With ever-increasing costs of power, space, storage and compliance with regulatory requirements, businesses are increasingly looking for alternative, more cost effective ways to manage and future-proof their IT infrastructure.
One of the key ways they can do this, is with online services that transform business from a world in which essential functions are locked into designated devices and locations, to one in which services are dynamically optimised according to business conditions and requirements.
The outcome is greater business agility. Service provision can be directly aligned on fluctuating business need with the platform decoupled from application investment cycles. This results in faster adoption of new functionality needed for business efficiency.
Businesses also want to achieve operational simplicity, and are seeking to reduce the financial and administrative burdens of running their own data centres.
Enterprise IT leaders will embrace converged and integrated infrastructure
A recent IDC Report on Unified Infrastructure and Cloud Management, predicts that enterprise IT leaders will embrace converged and integrated infrastructure, private and public cloud, and unified cloud and infrastructure management strategies that enable policy-based automation, orchestration and self-service.
Many IT organisations are planning to transition to self-service cloud and IT-as-a-service architectures. According to the report, current and planned cloud users expect that 15% of their IT budget will be spent on outsourcing or hosted IT solutions by 2020, while 26% will be allocated to traditional in-house IT. The remainder is expected to be divided across a range of private and public cloud solutions.
Converged systems are therefore becoming mainstream. They enable a system to run basic functions autonomously via programmed algorithms and present rich APIs that can be leveraged by higher-level systems and application management software and directly by end-user self-service portals.
Among early adopters, IT organisations are increasingly deploying mission-critical tier 1 applications and using converged systems to reduce downtime, increase cost savings, and improve resource utilisation in support of both existing applications and next-generation private cloud initiatives.
According to IDC, early users report that use of these systems is delivering significant benefits, including more than 30% improvement in infrastructure provisioning times, 32% less downtime, 29% improvement in IT staff productivity, and 29% faster time to market.
Businesses are shifting from delivering systems of record to delivering systems of engagement. Customers engage directly with the business, and these systems must be responsive as customers and market forces change.
For enterprise and public sector IT, easy and efficient scalability is key. For example, if a company is launching a new product and anticipates an initial period of peak demand, the ability to boost storage and processing for the duration of the project, ensures that they only pay for the capacity they need, only when they need it.
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