Take IT Flight with the SOAR Framework

In 2015, I introduced the DART Framework as a series of skills that virtualization administrators can leverage to master their virtual universe. In 2016, it’s time to take your IT career flight beyond the final frontiers of your virtual universe. Just do it with the SOAR Framework: [Updated with hyperlinks to SOAR articles.]

  • Secure - Govern, control data, app, stack, and user planes
  • Optimize - Run more efficiently & effectively
  • Automate - Scale IT
  • Report - Show & tell to the leadership team

SOAR-ing skill set

Security should be top of mind with every IT professional – we are all responsible for security ops whether directly or indirectly. Securing IT delves into governance, compliance and control of data, applications, stacks and user planes.

Optimization boils down to maximizing the return on investment (ROI) of IT. We all get that IT budgets are getting squeezed or being diverted into new investment areas. Optimizing allows IT professionals to do more with less in their data center environment. If done well, it highlights command and control over any given data center ecosystem and opens the door to many new career opportunities.

Automation is the skill that allows IT professionals to scale both their data center and their career aspiration. Whether it’s through scripts, workflows, templates or blueprints, automation is a skill that reclaims the most important resource for any IT pro – time.

Reporting is the least glamorous IT skill; but it’s the one that will most likely get you promoted. Essentially, it revolves around communicating how great of a job you are doing managing your data center efficiency or making your case to get the necessary tools to deliver what the business needs.

February S.O.A.R.s

Every Friday in February, I will publish an article on each specific SOAR skill with an example of what good looks like in a virtual environment. P.S. it can be applied to any tech construct and tech domain. Time to shatter the shackles of silos!

Reference [Updated with hyperlinks to SOAR articles]

  • Yikes, that's terrible. If something is not worth caring about and considering, then it isn't worth the time to do it.

    With respect to non-technical management, I've many CMOs add and absorb CIO duties (you may have seen them brand themselves CxOs) because of the marketing automation, orchestration, and business intelligence (big data analytics) needed to drive the business. There are many similarities. In fact, good CMOs are looking for technical SMEs who can convert the technical details into something that business folks can understand. Bridge value from IT Ops to Biz Ops.

  • Awesome mesverrum‌. Thanks for sharing. In my first pass, I'll cover reporting used as a baseline for data center efficiency and effectiveness. Eventually will cover reporting for management and the Executive team leveraging my time in the Office of the CTO performing Executive briefings for customers. A great report will show IT leadership what they actions they need to take without me having to spell it out for them aka powerpoint it up.

  • A great report will inform management of the right decision to make. Whether they make the right call or simply sit in idle on the report and recommendation of an IT pro speaks to their managerial competency or lack thereof.

  • The down side to reporting is non technical management.

    I changed departments a few years back and one of my assignments was the reports for our Security Council.  The first time I printed out the 40 page full color report, I looked at my new boss and said "This report says absolutely nothing and none of the charts or graphs represent anything."

    His response "Management just want charts, graphs and colors...they don't understand enough to care what is says."

    A year later, I had a new job and he was still passing bs reports up to management.

  • I'm getting a lot of pressure on the R part the last few weeks, looking forward to seeing what you discuss and how I can tie it back to SW software