Managing the New Enterprise – Preface

The Proof, Not The Hype

First edition; 240 pages
ISBN 0-13-231184-4
( by: Harris Kern, Randy Johnson, Michael Hawkins, and Andrew Law with William Kennedy )


In our first book, Rightsizing the New Enterprise we presented our real-world experiences — the proof, not the hype-transitioning Sun Microsystems’ corporate production-computing systems from a central mainframe to a distributed client/server environment. We talked about the new technologies and the role of Information Technology (IT) in this new computing paradigm. The goal is to “rightsize” the enterprise; to get the right information to the right people to support business requirements.

In this book, Managing the New Enterprise, we expand on the themes of the first book Rightsizing the New Enterprise and discuss how to build and manage a heterogeneous client/server environment. We describe in detail the key technology support infrastructures, including networking, data centers, and system administration. We also explain how IT must change to manage the New Enterprise.

What is this New Enterprise? It’s what businesses or corporations must do to survive in the 1990s. Businesses are changing and so must IT to meet the new business requirements. Global competition is becoming more intense, profit margins are falling. To remain competitive, the New Enterprise must diversify and focus on products and services that provide a competitive advantage, all this while reducing costs.

When we were “volunteered” to transition Sun’s production systems to client/server distributed computing in late 1989, most of our issues dealt with the new technologies. We had to invent, develop, and implement new technologies to meet IT goals in the new environment. Our goal was to provide the same reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) that we delivered in our mainframe environment. If we didn’t, our customers — the users — would blame you know what? That’s right: the new technologies! Even at Sun, which was in the vanguard promoting the new computing paradigm for businesses.

In today’s world, the tools and technologies that help IT build, implement, and deliver RAS-disciplined mission-critical applications are now commercially available and mature. Managing the New Enterprise is no longer a technology problem. It’s all about change. It’s a cultural issue. IT must change the way they do business to survive. And the key to success is to re-engineer IT. We had to re-engineer ourselves while re-engineering business practices to be successful and to survive. We had to deal with executives who were advising that we “blow up the glass house.” They felt there was no longer a need for any centralized IT functions like a data center. We proved them wrong! How? Read this book and find out.

Who Should Read This Book Managing the New Enterprise is intended for the chief information officer (CIO), vice president of IT, chief technologist, architects, and line managers within IT (applications developers, networking specialists, telecommunications professionals, and computer operators) who are facing the challenges of building and managing the New Enterprise. This book is a survival guide. It’s about how you must change to be successful.

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