Most of the organizations we meet with tell us that their IT complexity continues to increase. Infrastructure teams that continue to purchase and operate data center servers, storage and network infrastructure have dozens of choices at the beginning of each hardware refresh cycle. System software choices like hypervisors, management add-ons, automation, monitoring and predictive analytics are too numerous to count. Cloud computing infrastructure choices and features grow by the day, and most organizations are operating workloads in multiple clouds. To add to IT complexity, the application portfolios of most modern businesses are usually a conglomeration of software-as-a-service, in-house applications, and new development.
Is your organization’s collective IT skill set diverse enough?
As organizations grapple with these new levels of complexity, they are evaluating whether the IT infrastructure staff can develop and maintain (or already has) the skill sets to:
- Research product, service and cloud options
- Incrementally modernize the IT architecture using relevant industry best practices
- Select products, services, tooling and cloud platforms
- Implement multiple selected technologies
- Maintain the technologies, keeping abreast of the changes in real-time
- Understand the broader IT landscape to keep tabs on new developments and repeat the cycle of research, selection, implementation and support
Some organizations have large enough IT staffs to manage and diversify all the skill sets required to vacation-proof, sick-proof, and future-proof the business from IT complexity problems. Other organizations outsource the research, architecture selection, and implementation to IT service providers and consultants.
But which skill sets do you outsource, and which do you keep in-house?
The application portfolio will drive much of the decision on outsource vs. in-house skill sets. Most organizations retain application expertise in-house and use the application portfolio to drive IT infrastructure requirements.
If a significant portion of the applications require Windows and Linux operating systems, and VMware infrastructure and the skill sets exist, many organizations opt to forge ahead with these platforms to maintain application performance and reliability. But the IT skill sets required for management add-ons, automation, monitoring and predictive analytics for these platforms are often sparse to non-existent. Likewise, the highly sought-after skill sets to research, implement and maintain these newly critical oversight capabilities are often out-of-reach as well.
As organizations consider new architectures that still need to run Windows and Linux, and VMware-based applications, many are now choosing a fully-integrated, software-defined data center that delivers next-generation IT architecture as a single, cohesive managed infrastructure service.
The benefits of Converged Infrastructure solutions include:
- Leveraging existing skill sets in Windows, Linux, VMware and VMware-based add-ons and tooling
- Compute, storage, networking, security, monitoring and predictive analytics in a single console
- Multi-location support for resiliency and near real-time recovery
- Template-driven workloads with standardized security and networking features to minimize risk and protect the environment from attack
- Easy ways to customize the environment with automation, containers, software development tools, and other new technologies
- Complex security capabilities like encryption-at-rest, two-factor authentication, and network micro-segmentation with sophisticated perimeter security in multiple clouds
- Radical network simplification of multi-cloud environments to reduce latency, egress charges, and management requirements
Does a cloud platform like this exist? It does now. Expedient Enterprise Cloud (EEC) delivers these seven characteristics as well as the supporting technical expertise to optimize the cloud, allowing your IT team to focus on the application portfolio, software development, and automation requirements specific to your organization.
Looking to leverage current IT skill sets and deliver more value to the organization without increasing risk? Contact me for a conversation on your environment to see if a fully-integrated, software defined data center is right for you.
Doug Theis is the Director of Market Strategy in Expedient’s Indianapolis market focused on engaging with and improving the regional IT community through planning, sponsoring and attending community events, facilitating IT-focused continuing education opportunities, and sharing strategies, tactics, and research to help IT professionals stay abreast of best practices and industry trends. Connect with Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter.