HP's support data for 3000 cut to manuals
Tape data to disc files and setting Posix time

MB Foster reports on emerging EIM program

While HP 3000 customers migrate from their trusty legacy servers to a new environment, the change permits them to embrace new concepts and architecture for their IT. It's a matter of "here's some forced change; after we do a lift-and-shift, we follow new practices."

I'll never forget the IT manager at a Houston-area manufacturer who was glad that HP cut off its 3000 futures. While listening to a Webinar organized by the CAMUS user group, he said the forced change would let him clean house of aging MPE/iX applications. Users' efficiency would have to take a hit, the fellow said, for a payoff of a better-designed operation.

Migration can offer the potential for more current management techniques, the carrot that follows the stick of that temporary disruption of retraining. One HP 3000 services and software vendor is offering a summary of such new thinking. MB Foster has posted a review of the practices preached at the 2010 Enterprise Information Summit. EIM, to quote the Foster report is not a technology. It's a program, as explained by summit speaker David Marco, which started with a formula.

Information = Data (content) + Meta Data (context)

For example, the number 2,765 taken by itself has no context. If we tell you that 2,765 represents sales in 000's for the last quarter, we have a context to take the content, 2,765, and turn it into information -- sales.

But EIM relies on technologies to support it. EIM starts with a way of thinking and goes from there to encompass an entire enterprise. EIM first requires discipline, which must be supported by technologies that manage information assets throughout the organization. There are many reasons for introducing EIM to an organization, Foster's report said; the sheer size and scale of data duplication alone can often justify an entire EIM program.

The MB Foster white paper on EIM goes into significant detail to introduce and explain EIM. The speakers brought experience with the new practice, according to the white paper.

The conference brought together leading practitioners of EIM from across North America. Much of the conference was focused on networking and building best practices. EIM is still new enough that everyone is learning by leaps and bounds.

Data management -- something that MB Foster has specialized in for more than 25 years -- is the foundation of EIM. Then data management is supported by seven focus areas:

• Process Management
• Data Architecture (Data Blue Print)
• Information Quality (Data Quality or DQ)
• IT Portfolio Management
• Master Data Management (MDM)
• Information Delivery
• Information Security

HP 3000 data architecture, as practiced in the majority of customer shops, didn't require such strategic design. The 3000 was the headwaters as well as all tributaries of information flow. PCs were adjunct. A newer world of multifaceted enterprise clusters -- all those other servers and network resources -- is driving the need to deploy things like EIM, or Application Portfolio Management. (The latter, which I was introduced to by Speedware's Nicholas Fortin, gives your applications a value that can be calculated as a company asset.) MB Foster's report explains how that 3000-based vendor, working in both homestead sustaining as well as migration engagements and new-target tools, sees its role in EIM.

The EIM 2010 Conference opened our eyes to the great strides that EIM has made in the last few years. While MB Foster has been working in at least four of the seven focus areas of EIM for many years, we still have more to learn about the best way we can help our customers derive more value from their information.

In his presentation Establishing an EIM Program, Herschel Chandler told us, "The value of information isn't realized until it is used." EIM is poised to define leaders who embrace the challenge of changing their organizations to be information focused.

The white paper suggests that an IT manager sign up for free membership in the EIM Institute to learn more.