Business Aspects of IT Infrastructure Upgrade

‘SMAC’ IT with Converged Infrastructure!

Today, all discussions on IT infrastructure upgrade revolve around the 3rd Platform, the disruptive force that changed the IT landscape of the 21st century. Nicknamed as SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud), the 3rd Platform has undoubtedly impacted the business outcome of enterprises and will continue to do so in the coming years.

While it’s become imperative for enterprises to focus their IT investment around the four pillars of 3rd Platform, they also need to understand what kind of investments will attract maximum returns. The converged infrastructure (CI) concept has emerged as a revolutionary trend in IT upgrade as it helps enterprises earn higher returns on their IT investment.

The CIO challenge: Linking IT with Business  

With the emergence of 3rd Platform, drastic changes happened in the way IT functions are performed in enterprises, which in turn challenged the role played by CIOs. The sheer knowledge of the technology and business no longer defines the role of a CIO. Today, CIOs are supposed to function as strategists responsible for setting specific business goals and contributing to the net income with the help of IT.  This change is visible in a CIO survey conducted by Information Week. CIOs who participated in the survey cited cost cutting as the top priority for IT upgrade (49 percent) – with a notable jump, up nine points, from previous year.  The next two CIO priorities also aim at business value: introducing a new IT-led product for customers (33%) and creating a new business model or revenue stream (30%), the survey said.

What should be the focus of your IT investments?

With IT creating a clear impact on business, you need to explore ways to utilize your resources to earn maximum returns from your IT investment. Today’s IT innovation should therefore focus on three business aspects: Reduce cost, Improve productivity and foster innovation. Let’s see how Dell helps businesses achieve these goals with a set of technology solutions that align with modern IT needs of enterprises.

Betting IT with Converged Infrastructure

With cost being the first and foremost consideration while making an investment in IT, most organizations tend to rely on proprietary systems that may appear cost effective initially. Though the TCO for these systems is low in the short term, they limit the organization’s chances to adopt innovation in the long run. Proprietary IT solutions are notorious for vendor lock-ins and lack of flexibility, which will directly impact the growth of the business.

The Converged Infrastructure (CI) concept brought by Dell has eliminated the hassles associated with proprietary technologies. By converging servers, storage, networking and management into a single system Dell’s converged infrastructure model addresses some of the top challenges faced by today’s enterprises. By running more workloads in less space, the converged model helps lower the cost of infrastructure. The open platform includes advanced software tools that simplify routine IT administration tasks without reducing available choices. Furthermore, Dell’s future-ready data center networks are designed to deliver maximum flexibility and simplify data center management. By avoiding the bulky and complex proprietary hardware, Dell provides enterprises with a future ready platform that helps them control costs and ensures hassle-free computing.

Improving productivity with custom IT tools

The IT requirement of an organization varies from that of another. A typical IT implementation should be able to deliver application-specific reference architecture and purpose-built appliances, which will accelerate IT rollout and streamline operations.  Open source technologies are touted as the best to reduce costs and improve productivity. The fact that they are freely available in the market makes them an attractive choice for businesses; however, the hassles associated with managing open-source technologies have created disappointment among many users. The complexity of these technologies makes it difficult for an average employee without technology know-how to understand and use them. Open source technologies are great selling points in cloud models. However, under Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, you will face difficulty accessing the source code, thus limiting your options to customize it. All of these will have direct impact on productivity.

Dell’s open standard approach to infrastructure gives you the benefits of a multi-vendor, heterogeneous environment offering a variety of tools which are already known to your IT administrators. The company has adopted a standards-based architecture which will help you build compute-optimized converged solutions suitable for any type of applications. The Dell PowerEdge FX, for example, includes an agent-free management platform, the Dell Chassis Management Controller that offers a choice of rack or blade style management. The solution also integrates with a variety of enterprise management platforms from leading vendors like Microsoft, VMware, etc. Advanced management tools within Dell Converged Infrastructure allow staff to spend less time on day-to-day maintenance.

Foster innovation through converged IT

The changing IT needs of enterprises necessitate an infrastructure that is future proof and able to evolve as per the growing demands from organizations. With new trends like social, mobility, analytics and cloud influencing the business aspects of IT, enterprises need to focus on technologies that support innovation around these pillars.

Dell has adopted open, extensible architecture that also supports multi-vendor and heterogeneous environment. This paves way for innovation and further cost reduction. The modular architecture delivers a building-block approach allowing you to fine tune your IT infrastructure according to your future needs. The integrated management platform in Dell Converged Infrastructure allows you to perform all activities including monitoring, provisioning, updating and allocating resources from a centralized location. These management capabilities will extend over the course of the lifecycle of all of your infrastructure components, from discovery through decommissioning.  The template-based provisioning automates a wide range of tasks including discovery, inventory, configuration and management. Dell Active System Manager, for example, uses this approach to scale or migrate workloads in a predictable, accurate and automated fashion, resulting in costs savings and application availability.

The modular approach of FX platform helps companies build out-of-the box solution with the exact combination of storage and computing resources necessary for the application. As the business evolves, you can reconfigure the modules and re-deploy them to match the new requirements. In this way you can optimize the infrastructure by delivering the capacity and performances required by the IT in the years to come.

Solving IT Innovation Conundrum: The Modern Approach

With cost being a major factor driving innovation, CIOs are required to find a balance between the cost of innovation and the returns. As you know, innovation efforts should focus on long-term business goals, and should be sustainable in the long run. Modern approaches like converged infrastructure score in this front as they always help you stay ahead in the fiercely competitive market in terms of revenue, productivity and innovation.

Rajani Baburajan

[email protected]