Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cloud Computing Wargames !!


 “A wargame is a game that represents a military operation.”
 “Military simulations, also known informally as war games, are simulations in which theories of warfare can be tested and refined without the need for actual hostilities”


For ages, simulations and wargames have been used by the military to prepare for eventual future operations. During the Cold War, countless battles between the red and blue forces were set-up, run and reset in preparation for the conflict that thankfully never came. Some contend that these wargames, in fact, were instrumental in preventing a global nuclear holocaust.

As an outgrowth of this apparent success, business war games also came in vogue as a tool to help managers develop and execute business strategies more successfully. In 2005 there was actually an all-day “Battle for Clicks” war game between students from MIT Sloan School of Management and Harvard Business School. This game, run by Fuld & Co., a Cambridge-based strategic intelligence consulting firm, was the first such competition involving students from these two world-class business schools.

In a unique take on this concept, in 2006, Booz Allen Hamilton took business wargaming one step further. As reported by Government Computing News, the CIO Wargame, a BAH creation, combines the basics of craps and Monopoly to simulate how CIOs, chief architects and other program managers make decisions. The game's stated goal is to bring projects into the operation and maintenance phase and earn as many mission value points as possible, while taking steps to reduce the risk of failures and setbacks. The team with the most points after five rounds won. Like in Monopoly, players had to make strategic investment decisions on which projects and IT capabilities to bet on; like in craps, the roll of the dice often determined how well a project paid off.

I’m happy to report that the CIO Wargame is now being updated! The new Cloud Computing Wargame (CCW) represents a major evolution of the original concept and will be unveiled at FOSE 2009. I am looking forward to working with the BAH Cloud Computing Team on this exciting project.

More than a game, CCW applies simulation techniques to model “Traditional IT” and “Cloud Computing” environments and dynamically maps them against internal, community, and Cloud-based resources. The simulation represent real-life situations facing IT management daily, especially in an environment of rapid technological and mission change against a backdrop of resource variability. The CCW is designed for both mission “owners” and senior IT staff who are engaged in the strategic planning and use of information technologies to meeting organization mission and basic business requirements. The game puts the “players” in real-life situations that you can win … and you can loose.

By actively applying modeling and simulation to IT decision making The Cloud Computing Wargame helps players and organizations understand:
  • The inter-relationships between cloud computing technology and mission requirements
  • How long-term cloud computing strategy can develop, evolve, and change.
  • The interaction between different activities that occur within an IT organization in order to implement and support IT capabilities in different capabilities matrices.
  • How different strategies maximize mission impact and value
  • How different roles work with business and IT partners throughout the organization and value chain.

You comments and suggestions are welcome. I look forward to seeing you at FOSE for this exciting unveiling.

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