collaboration

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

Cisco Partner Summit 2013: Update #3

Day 3 of Cisco Partner Summit was certainly an eventful one! We heard from many business leaders and visionaries, both from within Cisco and from other cutting-edge organizations around the world, and gained some valuable insights to take home with us.

Some highlights from Day 3:

  • One of our main speakers was Mark C. Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Virgin Unite Mentors, who shared with us the 3 key traits he sees in successful companies. These are:
    • Their ability to redefine winning, and set goals that accomplish strategic objectives
    • Their openness to innovate–“The big winners take a huge number of small bets”
    • Their desire to work in partnership with other companies who have similar goals
  • Chuck Robbins, SVP of Cisco’s Worldwide Field Operations, reemphasized Cisco’s commitment to partnerships. “You prove commitment based on where you spend your money,” he said, noting Cisco’s $2 billion spend in partner incentive payouts.
  • Bruce Klein, SVP of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, closed the conference by introducing a performance by the Boston Children’s Chorus, a local music program for underprivileged youth, and announced Cisco’s donation to the chorus.
Bruce introducing the Boston Children’s Chorus. Photo courtesy @Cisco_Channels.

Bruce introducing the Boston Children’s Chorus. Photo courtesy @Cisco_Channels.

With all that said–we’re sad to have to wrap up our time in Boston, and to be heading home. We will also be updating this blog early next week with a final post covering what we learned from our 3 days in Boston.

Cisco Partner Summit 2013: Update #2

Hello from Boston! We’re sad to be wrapping up the last day of Cisco Partner Summit 2013 today, but we’re thankful for the experiences we’ve shared and the insights we’ve gained over the past few days. For those of you not able to attend, we put together a short summary of yesterday’s activities:

  • Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, discussed how Cisco is developing business strategies around their concept of the Internet of Everything. Whereas past stages of the Internet have been focused on e-commerce and social experiences, this new era looks to be connecting people with many diverse forms of data, processes and things. This means that partnerships will be even more important than in the past, as success in the technology sector will require having a role in each of these different ecosystems.
Padmasree Warrior speaks on the next generation of IT. Photo courtesy @LogicalisMikeJ

Padmasree Warrior speaks on the next generation of IT. Photo courtesy @LogicalisMikeJ

  • Besides the speakers, we also were able to attend a few Business Transformation Sessions on Cisco’s different focus areas, like cloud and SDN. We also took part in the American region party, and had an opportunity to network with the Cisco team.

Check back here for more updates as the Partner Summit wraps up, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for more frequent news and updates.

Cisco Partner Summit 2013: Update #1

Our team wrapped up its first day at Cisco Partner Summit on Tuesday, and it was a full day! We heard from Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, SVP of the Worldwide Partner Organization Bruce Klein, and SVP of Worldwide Channels Edison Peres. Here’s a recap of what they had to say:

  • Bruce spoke first, announcing the conference theme of “Today | Tomorrow | Together.” He emphasized how Cisco is dedicated to a future that includes continuing and growing its current partnerships.
  • John then re-emphasized this commitment to partnerships: “We partner for life, we are old fashioned that way.” He also shared some of Cisco’s current top priorities, including:
    • The Internet of Everything
    • On being the world’s #1 IT company
    • Making business decisions that assume the economic recovery will continue steadily
    • Growing Cisco’s strengths in the midmarket segment
Our own Mike Johnson even got a picture with Mr. Chambers!

Our own Mike Johnson even got a picture with Mr. Chambers!

  • Edison closed out the opening session by noting that, unlike past times of accelerated technology change, our current era is also seeing simultaneously rapid changes to core business models. Like the others, he emphasized that Cisco will be continuously adapting to these changes in close coordination with their partners, and sees these partnerships only growing stronger in the future.

For more frequent updates from Boston, follow us at @LogicalisUS on Twitter, or connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn. More updates coming soon!

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