Published by: Microsoft.com
The company's Server and Tools business leaders discuss Microsoft’s long-term IT strategy.
When Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, took the stage to keynote TechEd 2006 in Boston, he detailed a set of four customer promises from Microsoft to IT pros and development teams. The promises represented Microsoft’s long-term commitments to meet those customers’ critical needs to build an infrastructure for the people-ready business.
This year at TechEd 2007, Muglia took Microsoft’s commitment another step further, introducing the company’s comprehensive strategy for Dynamic IT for the People-Ready Business (Dynamic IT). Building on the company’s Dynamic System Initiative and ongoing Application Platform efforts, Dynamic IT is Microsoft’s long-term strategy to provide customers with critical technologies to enable IT and development organisations to become more strategic to the business.
“Our customer promises reflect the most important things we have heard from customers about their top priorities as they look to make IT a strategic asset for their businesses,” Muglia said. “Dynamic IT is our long-term technical approach to help customers ultimately realise those promises.”
In introducing Dynamic IT, Muglia discussed the challenges that IT professionals and development teams face today, including the pressures of global competition and regulatory-compliance requirements. Muglia noted that customers want to take advantage of new technologies and computing approaches, such as mobile devices and Software as a Service (SaaS), while still getting maximum value out of their existing environments. Muglia identified four key areas of technical innovation that constitute Dynamic IT.
These technology areas span IT infrastructure, applications and business processes, and together they will enable customers to more effectively address key business challenges, today and in the future. These key technology areas are highlighted below.
Unified and Virtualized
Dynamic IT provides unified and virtualized environments that enable IT to be more flexible, cost-effective and productive.
This requires a comprehensive and unified approach to virtualization, spanning operating systems, applications and servers with powerful and intuitive front-end technologies. Unified and virtualized environments can be managed comprehensively and consistently across a wide range of scenarios. The benefits include reduced costs, increased availability and better response to changing computing needs within an existing infrastructure.
Integration is a critical factor, and Microsoft is building deeply integrated solutions that combine core business capabilities and scenarios (such as business intelligence, enterprise content management, search, voice over IP, and more) as well as core IT infrastructure technologies (including security, management, development environment, and more). Greater integration and manageability mean that more time and resources can be used for higher value-add activities.
Dynamic IT takes advantage of ongoing advances in modeling capabilities to help IT automate processes where human decisions and input are not needed. Such capabilities improve organisational agility and help IT to optimize how a company’s systems and people work together. Microsoft has led the industry in embracing the use of models that represent the knowledge and capabilities of software, hardware, and other resources.
Using models to capture organisational knowledge helps to automate procedures, reduce complexity, and improve responsiveness to business demands. The process of running “The Business of IT” can be enhanced as well by connecting project management, operations and development teams with tools and technologies to facilitate information flow, reporting, governance and project visibility.
Dynamic IT provides a powerful way for companies to enhance and extend their existing environments to support new business scenarios based on services. Customers today are faced with an array of options that involve SaaS, Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), and Web 2.0 technologies.
The Microsoft approach – Software + Services – is pragmatic, focusing on helping IT connect existing and new system investments in ways that enhance key business differentiators. This approach blends the company’s strengths in SOA, SaaS, and Web 2.0 to help to customers create integrated and agile service-based solutions that help enable new scenarios and improve business results.
A key benefit is that companies can transform their existing array of heterogeneous, distributed and often inflexible IT systems into a set of more connected, simplified and adaptable ones that can better support the business.
Dynamic IT provides technologies that enable easier development of applications that people like to use and that connect them to the information they need. User experience has a direct impact on key areas such as productivity, customer loyalty and corporate image, yet many development efforts fail to meet even the most basic user-experience requirements.
Microsoft takes an end-to-end approach to the challenge with solutions that help developers more easily connect critical back-end technologies (such as Business Intelligence solutions) with powerful front-end technologies, including the familiar Microsoft Office interface and cutting-edge online technologies such as Silverlight, that help designers and developers create rich, immersive applications.
The benefit to business is powerful and easy-to-use software that is proven to drive real business benefits through better user experiences.
The Road to Dynamic IT
Muglia emphasized that Dynamic IT will serve as the framework for Microsoft’s development efforts in the coming years, and that new and soon-to-be-released products have been created with Dynamic IT in mind. He encouraged companies eager to become “dynamic” to start evaluating the needs of their business over the next 12 to 18 months using Microsoft Optimization models.