Looking at the different types of waste, you can map each of them to one or more of these elements. Improving agility, for example, benefits from using automation to reduce waiting times. Putting the customer first can be done by empowering them with self-service capabilities. And developing people ensures you use the fullest of their capabilities. Because not having the desired skills, competences, and behavior will impact your company performance. So, if you want to make sure that your company is making an impact, grows sustainable revenue, and has a portfolio for the future, you need to develop your people. This led to the vision for our IT portfolio: to secure NXP growth by delivering agile, reliable, and secure digital products at benchmark costs.
Key elements in implementing this vision are data, tools, and people.
"Data will be applied to automate decision making in infrastructure and security processes."
As mentioned earlier, data will play a big part in the infrastructure of the future. Automating existing processes is usually straight forward, as is orchestrating processes where governance has been established. But further automation with the use of data will be a cornerstone for the infrastructure of the future. Data will be applied to automate decision making in infrastructure and security processes. This means moving away from the break-fix mentality, where we wait for an outage to happen and determine the problem afterwards. Data will be analyzed to identify issues preemptively, and propose a course of action to prevent problems from having a real impact.
This means data needs to be orchestrated and facilitated, using principles of DevOps. One example of where we use data to automate decision making, is the use of Amazon Spot prices to determine if jobs can run on a compute cluster in the cloud. Changes in pricing are monitored and, as they rise or fall to a specific level, the system automatically allows or disallows certain jobs. We built the decision automation directly into those processes. As a result, we always run at an optimal cost level, with reliable and secure sources.
Infrastructure becomes software
So what tools do we use? The answer is: a lot! This is key, as infrastructure is becoming software. We support and facilitate a broad set of tools, allowing people to work in the environment that is right for them but simultaneously making sure that they comply to our requirements. Of course, physical stacks and cabling will still be there, but for development and operations purposes the focus will be on software for infrastructure.
People are key
The final and most important component of the infrastructure of the future: people. If you want to make any impactful change in your organization, you need to pay attention to the people. I can share that, no matter how many wonderful tools we have, we are not yet yielding all their benefits. And this is not just a matter of teaching people the skills to use these tools – it is about the mindset. The mindset of working digital, but also the mindset of, for example, people that worry about the future of their role. If you do not manage this transformation properly, the organization will struggle with the implementation of new technology. At NXP, we developed a persona to help us with this. The use of a persona provided us a clear vision of the employee of the future and helped to share that vision internally.
In the end, digital transformation is a process of continuous change. Those who are able to change, will be able to survive. A company with the ability to produce faster, cheaper, and better than its competitor will become successful. This requires technology, processes, and people. The infrastructure of the future needs to add sustainable value to a company’s operational value streams, without taking a single second of their attention away. Even better, it can start to predict their future needs. The infrastructure of the future is about making the business operate at light speed.”
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