By definition, a ‘progressive’ enterprise is one that always has technology at its core; and more so the 21st Century Enterprise (21CE), which will be formed based on a combination of vital technology trends. These include:
- Cyber Threat Intelligence
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Cloud Native Enterprise
Automation in the 21st century is all about ‘agile thinking’ and ‘lean delivery’. It enables the mantra of ‘think like a dynamic startup and act like a lean enterprise’. Therefore, automation for a 21st Century Enterprise (21CE) is all about achieving greater standards of accuracy, accountability, and agility while smoothly and cohesively running operations in order to improve efficiency, costs and competitive advantage. Automation is thus, an integral part of its IT, back-office, and business functions. This demands the need for an integrated treatment where ‘automation’ and ‘orchestration’ are united. It requires enterprises to focus on up-placement rather than replacement using solutions such as DryICE, an automation and orchestration platform.
Dry ice is a chemical compound, which is colder than ice. It is known for not leaving any residue when subjected to higher temperatures as it directly adopts a gaseous state without melting into a liquid first. These features of Dry Ice are exactly what the DryICE automation & orchestration platform stands for.
DryICE operates three layers (L-2 to L-0) below the usual IT surface and automates at machine, platform, and application levels. It creates preventive and self-healing systems and software by leveraging techniques such as machine learning and the creation of self-service capabilities with the help of cognitive AI agents embedded into its systems. This step of optimization that takes place ‘beneath the surface’ ensures that human talent ‘above the surface’ can focus on more intellectual and analytical tasks.
From an orchestration perspective, DryICE enables 21 Century EnterpriseCEs to:
- Connect: Connecting IT components, business service components and small service components.
- Integrate: Integrating the different components using the service-integration layer and delivering a service-based model.
- Consume: Creating the consumption model service place and service demand model.
- Analyze: Analyzing and understanding the key services.
The building blocks of DryICE Automation:
Sense & Act Layer: The first layer senses what is happening in the environment and based on the data being monitored, it provides co-relation and insight which enables us to take appropriate actions. It is all about having a singular holistic view into ones organization. This includes monitoring the performance of applications in order to see whether they fulfill business requirements and having an end-to-end visibility from the front office to the back office. Besides, measuring user experience it also looks into details such as user devices and location using analytics. It also monitors unified networks, datacenter networks, WAN, wireless and mobile. Monitoring also requires observing log details such as machine logs, network logs, and application logs which will enable us to build capabilities around them. It is also important to enable security monitoring, which provides capability to create a SOC and to collect security events and logs. Moreover, operational technology monitoring is required to connect industrial devices and generate data out of connected systems. Endpoint monitoring too is required for endpoint management, asset management, configuration management and patching.
Prevent & Heal Layer: The Sense and Act layer gives a user the ability to prevent and heal problems before they impact end users. Basically, this layer collects data, analyses it and starts taking decisions. Each module can talk to every other module. The DryICE core system collects and consumes data from each module, which is built on a loose coupling architecture and uses a very friendly integration mechanism. It is all about focusing on driving automation using procedural workflows. This layer helps the 21CE understand how procedure workflows are performed and also the behavior of the run book. It also provides analytics packs on the performance of workflows and improves the quality of the run-book. It also enables us to understand end-user lifecycle that cuts across mobile devices, desktops, laptops and taking the measures for self-healing, assessment healing and reset capability. Another important component is capacity and performance analytics, which gives us the ability to look into sensible data. This layer also includes neural networks based security and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which makes the AI-based neural networks able to plot and imply threat factors and correlate data about cyber threats.
Engage & Collaborate Layer: This layer is based on getting data to drive end-user experience. This layer is targeted at end users and system and application admins who use data gathered from the previous two layers, to collaborate within their ecosystem. This is where the collaboration systems build on open-source technology plays a key role and provides a platform to manage people and content across the life cycle. This layer also includes a level 1.5 service desk, which acts as a virtual service desk agent with whom one can have a human like question and answer sessions. All the resolutions from the ‘prevent and heal’ layer and the knowledge from the ‘event and collaborate’ layer about relationships provides one with the ability to visualize context.
Visualize and Insight Layer: This layer provides analytics such as user-experience analytics, B2C and B2B analytics and synthetic user analytics. It also manages the data being detected from all the underlying systems.
Expalatycs provides insights on actual user experience based on frequent site visits. Xalytics is an evolved version of the MyDashBoard platform. It is the unified business and IT analytics platform focused around IT Service. Service Watch provides the real-time view of all business services being hosted in the environment. Cockpit is one single place to run the command centre, it is the unified console of the enterprise command centre. SMART Build is a platform focused on enabling DevOps to build code and push production faster. The final block is security analytics, which provides a complete view of cyber threats.
It is important to note that automation is an evolutionary process. In an enterprise environment where standardization is still a distant dream, trying to apply futuristic automation without having the right foundation will lead to ambiguity and gradual failure. The goal should be to remove highly repetitive, high touch-point tasks and free up skilled resources to focus on strategic work.
Learn more about our Enterprise Technology Office!
In this age, it is crucial for a progressive enterprise to shorten the time taken - from business idea to business value stages. A new, flexible and adaptive way of working that enables collaborative transformation is required in the highly challenging entrepreneurial environment.
There are four ways in which co-innovation helps an enterprise prepare for a highly uncertain future. These are:
On an average, corporate network breaches go unnoticed for more than 100 days before they are discovered. In addition, a new Malware is created almost every second to target new vulnerabilities and go unnoticed by the signature-based technologies deployed to protect the enterprise. Rapid detection of these breaches and the termination of criminal communication is critical to stopping data theft.
The cost of a security breach - in terms of loss of time, data, and brand equity - has grown dramatically over the past few years. Vulnerabilities too, have grown exponentially and the time elapse between vulnerability and exploit, continues to shrink. Enterprises must therefore proactively protect their assets.
Advanced attacks - including attacks through loopholes in the software (unknown to developers) - have become a growing problem that doesn’t seem to abate. This has become the top-most concern for most security organizations. Nearly every investigated case of data leakage, financial loss, or network breach involves some form of malicious executable code (i.e. customizable commercial malware or custom malicious code) that is used to gain a foothold in compromised networks. Obfuscation techniques to protect code are quickly evolving but traditional security tools are finding it difficult to keep up in a consistent style.
In this scenario, a new, agile approach known as ‘cyber threat intelligence’ can help in proactively detecting threats and vulnerabilities even before they occur. It is proactive and adaptive, and has evolved beyond the realm of traditional IT management.
Enterprises are increasingly adopting Digitalization as a strategic business choice – covering their front-, middle- and back-office functions. Going digital isn’t about making a dash towards a series of one- time, stop-gap solutions – for example, creating a web portal where employees or customers can manage their benefits, or implementing a social management tool for engaging customers and prospects in social media.. This approach does not embrace challenges in a holistic manner.
Digital technology must be applied strategically across activities and functions. It has an intense effect on the business model and can disrupt the traditional value chain, so businesses must attempt to understand its importance and role.
Digitalization is bringing three fundamental value chain disruptions in the 21st Century Enterprise (21CE).
- User Value Chain: Driving user-centric engagement models is the cornerstone of the 21CE. In the traditional business model, the user was a consumer of a predefined offering. Today, the user is at the center of the business, and the prime focus is on seamless user experience.
- Asset Value Chain: Driving value and intelligence out of the asset and monetizing it is one of the major goals of a 21CE. In a hyper-connected world, the need for efficiency, monetization of data, and Machine-2-Machine communications drive the disruption in the asset value chain. Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and Consumer Internet of Things (CIOT) will drive emerging business models and is expected to create a Total Economic Value of over $10T in the coming decade.
- Service Value Chain:In the new business ecosystem, enterprise functions are being transformed into interconnected business service catalogs. The connectivity between these transformed enterprises enables them to continuously communicate, which in turn helps 21st Century Enterprises to optimize the process of providing services, thereby improving efficiency and user experience. This also provides the end-user with the business advantages of being more flexible in operations and cost savings.
All these value chains have a target operating model that provides a holistic view of their entire value chain, and only by doing this, can a company become more agile or transform its customers’ experience in a way that drives its growth and profitability.
Industry experts believe that by 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. Progressive enterprises are therefore exploring ways to collect, analyze, and gain insights from the incredible amounts of data being generated by such devices across the globe. However, before we get to that stage, there are several technological and policy related challenges that need to be tackled.
HCL’s Internet of Things Framework accelerates the journey towards achieving a connected products and service portfolio, and helps deliver a rich user experience through new business models beyond traditional product delivery. It provides a common platform that helps us standardize the communication to devices and the way in which data is collected, stored, and consumed. IoT Run focuses on building solution stacks and support models that enable steady-state operations for any IoT opportunity. The solution stack is built with a vision of integrating IT and OT operations. It would introduce a high level of automation with emphasis on achieving operational efficiency through integrated operations. The proposition also focuses on complementing the solution stack with cross-skilled resources.
Cloud Native Enterprise – Market Scenario
IT has been, for the last 60 years or more, on a path of continuous evolution. From Mainframes to cloud, IT has seen a substantial growth. However, the complete impact of this evolution should not be viewed through the myopic lens of IT impacts alone. IT has seen major technological disruptions in the recent past and it has changed the way how both individuals’ and businesses’ function.
The Consumers have shifted towards a more agile, mobile and digital consumption pattern which in turn demands a similar same shift in the way services are offered to the consumer. The hybrid cloud’s dominance in the cloud market in the last couple of years have helped businesses to automate and innovate which in turn provided them a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
However, with the emergence of ‘Digital’ or ‘Born Digital’ organizations there is now a pressing need to provide IT services to Businesses in a faster, simpler and more reliable manner with low upfront investment and great user experience.
HCL’ OneIT framework is one such solution that enables and empowers the Cloud Native Enterprises by enabling the enterprise IT in an as a service model.
HCL’s OneIT is a framework, offers Enterprise IT services to Business organizations in as-a-service model and transforms the organization in a Cloud Native Enterprise.
Cloud Native Enterprise
A digital or a born digital enterprise has with its complete IT Landscape on cloud based technologies and are, based on the following principles of technology and service adoption:
OneIT is a transformational service which uses the pay per use model. The fundamental premise of this offering is to follow the “Consume-Configure-Build” methodology.
Today, 85% of software products are available in the SaaS model. Hence our approach should be to provide IT services through SaaS applications (Consume what is readily available). If there are any specific applications/modules that are not readily available for consumption it should be configured from the building block/PaaS platforms (Configure from available building blocks.) And in rare events of when specific IT needs are unable to be fulfilled by SaaS or PaaS models, then the functionality should be build but only on a cloud based technology/IaaS (Build).
There are six base principles of HCL’s OneIT framework
- SaaS First Approach - Business users and IT Users require multiple applications/tools. The IT landscape should be coherent with SaaS integrations and optimized subscriptions.
- Business Driven Orchestration – Policy based automation and orchestration engine, that defines and controls workflows/functions, activities and Integrations between various Cloud Native Enterprise elements
- Analytics based Agile Ops – Operations driven and controlled by Analytics, in order to provide insights and enable efficiencies including faster and proactive remediation.
- Programmable and Scalable platform – Platforms that define, provision, manage and de-provision using software elements. This enables flexibility and agility with Infrastructure design and deployment.
- Service Driven Integrations – Processes and integrations that are defined from top to bottom, which in turn enables a services based view and consumption of various services exposed
- Service Based Consumption – A self-service enabled and controlled environment that abstracts and allows defining and controlling various aspects of underlying environment like Policies, Functions, Activities, Processes, Integrations and Infrastructure
HCL’s OneIT Framework Adoption
HCL’s OneIT framework follows vertical down approach wherein the service modules are customized as per the organization, business needs and consumption patterns. In the first phase, all the horizontal IT services are driven through SaaS models e.g. ERP, CRM, Mail, HR, Finance etc.
In the second phase, based on the Application Functionality Study (AFS assessment) the functionalities are categorized and are enabled through SaaS/PaaS. These are vertical specific applications and we have identified the enterprise grade SaaS applications in most of the functionality areas.
One of the most important areas of the OneIT framework is the integration layer with pre built Blueprints of App-to-App integrations.
There is a strong integration around the analytics and productivity layers that bring out the business intelligence and the knowledge leveraged in decision making. As we are focused on Digital Enterprises, we are supporting the OneIT framework with a strong Digital Operations backbone.
The complete OneIT framework is aggregated on the ESB layer that takes care of all the aggregation needs of Metering/Billing/Chargeback, Reporting, and Auditing etc.
And finally there is a Consumption layer that provides SaaS services on the given layer that manages the SSO, service provisioning and user profiling requirements. (Please see image below).