Solution Provider Offers Three Tips for Overcoming Barriers to a Converged Infrastructure
NEW YORK, June 24, 2014 – A fully functional converged infrastructure that integrates servers, storage, networks and management into a single, flexible and adaptable IT environment is the gateway to all the advantages cloud computing has to offer. So why are IT pros meeting with internal resistance when it comes to implementing a converged strategy? According to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), a big barrier to realizing the benefits of a converged infrastructure may be political, not technical. Before effectively changing the company’s technology, CIOs must change the culture of the typical IT department.
“Traditionally, IT departments are divided into different groups or silos depending on the specific technology they are responsible for. There’s a server group, a storage group, a network group, an applications group, an operations group,” says Kevin Gruneisen, Senior Director, Cloud and Data Center Solutions, Logicalis US. “Separated from each other by specialty, there is often very little interaction between members of the different silos. Each group makes decisions independently and often competes with each other for budget. It’s important for each team member to understand that a converged infrastructure doesn’t make their knowledge irrelevant, or diminish their value to the organization in any way. Fear of change may well explain some of the resistance to converged infrastructure and cloud computing within IT departments, even though these advances in technology hold the promise of making their jobs easier…and more interesting.”
Overcoming Barriers to a Converged Infrastructure
- Collaborate on a New Culture: A converged infrastructure reflects a shared-use model where resources are available on demand; intelligence built into the IT fabric can provision and deploy the right resources based on rules and best practices established by the IT department, allowing technologists to focus on what the business user wants to accomplish in more creative and productive ways – a very different strategy from the previous silo-culture in which every application required its own dedicated environment. The solution: Get server and storage staff collaborating with networking staff. Virtualization abstracts the physical hardware and software in separate layers, but the people who know how each layer interacts with the one above it are still an integral part of the equation. Therefore, all stakeholders should be working together to create the culture that will reflect the horizontal orientation of a converged infrastructure IT environment.
- Get IT’s Buy-In: Typically, the decision to implement a converged infrastructure and advance toward cloud computing comes from the top down. The CEO wants the increased performance, flexibility and resilience. The CFO wants the pay-for-what-you-need efficiencies of the shared-resource model. And the CIO wants the kind of intelligent, dynamic, self-regulating IT environment that will be required in the future. While the decision to commit to a converged infrastructure may come from the top, it needs the buy-in of the people who are going to implement and support it to succeed. This is the next step after outlining a new converged-ready culture. In this step, CIOs need to include technologists in strategy meetings and really engage them in discussions about how to re-organize in a way that reflects the convergence of the underlying technologies. Most will appreciate being given the opportunity to drive change as opposed to being run over by it.
- Build Relationships: As advanced as technology has become today, designing solutions, implementing them, managing and supporting them is still essentially a task for people. Despite the availability of ITIL best practices strategies, the intelligence to empower the IT environment to live up to its full potential still has to come from the IT team itself. Fortunately, the activity of developing and carrying out a converged infrastructure strategy as a precursor to cloud computing can be an ideal exercise in building collaborative relationships among previously siloed teams. And it can create a new way for these talented IT professionals to work together to use technology to give the company a competitive edge.
Want to Learn More?
- Find out how servers, storage, networking, virtualization, and other technologies form an integrated solution with converged infrastructure here.
- Watch a short video about the IT Transformation Journey here and take a quiz to see where your company stands.
- Download a free Ponemon report, “The Impact of IT Transformation on Enterprise Computing,” here.
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.
Logicalis employs nearly 3,500 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of approximately $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $5 billion.
For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.
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