For utility computing to work, the IT organization has to be able to react to clients demands nimbly, Stumpf said. "The time to deliver [processing] capacity is short—it must be near-real time or in real time" after its requested, or the potential benefits will quickly be lost, he said. The processing capacity has to be in discrete units that are isolated from other resource consumption and wont affect other resource increments, Stumpf said. When a business unit no longer needs that processing capacity, it should be returned in the same increments and in the same time that it was delivered, he said. Another essential factor, Stumpf said, is that capacity has to be readily measured in terms of terabytes of storage or number of processors. That way, it can more easily be priced, so business units can budget and pay for the services rendered. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest utility computing news, reviews and analysis.

John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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