Advances in technology are outpacing the adoption of new capabilities. The issue: Large companies can’t keep up with the changes and are stuck running legacy information technology architectures and old datacenter technology. The moving parts involved include:
Each of these has significant bearing on the future. We have been riding the leading edge of a technology wave that is changing how we work, the computing devices we use, and the back-end systems that support our operations, and how we adapt to that will separate winners from losers.
The changes have come quickly, and the innovations continue, often faster than big companies can respond. Much of this has happened during a slow economy and at a time when controlling costs is front and center on every IT manager’s to-do list. To further complicate things, government regulations are mandating long-term retention of data, which stresses capacity. Business managers are also demanding more sophisticated analyses of all this information to help them better market to customers. To top it off, ad hoc design changes generally lead to increased complexity over time, which increases the probability of error and triggers additional operational costs.
While these are not trivial matters, there is plenty of hope despite the challenges.
IT decision-makers can even achieve transformation to some extent with their current infrastructures for now, as long as there is some flexibility and agility baked in, and the platform is stable.
As the economy begins to improve and companies can no longer ignore the depth of technical transformation that has occurred in recent years, many executives have become impatient at the underperformance of their datacenters. While there are no quick fixes, the good news is that by taking a fresh look at IT strategy and the design of the datacenter, it becomes clear that datacenter transformation is possible.
Transformation is essential to remain competitive in today’s fast-moving world. The way I see it, the path forward is to not think in terms of patching the datacenter. Organizations instead need to assess their IT needs in the context of longer-term business objectives and act accordingly.
Let’s admit it: it is no small endeavor. Your datacenter needs to help you acquire and analyze the business intelligence you need to run smart operations. You need to be able to support a mobile workforce and communicate with mobile customers. You will also need to learn how best to manage those communications, as well as support and leverage machine-to-machine communications.
The silver lining is that addressing these needs is the first step in architecting the datacenter that meets your operational requirements and then you can think about what’s next.
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