EXECUTIVE BRIEF Planning for the Future of IT: Becoming More Agile, Available and Valuable to the Business Cash registers have become as rare as fax machines. Transactions take place where they are most convenient for the consumer using mobile technologies that connect sales associates to corporate email and social channels. Each transaction generates data that ripples fluidly through the supply chain, impacting purchase orders and manufacturing runs while
adding to the stream bringing depth to the customer profile. That’s one vision for how IT is enabling the future of retail. Transformations of this type are occurring in just about every industry as forward-thinking businesses use technology to drive operational efficiency, agility and competitive advantage.
Supporting the Future of Your Business With cloud computing, mobility, and social media re-shaping the enterprise information ecosystem, IT must be prepared to support a more robust—and complex—network of users, customers, partners and suppliers. Accomplishing that task increases IT’s value to the business. It also requires an IT infrastructure that is agile, dependable and efficient. Here are four ways to get there.
1. Tailor Availability to Criticality The one-size-fits-all approach to application support dictated by housing all business applications in the same facility either compromises the availability of the most critical applications or increases the cost of supporting less critical applications. Disconnecting applications from physical resources through cloud computing allows availability to be tailored to the requirements of the application.
• Sixty-six percent of organizations responding to the IDG
2. Support and Use Data-Driven Decision Making In its October, 2012 feature, Getting Control of Big Data, The Harvard Business Review wrote that data-driven decision making “has the potential to revolutionize management.” That puts IT at the center of a management revolution. IT must be able to consolidate and mine the unprecedented volumes of data created by social media and other digital transactions while also becoming a resource for executives across the business seeking to use that data. Closer to home, IT management can participate in the Big Data revolution by capturing, aggregating and analyzing IT data across the enterprise to identify vulnerabilities and make more informed decisions on IT spend and resource allocation. 3. Break Down Silos Silos within the IT organization result in fragmented management in which no one group has the visibility to see the big picture and understand how changes in one system impact others. Management systems that provide a more holistic and accurate view of IT operations will cause silos to crumble while collaboration— and productivity—increase.
• Sixty-three percent of organizations plan to increase their IT budget allocation for cloud computing initiatives over the next 12 months, according to the 2012 IDG Cloud Computing Survey. Survey believe cloud computing is an important enabler of business innovation. • A 2012 survey by the Open Group found that only 20% of organizations had mechanisms in place to evaluate and justify cloud ROI.
Mobility • According to IDC, global smartphone sales increased 45% between 2011 and 2012 with 717 million units sold. • Approximately 40% of email traffic is now accessed through mobile devices.
Big Data • A 2012 study by the Harvard Business Review found that companies in the top third of their industry in the use of data-driven decision making were five percent more productive and six percent more profitable than competitors. • The publication noted that the average volume of data created each day was 2.5 Exabytes (2.5
million Terabytes) and that it was doubling every 40 months.
4. Increase Utilization There is a huge opportunity to reduce IT energy costs through the use of more efficient IT equipment and increased virtualization. Personnel productivity can also be increased through more effective management tools and greater collaboration. By spending less and contributing more, IT’s value to the business continues to grow.
Driving Business Transformation How can you find the time and resources to stay ahead of the trends driving the future when you are consumed with managing the present? When you consider the benefits of a more available and responsive IT infrastructure, the question becomes, how can you not?
What You Need to Succeed 1. Data Center Assessment Itâ€™s impossible to plan for the future without knowing where you stand today. Knowing the location and capacity of all IT and infrastructure resources is an essential first step in advancing data center maturity
Improved Profitability In the Getting Control of Big Data feature, The Harvard Business Review noted that organizations in the top third of their industry in data-driven decision making were six percent more profitable than those in the lower two-thirds. Higher Return on Investments In IT, real-time operating data can drive better decisions on future capacity requirements and resource allocation. In product development and marketing, data-driven decisions lead to new products and support more effective customer acquisition and retention campaigns.
from the current state to one that supports optimization and automation. 2. Infrastructure Management Platform Overprovisioning, stranded capacity, underutilization, inefficiency and unnecessary capital investments all result from lack of real-time, integrated data. A new generation of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) solutions is providing the visibility IT organizations require today and will evolve to deliver closed-loop control of IT systems in the future.
More Innovation Improved collaboration drives innovation in all aspects of the business, and innovation is the most effective way to create competitive advantage and shareholder value. Increased Productivity Effective use of IT has been responsible for major increases in productivity over the past 20 years. This trend will continue as a result of more sophisticated management tools, better information and new technology-based marketing channels.
3. Virtualized Environment Virtualization has revolutionized server management. Now it is time to move beyond servers to other data center systems, creating a more fluid infrastructure capable of dynamically managing capacity and storage needs while enabling greater end user flexibility. 4. Scalable infrastructure
Greater Agility A fluid and responsive IT organization allows the business to move quickly to enter new markets, react to market changes and increase operational efficiency. While some of the technologies required to fully capitalize on the trends shaping the future of information technology are still maturing, every organization should be preparing for a future shaped by cloud computing, analytics, social media and mobility. To access more resources on developing an efficient, available and agile IT infrastructure, visit www.EmersonNetworkPower.com/CIOTopics.
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An infrastructure that not only scales efficiently but fluidly adapts to large changes in demand is essential to supporting business growth, new IT-dependent initiatives and economically sound decisions on cloud computing.
Published on May 23, 2013