Bringing IT up to business speed. Part 2: A new core

In the second in a series of three posts, James Tay, CEO Logicalis Asia looks at the first transformation IT departments must undertake if they are to acquire an accelerated capacity to respond to business needs – core technology transformation.

In the first post in this series, I explained how the consumerisation of IT is shaping a new kind of relationship between business and IT - and began to look at the transformational steps IT functions must take if they are to meet the new challenges it brings.

The first stage of transition is development of an agile and responsive core technology infrastructure: Data Centre, Network and Security.

The data centre must be able to deliver the right infrastructure for the right applications, and the right information and insight for the right users. It must also have the right policy and security controls for business security and compliance.

The network, meanwhile, must have the capability and control needed to support the ‘everywhere generation’ and deliver the standards of access, service and experience that business users take for granted from the public cloud.

Of course, security remains a commercial imperative. The new model core technology infrastructure must therefore deliver security and compliance, along with the resources the organisation demands, at the speed of business.

All that means a renewed focus on five key layers:

  • Infrastructure: Embracing converged platforms (platforms of stability) and hyper-converged platforms (platforms of change) will enable more efficient resource pooling and greater resource control.
  • Virtualisation: Releasing resources from being tied to particular physical devices will enable portability of services – and virtualisation technologies spanning compute, storage and networking improve service abstraction and resource control. The result is a 'software-defined data centre' (SDDC).
  • Automation: This encompasses cloud automation and datacentre automation. Cloud automation, for instance, will provide on premise and off premise self-service provisioning and lifecycle services for virtual systems and workloads.
  • Cloud Integration: This provides authentication and authorisation services for in-house Active Directory platforms to control user access to cloud services such as Office365, Salesforce etc. It also enables the integration of hybrid cloud (Softlayer, Cisco InterCloud, VMware Cloud etc.) with public cloud (Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure) services. Cloud automation platforms make the service definition and provisioning process simpler, more accurate and extremely low-touch.
  • Instrumentation: This delivers the visibility and control that is needed across the entire datacentre. The Instrumentation layer includes element managers for the core datacentre technologies. Analytics platforms provide log and KPI monitoring to watch out for anomalous patterns, proactively identifying potential issues, raising alerts and providing reports.

With these layers in place, the IT department will be perfectly positioned to support digital business innovation and respond immediately to changing demand.

They will be able to control their networks in real-time and finely tune the service available to users to match their specific needs, operate service and software defined platforms with considerably less manual intervention and, ultimately they will be better equipped to protect against new and changing security threats.

Part 3 - Cultural Change

Tags IT trends, CIO, Converged Infrastructure, converged infrastructure, Business Strategy, collaboration