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Change Your IT Role from Gatekeeper to Innovator – UPDATED

From the experts | Posted on May 16, 2014 by Joel Hoidas

Editors note: our virtualization expert Stephen Akuffo weighs in on the Virtual Space Race Study blog series – see his notes below.

Long gone are the days of a single server and a few machines. Today’s computing landscape has evolved to include cloud-based services, on-premise applications, and virtualized environments. As a result, you may find it increasingly difficult to manage these distributed environments, let alone find the time to dedicate to strategic planning or innovation.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that 70% of IT managers spend less than 25% of their week on strategic projects. So, how do you become less of a gatekeeper and more of a strategic partner?

Frank Rauch, VMware VP of America’s Partner Organization, continues, “Having an agile, efficient IT infrastructure is critical to businesses’ ability to compete, and quickly meet the needs of internal and external customers alike. As our joint customers explore increasing their IT agility through the use of technologies like mobile and cloud computing, Softchoice and VMware are the right choice, with robust solutions and a strong partnership, to support them.”

The key is making the most of your time and resources — with a standardized and centralized approach to IT infrastructure. Streamline your hardware and software. Get rid of disparate silos and outdated operating systems. Simplify the amount of applications that need to be managed.

This standardized approach allows your infrastructure to truly act as the backbone of your organization’s business strategy. So, whether your upcoming network deployment is relatively simple, or if you have a complex infrastructure upgrade, you can change the flow, agility and efficiency of information throughout your organization.

Top three standardization processes to consider

Infrastructure Consolidation
Tired of the cycle of endlessly purchasing and maintaining support for all of your aging platforms? Free up your resources by consolidating onto a common, modern platform. This process can help cut costs, speed time to market and increase your competitive edge.

Cloud Migration
As your business evolves, so must your IT infrastructure. It needs to offer speed and dexterity for faster delivery of new offerings and services. The most effective solution for your expanding infrastructure needs is the cloud. Cloud computing helps build an ecosystem that simplifies and standardizes an infrastructure, is more environmentally friendly, and is easily expandable.

Cloud Aggregation
Your entire organization can benefit from the cloud. Imagine being able to access leading cloud services through a single browser with the same password that it takes to log into your network. You’d be able to leverage new tools and roll out new applications in a breeze. Consider the positive impact this can have on your security, efficiency and bottom line.

Turning Standardization into Innovation

By integrating standardization into your infrastructure, you create an environment that makes a priority out of responding quickly to employee and customer needs as well as rolling out new processes faster. You shift from simply managing your infrastructure to mastering it, and ultimately, you change your role from gatekeeper to innovator.

Special commentary from Softchoice virtualization expert Stephen Akuffo

Standardization has been something of a holy grail in IT. Every time you hear about a single pane of glass, every time you hear about a unified platform, it’s just another way to say “I want this all to look and behave the same, no matter what I am doing. I want it to be standardized.” Now while the “single pane of glass” is something of a mythical concept that is nearly impossible to achieve, standardization is not out of our reach. As IT moves to adopt the cloud era, what is needed is a transparent, scalable platform that can expand or consume resources without having to be built into the silos that we have been trying to escape. Cloud computing can be a significant benefit to IT, but control has to be maintained. If IT cannot control which applications are permitted, and integrate that into their existing systems, they cannot maintain it. The business would be at the mercy of that software or workload somewhere outside the business that they have to manage separately. This requires infrastructure that is ready to leverage the innovations of the modern datacenter and a platform that can handle multiple pools of resources from different sources – as if they were one contiguous entity abstracting away the differences (like a hybrid cloud). And that is the real end game. That is beyond simple virtualization, and that is where IT has to go to remain relevant in this mobile cloud era. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Stephen directly or leave a comment below!

Learn More

For additional tips on creating a competitive edge, view Softchoice’s study entitled, “The Virtual Space Race: How IT with ‘The Right Stuff.”

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