Everywhere you look today, change is occurring at warp speed. And nowhere is it happening faster than in the business world. Those of us who have ridden out the business cycles of the last two decades understand that change is a given. But, with the rise of the Internet and e- Business, change isn’t something that you decide to do anymore: it’s something that can be forced on you daily. You hear a lot of talk about business agility, but what does this mean really? It certainly isn’t the ability of the CEO to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Agility means being prepared for change at a moment’s notice. It also means you must have the infrastructure in place to support change without throwing away everything and starting over each time because a completely new start takes too much time and is almost always too expensive.
The reason organizations need an adaptive infrastructure is very simple: more change happens in business than IT or the business can anticipate. To cope with the myriad unforeseen circumstances and competitive demands, businesses must create and possess a certain flexible, adaptive range.
To develop this flexibility requires an infrastructure planning process that makes it much easier to introduce new business initiatives and to grow initiatives that are already underway. This chapter explains the fundamental approaches to adaptive infrastructure, so that you can start creating a more focused, organized way of dealing with changes in your organization. An adaptive infrastructure approach requires you to create deliverables in three areas—platforms, patterns, and services—and follow a five-step process for infrastructure planning. Concentrating on the delivery of solutions or “infrastructure products” and reusable components will provide you with the keys to success.