App team vs infrastructure team – Friends or Foes?

I’m currently reading this great book called The Phoenix Project. (Ok, let’s be honest… I am listening to the audio version while commuting to and from work. Let’s hear it for technology!) It’s a fictional book about a large company’s business and IT challenges – the same challenges that real IT organizations deal with every day. One of those challenges is the disconnect between the applications team and the infrastructure team. According to The Phoenix Project, there are four types of work:

  1. Business projects
  2. IT projects
  3. Changes
  4. Unplanned work (fire drills)

From my findings, not knowing the source of IT bottlenecks is the reason for most of the frustration and wasted time. When a real problem occurs and a fire drill ensues, it’s a major problem if you don’t know how to put the fire out.

I have been working in the IT space for some time now, and I’ve observed the ongoing struggle between app teams and infrastructure teams. This is a problem across all industries, but is experienced most acutely in the healthcare IT field. This is because of the increasing complexity that health IT teams are facing, as well as the critical nature of health IT applications and infrastructure. Failure could literally mean life or death.

Consider this critical scenario – you get a call about a main EMR application that’s down. It is the middle of the night. Hospital staff must access this application to dispense the proper medications in the correct dosage to hundreds of patients, some in critical condition. You race to figure out what could have caused the outage. Not a second can be spared.

Companies are using ridiculous amounts of money, time, and resources to figure out these problems. This also triggers the finger pointing game as to whose fault it is, thus deepening the divide between the groups even further. And none of this is good for patients.

So what’s the solution? Wouldn’t it be nice to have access to real time data over the wire in order to pinpoint the exact problem? With the ability to look at the applications and the infrastructure, you would be able to quickly and easily scope out the culprit.

No, I’m not talking about those big box monitoring tools that focus on your individual servers. I’m talking about a solution that microscopically sniffs out the packets that are having problems and gives you the exact location of the problems, instantly over your wire. Reading this book, The Phoenix Project, is torture because this solution would remove half the pages in the book.

A wire data analytics platform provides IT teams with correlated, cross-tier visibility for all networked applications, including:

  • EHR applications such as Allscripts, Cerner, McKesson, and MEDITECH (a couple of my EMR customers have already implemented this platform)
  • Physician and patient web portals and CPOE systems
  • Legacy applications that have few other monitoring options
  • Hosted or SaaS applications

A wire data analytics platform is also applicable to a broad range of critical healthcare projects such as:

  • HL7 Interface Monitoring – Analyze all HL7 messages in real time to extract valuable information for interface performance monitoring and clinical informatics.
  • VDI and Application Virtualization – Take advantage of unparalleled monitoring for Citrix environments (verified as Citrix Ready for Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp), merging real-time ICA analysis with a cross-tier view of infrastructure activity.
  • Security and Compliance – Check compliance with privacy and security regulations such as HIPAA by monitoring specific directories for reads, writes, locks, creates, and deletes per user and file.

I urge IT organizations to take advantage of proactive business solutions like a wire data analytics platform. Eliminate the hassle of finding the source of problems. Stop the bickering and share the love across IT!