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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

'Escalator Message' Advances Performance Architectural at AIG-Chartis

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At his ZDNet blogsite, Dana Gardner spoke with Abe Naguib, director of global performance architecture and infrastructure engineering at AIG-Chartis, and how his business has benefited from ongoing and modernization projects through the innovative use of IT consolidation and application lifecycle management (ALM) best practices.

At the core of AIG's evolution is what Naguib refers to as a "performance architecture" approach. When he joined the company 10 years ago, the company had a proliferation of middleware technologies that he was challenged to standardize across the board. "As we faced more and more applications coming into the Java middleware world, we found that there's a lot of footprint waste and there's a lot of delivery cycles that are also slipped and wasted. So, we saw a need to control it."

Naguib's team recognized that problems with applications needed to be addressed early in the process, and built a practice with architectural engineers and DBAs to get to issues and resolve them faster. The effort also resulted in the streamlining the way applications are managed and tied to the business, Naguib. says. The company employs a new paradigm called the "Escalator Message." As he relates, "in 60 seconds or less, we can talk to a CIO, CTO, COO, or CFO about our strategy and how we can help them shift from the firefighting mode to more of an architecture mode."

Naguib illustrates the value of this shift in approaches to problems:

"In traditional firefighting mode, people tend to hire consultants, bring in hardware, and end up increasing their cost. What we found is that, if you address the software angle of it, then you can improve your TCO and ROI... By taking a looking at correlating business transactions to a footprint on a server, and improving those transactions and their consumption rate, you're actually effectively improving the consumption of that application particularly."

As a result of its performance architecture and application lifecycle management efforts, AIG-Chartis has recouped about $127 million in infrastructure savings, Naguib says.

In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

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