CIO

3 ways to overcome barriers to adopting a converged infrastructure

With the abundant benefits of a converged infrastructure, why are so many CIOs still getting pushback on taking this important step in their IT strategy? Our research and experience shows that opposition to a converged strategy is more often political than technical.

Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle and represent

.shock / bigstockphoto.com

Most organizations are divided into silos by specialty; for example, there might be a server group, a storage group, an applications group, and so on. Suggesting that these independent teams work together ignites a fear of impending irrelevancy, as teams think that they will be made redundant. The key to overcoming this fear is to show that converged infrastructure actually makes each group’s knowledge more critical to overall success.

Here are 3 specific steps to make converged infrastructure a reality in your organization:

1. Collaborate on a New Culture: A converged infrastructure reflects a shared-use model where resources are available on demand, a collaborative model very different from how most companies are structured today. 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.

2. 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, the CFO wants the efficiencies of shared resources, and the CIO wants the kind of 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. 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.

3. Build Relationships: As advanced as technology has become today, IT solutions are still run by people, and the success of IT depends on the success of the IT team. 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.

Learn more: Six Tips for Creating a Converged Infrastructure

3 ways to overcome barriers to adopting a converged infrastructure

With the abundant benefits of a converged infrastructure, why are so many CIOs still getting pushback on taking this important step in their IT strategy? Our research and experience shows that opposition to a converged strategy is more often political than technical.

Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle and represent

.shock / bigstockphoto.com

Most organizations are divided into silos by specialty; for example, there might be a server group, a storage group, an applications group, and so on. Suggesting that these independent teams work together ignites a fear of impending irrelevancy, as teams think that they will be made redundant.  The key to overcoming this fear is to show that converged infrastructure actually makes each group’s knowledge more critical to overall success.

Here are 3 specific steps to make converged infrastructure a reality in your organization:

1. Collaborate on a New Culture: A converged infrastructure reflects a shared-use model where resources are available on demand, a collaborative model very different from how most companies are structured today. 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.

2. 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, the CFO wants the efficiencies of shared resources, and the CIO wants the kind of 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. 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.

3. Build Relationships: As advanced as technology has become today, IT solutions are still run by people, and the success of IT depends on the success of the IT team. 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.

Learn more: Six Tips for Creating a Converged Infrastructure

IT may be succeeding at redefining its business role, says new research

Guest author: Ed Konopasek, VP, Cloud and Data Center Solutions

The IT department has recently been in the spotlight as it works to reshape itself to provide more direct business value. New research shows that this heightened focus is paying off. The report from global consulting firm Protiviti shows that 63% of CIOs and IT professionals are noticing a “major IT transformation” happening in their organizations, as IT works to deliver more business value and tighten security measures. The respondents also noted a significant shift in IT’s activities, away from supportive activities (“keeping the lights on”) to become a key part of major business decisions.

Bigedhar /Bigstockphoto.com

Bigedhar /Bigstockphoto.com

More takeaways:

  • Topics related to cybersecurity and managing data privacy consistently were ranked among the highest priorities by respondents
  • Another top priority was managing and securing ever-growing amounts of data, a process that will likely continue to grow in prominence
  • Interestingly, adding business value was ranked a higher priority than securing company data, perhaps reflecting a growing view that data security and business planning should go hand-in-hand
  • Respondents also ranked monitoring IT costs as a very high priority, reflecting the continued efforts to control IT spending against growing data and computing needs

What’s the top priority in your IT organization this year?

Cloud security still a top concern for CIOs

A new Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) membership study shows that even though cloud adoption is rapidly growing, security concerns are the top factor limiting the use of it entirely. This is likely due to the lack of proper standardizations. Organizations need to understand the full security measures of their cloud service provider and how they impact their organization.

Melpomene/Bigstockphoto.com

Melpomene/Bigstockphoto.com

These worries about security are likely based on recent events, such as data breaches, data loss, account hijacking, unmanaged APIs, shared technologies in one cloud and lack of security processes with the large volumes of data. Overall, 67% of respondents said that security is a limiting factor in their cloud plans, although this is down from 80% in 2012, reflecting a growing trust in the cloud. Worries about reliability are down as well, with only 36% of respondents expressing concern, down 8% from 2012. However, more CIOs are concerned about regulatory issues (56%) and vendor lock-in (46%), both of which are up from 2012.

Is security a major challenge for your organization when using the cloud?

How CIOs can focus more on strategy and less on everyday tasks

An international survey conducted by Logicalis Group holds a warning for CIOs worldwide.  The study indicates CIOs must act now to take on a more strategic role or risk being pushed aside by line-of-business managers who are making increasing numbers of technology buying decisions.

While more than 75 percent of CIOs and IT directors wish to spend more time on strategy, more than half surveyed currently spend 70 percent or more of their time on the day-to-day management of technology. Even more telling, 80 percent spend at least half of their time on low-value, non-strategic activities.

Shutterstock/Somartin

Shutterstock/Somartin

Sixty percent of CIO respondents agreed that line-of-business managers will gain more power over IT decision making in the next three to five years – a trend driven by the growing availability of externally available cloud services and expectations for technology and application consumerization.

The following were identified by CIOs as ways to play a more strategic role within their organizations:

  • Streamlining and optimizing their technology infrastructure as vital to free their time for more strategic goals
  • Consolidating the use of managed services
  • Handing more day-to-day management activities over to specialized managed services providers

Creating a services-defined enterprise in which IT and line-of-business managers are working toward shared priorities is now a crucial mandate for the CIOs surveyed.  It is clear that CIOs plan to focus their teams on delivering an IT experience comparable with external service providers and will also engage with services partners to assist them in achieving the service maturity and agility necessary to compete for internal business in the coming years.

Hype or Ripe
Will the availability of cloud services and application consumerization give line-of-business managers more power?



View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Page 1 of 2112345...1020...Last »