How to organize IT for next-gen networking

A trio of workgroups keep Wachovia’s IT department nimble enough to handle grid computing challenges.

With years of experience in building a grid-based utility, 2006 Enterprise All-Star Award winner Wachovia Bank is a showcase for how to organize IT personnel to support a next-generation infrastructure.

Before the creation of its service-oriented infrastructure,  Wachovia was organized like most IT organizations are today, with “pockets of teams doing a mix of different things,” says Tony Bishop, senior vice president and director of product management for the Charlotte, N.C.-based investment bank.

But CIO Susan Certoma, who joined Wachovia two years ago, revised the organizational chart, dividing the IT department into three units. The frameworks group builds business applications, Bishop says. The architecture and engineering team designs the overall infrastructure and application framework upon which business applications run. “So instead of building that [framework] every time, a central group creates it and you just you add the business logic on top,” he says.

Bishop's team, product management, works horizontally to track and integrate services across the entire organization. The team ensures that collaboration is occurring between the other teams and educates everyone as to the services already available. This horizontal view ensures that IT is reusing services, not reinventing them. Such an organizational chart lets IT “deliver things faster, more consistently, and in a more cost-effective manner,” he says.

  More importantly, Bishop emphasizes, is that utility computing is not just about applying new technologies. While the new technologies, particularly virtualization, are certainly important, they will only be as efficient as the IT people designing and running them. Wachovia stands as an example that when vision and execution are aligned, your next-generation infrastructure is achievable.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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