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CIO’s Dilemma – Managing Enterprise Technology (Part 1)

There is an interesting trend evolving in the world of IT planning and management, where CIO’s and CTOs are realizing the implications of an agile infrastructure. An infrastructure that is driven not by a strictly defined IT architecture, but rather by the ever-changing needs of the business.

Over the past few years, the role of IT in supporting business has changed dramatically. The focus shifted from traditional on-premises compute to the idea that by being agile, IT could more quickly adapt to business needs. True enough – this happened, but the implications were profound. As an example.

  • Cloud workloads are now mainstream. Not all workloads, but most new development is cloud ready, container based and most enterprises now support multi-cloud environments. This requires new tools, management processes and policies for those workloads.
  • On premises workloads continue to expand – but often of a different type. These might be mission critical, require high availability or extreme low latency, or are workloads so tightly integrated (or data constrained) that they need to remain in a traditional data center.
  • Customer intimacy, especially in retail, is driving IT to move some workloads closer to the customer to reduce that latency and improve the overall customer experience – often to the benefit of brand awareness and corporate reputation.
  • Edge is an option for site specific workloads (e.g. manufacturing), or a means of pushing specific workloads to remote sites to support a distributed business, or in some cases to support data location, sovereignty or regional privacy requirements.
  • Work from anywhere – the COVID effect. Enterprises pivoted to a flexible work model during COVID and the implications to endpoint allocation, network access and application and cloud service provisioning are still being felt.

But the real problem is not the complexity of this new world or which ITSM or ITAM or ITOM or DCIM or CMBD tool to use, but rather how to take a higher level, integrated view of it all. How to ensure that the data is accurate and current. And how to introduce automated and continuously optimized processes that get through and leverage multiple technology silo’s.

There are many approaches to consider, including the use of platforms, but it comes down to how drive and automate processes that yield greater efficiencies for the business and organization.

My question to you as an IT leader is - think about a process that touches multiple IT domains, staff, and tools. Where and how is that process documented and improved upon? What efficiencies can be achieved by automating the process and how it further supports business needs? What is the impact to the business if the process falls short of keeping up with changes to the key personnel, underlying requirements, or technology changes?

David J. Cappuccio was formerly a VP, Distinguished Analyst and Chief of Research for the Infrastructure teams at Gartner where he spearheaded research in enterprise data center, cloud and hybrid strategies. His experience extends decades in the technology arena, including financial services, IT operations, and management consulting. He currently serves as an independent consultant and advisory board member.

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