OPINION – Delivering a consumer experience inside the corporation requires a whole new way of thinking among corporate IT leaders, according to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider. CIOs need to create a department that supports a service-defined enterprise able to offer an array of a la carte computing experiences when and how the organization’s users need to access them.
Author: Bob Hankins, Vice President Data Center Solutions, Logicalis US
“The problem for CIOs today is that they’re accustomed to providing efficiencies and capabilities while their users are looking for an experience. Corporate users want the same right-now experience they’re accustomed to in their outside-of-work lives. We live in a “right now” society where services are available on demand – videos on demand, cell service on demand. So why wouldn’t business users expect the same of their computing capabilities?”
“Changing the way IT leaders think about technology is the first step in the process. Technology still forms the foundation for the services that corporate users want and need, of course. For example, you could start with an HP converged infrastructure, then add operational analytics, orchestration and automation software as well as an array of implementation and managed services; those are the key ingredients. But in order to evolve to a ‘right-now’ IT environment, you have to map the technology to the SLAs that match the organization’s overall goals and objectives.”
“Simply providing technology that works is not the goal anymore, it’s the expectation. That’s why so many CIOs are considering changing the name of their ‘IT’ departments to more closely reflect the service-defined nature they are adopting. The goal has shifted from simply providing security, availability and performance management to providing the same levels of service at better price points in the right-now way line-of-business users want and need to work.”
“CIOs who embrace the service-defined movement will regain control of the IT department, redefine shadow IT, and will make their departments more relevant to their organizations as a whole. Accepting what changes need to take place and implementing a services-led IT transformation is, perhaps, the most difficult part.”
6 Benefits of On-Demand IT
To help CIOs, Logicalis US’ data center experts have identified six key benefits common to successful on-demand, service-defined environments. These benefits include:
- Kick-Starts Communication – Line-of-business users don’t want to wait for computing capabilities. They want IT services on demand, but to offer that kind of access takes significant pre-planning by IT leaders. In a services-led organization, IT once again has a seat at the line-of-business table and regains the ability to guide the organization in its technology resource usage, properly planning for where and when those resources will be consumed.
- Provides Flexibility – As the organization grows, so too must its technological resources. Users want flexibility in the IT services they use. That kind of flexibility is possible, but only in an IT department that has a deep knowledge of the expectations coming down the road. Developing that knowledge takes significant planning and collaboration between IT leaders and line-of-business department heads. The end result, however, is an on-demand, flexible IT infrastructure that can morph quickly and easily in response to changes within the organization.
- Anticipates the Future – To offer the kind of flexible, on-demand IT environment corporate users expect, the company’s top IT experts need to adopt proper management techniques and processes that help to anticipate and prepare for future demands.
- Fosters Efficiency – Today’s on-demand, service-defined IT departments are focused on delivering a wider array of services more quickly with a lower, very manageable op-ex price tag than they would be able to do by building and managing everything in-house.
- Verifies Security and Reliability – Always-on reliability and impenetrable security are givens today; nothing less will be accepted, which is why smart IT pros scrutinize every technology decision with these characteristics in mind.
- Creates a Center of Excellence – A service-defined enterprise provides IT in the way its users want to consume it. IT becomes an experience, and SLAs are used to spell out the expectations for that experience. The service-defined enterprise creates a center of excellence by dispensing with second-guessing; in doing so, it offers both business agility and velocity while continuing to provide security, availability and performance management.
About Logicalis US, Bob Hankins
Bob Hankins is the Vice President Data Center Solutions at Logicalis US. In this role, he is leading Logicalis’ overall storage and data strategy. Mr. Hankins joined Logicalis in 2004 as a result of the acquisition of Solution Technology Inc. where he was Director of IBM Storage Solutions. He brings over 25 years of experience in delivering Information Technology infrastructure solutions across a variety of storage and server platforms.
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration, data center & cloud hosting services, and managed services. Logicalis employs over 4,000 people worldwide.