A complex new world is seeing the need for companies around the world, in all market areas, to transform their businesses.
As a key enabler of business transformation, IT is a vital cog in making this happen.
The old way of doing IT – implementing packaged applications to automate business processes – is starting to change. Disruption in the form of mobile, cloud computing, social media and Internet of Things (IoT) is fundamentally changing the way IT solutions are built, deployed and used.
This means that IT has to run the traditional enterprise applications that are responsible for automating operations while simultaneously developing consumer-grade applications and embedded software that will transform their products, services and the way they engage with the world.
Budgets haven’t gone up, though – indeed, IT must achieve all of this at less cost while simultaneously refining infrastructure performance.
Dell EMC believes the only way to achieve both of these goals – innovate and optimise – is to transform the technology we use to deliver IT services. This begins with bringing down the cost and effort involved in running the older automation software packages so that IT can shift its human and financial resources toward other investments that help make possible the more transformational aspects of the business: ever-changing mobile experiences, better data analytics, and deeper innovation around products and services.
CIOs have to decide where, when and how to lower operating costs, starting with identifying which enterprise workloads could operate better off-premise and which should be retained on-premise.
At the same time, they need to ensure that lines of business have easy access to the IT resources that allow them to transform services, create new revenue streams, and establish differentiation in the marketplace. This includes supporting new application development, whether developers are working on- or off-premise.
Meanwhile, as newer cloud-based applications mature, increase in number, or become more strategic in nature, the CIO needs to decide if and when it makes better business sense to bring them back on-premise.
CIOs have to strike a fine balance between modernising as quickly as possible, without starving core business applications.
To do this, they are starting to realise that they must undergo significant transformation across the organization – from re-evaluating on- and off-premise infrastructure investments to making changes in staffing and skills training, engaging more deeply in line of business, chief digital officer, and chief marketing officer collaboration, and upping the commitment to ITaaS delivery.
Start with the infrastructure
The first step toward supporting these often-conflicting IT priorities is to become a modern data centre by modernising the infrastructure components on which IT is built. The best, fastest, most risk-averse approach for this is to leverage converged infrastructure platforms.
In the past, IT departments built their infrastructure and bought their applications, but now they’re looking to invert that model – to buy simple, easy-to-deploy infrastructure platforms on which they can quickly build and run core business applications that differentiate their businesses, while also providing a platform for deploying next-generation applications.
Converged infrastructure allows for both. It reduces the time and cost of procuring, deploying, configuring, and managing hardware and software components separately, accelerating time to value for IT investments.
It’s essential that converged systems are built on technologies that are third-platform ready – such as flash, scale-out, software-defined, and cloud-enabled systems.
The next step is to automate the delivery of IT services to lines of business and application owners. IT must deliver, at every level, a self-service experience that is built upon a well-designed, API-driven management and orchestration toolset; one that frees development teams and other innovators from IT roadblocks.
A hybrid-cloud environment with on- and off-premise workloads running, being moved, and being managed in a seamless, integrated way cannot be achieved by using converged platforms alone.
A truly hybrid experience requires a transformation of technology and IT operations. This means the people and processes that deliver value to the business must adapt to the model as well.
Updating skills and processes so that they align with modern data center priorities is typically the most difficult step to data center modernisation.
Many choose to transform themselves (with broader internal infrastructure investment and transformation), while others choose to redirect human capital toward driving new business innovation.
Many decide to move traditional applications on to enterprise-class public clouds that can guarantee enterprise SLAs. This lets them shift the human capital investment that was used to manage those applications – the people and skillsets within IT – toward more innovative projects that directly promote business value.
Whether customers decide to modernise their own data centres, move workloads to a managed provider, or both, they need a vendor partner with best-in-class solutions for any scenario.
Dell EMC has created the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution, which is a combination of hardware, software, and services that can get businesses benefitting from hybrid cloud services in as little as 28 days.