NEW YORK, July 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For some time now, IT experts have lamented the problem of shadow IT where line-of-business users skirt internal IT departments, purchasing their own technology services outside of the enterprise. What many have missed, however, is the deeper – and much more complex – problem looming just below the surface. Business executives and line-of-business leadership have new consumer-like expectations for their corporate technology experience. To deliver on those expectations, IT needs to become a broker of technology services that drive business value, and the route to get to this service-defined enterprise model, according to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), starts with a software-defined data center.
"Today's CIO wants to be a business enabler, someone who line-of-business users know they can count on to deliver the technology services they need to do their jobs," says Kevin Gruneisen, Senior Director, Cloud and Data Center Solutions, Logicalis US. "Yet, research shows, when you ask corporate users why they purchased IT services on their own, most say comparable services just weren't available inside their organizations. It's not that IT doesn't want to provide fast turnarounds and user-friendly SLAs; the problem is the technology-centric approach corporations have taken to IT for decades. When IT can deliver technology services as easily as corporate technology users can purchase those services elsewhere, it will have created a service-defined, rather than a technology-defined, IT environment, and CIOs will have cemented their positions as business enablers in their organizations."
The question is how to get there. According to Logicalis, change begins with a deep understanding of the relationship between the service-defined enterprise (SDE) and the software-defined data center (SDDC), as well as the progression from technology-defined to service-defined thinking.
The service-defined enterprise (SDE) offers a blueprint for business and IT to work together to meet the organization's overall business objectives. A software-defined data center (SDDC) is a key element within a service-defined enterprise, and the result of a well-planned IT transformation journey in which all components of a data center – network, compute and storage – are virtualized to be able to provide the best security, availability, performance and change management at the lowest cost. Control of a SDDC is fully automated by software, meaning that hardware configuration is maintained through intelligent software systems, freeing IT to focus on working more closely with line-of-business customers.
Seven Steps from Technology-Defined to Service-Defined Thinking
- Admit there's a problem: Before you can make a change, you have to admit there's a problem. If corporate users are procuring technology services on their own, IT has lost control and shadow IT is taking root.
- Start thinking differently: To solve the problem, IT pros must embrace a new way of thinking – a shift from IT as a technology provider to IT as a services broker offering the best services possible to the business at the lowest cost.
- Standardize your hardware: You can't become a services broker overnight. Start by preparing the data center. Ask yourself: Is your environment virtualized? Can you standardize your compute and storage hardware? Is your data center automated and controlled via software? Then, lay out a roadmap to achieve those goals.
- Outsource what you can: IT doesn't have to do everything in house. In many cases, there are significant time and cost savings to be realized by selectively outsourcing common IT tasks such as the monitoring and management of your IT environment, freeing internal staff to focus on delivering technology services that resonate with the organization's users.
- Build repetitive processes: Once you have a virtualized data center, you can apply IT service management tools and ITIL best practices to: automate things liked incident, problem and change management; the development of a service catalog; dynamically update a configuration management database; and better align technology with the business' priorities and policies.
- Analyze performance and cost metrics: Now you're ready to make sense of the data gathered, analyzing the IT department's costs and capabilities to help it become an even stronger business partner to the organization.
- Become a partner to line-of-business users: By providing repetitive services on standardized equipment that's monitored and managed efficiently, you'll be able to develop realistic Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that meet – and often exceed – your users' needs and expectations.
Want to Learn More?
- Moving from component to cloud readiness is a journey; learn more in this short video, then examine Logicalis' blueprint for IT transformation here: http://ow.ly/OR06u.
- When they need technology services now, business users are finding ways around IT; to better meet the needs of today's corporate users, IT needs to shift to a service-defined experience thinking in terms of outcomes rather than technology: http://ow.ly/OR18h.
- Explore four key benefits of the software-defined data center: http://ow.ly/OR1xR.
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration, data center and cloud services, and managed services.
Logicalis employs over 4,000 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow on an international basis and has specialized solutions for enterprise and medium-sized companies in vertical markets covering financial services, telecommunications, media and technology, education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services helping customers benefit from cutting-edge technologies in a cost-effective way.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of approximately $6 billion.
For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.
Business and technology working as one
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Lisa Dreher, VP, Marketing & Business Development,
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SOURCE Logicalis US