By John Foster, Vice President, Business Development, Systems, Asia Pacific
Key industry trends like cloud, mobility, big data, and the need to be “always on” are putting data center infrastructures under incredible pressure. With increasingly competitive marketplaces coupled with the ever-present need to contain costs, trying to meet the technology demands of modern business with applications running on aging hardware is a ticking time bomb that has to be defused.
Squeezing additional value from existing assets is not a viable long-term option. Server consolidation and virtualization that takes some of the heat off overcrowded server rooms is a quick fix that fails to address the root of the problem. Capacity rapidly fills up, and reductions in energy costs and space requirements are short term.
The most successful IT organizations have a broader vision to eliminate complexity and simplify IT with more efficient technologies and processes by investing in the development of innovative services that drive future business growth. Refreshing older servers and storage with faster, more efficient systems that have been engineered to accommodate these new technology trends delivers performance improvements, productivity gains, and cost reductions from improved ease of management and energy and space savings.
Modern hardware does much more than previous generations, not just by sheer horsepower, but by doing things smarter. New, integrated solutions that feature servers, storage, networking, and software that are engineered together can support greater workloads and take advantage of built-in compression technologies and intelligence to automate key activities, like database tuning in storage.
Most importantly, successful organizations recognize that modernizing IT can provide competitive advantages. Driving innovation is very difficult when running a business on older hardware because IT departments may be reluctant to embrace big data, business intelligence, or mobility projects where the architecture can’t handle new demands.
There are other consequences of failing to upgrade legacy systems. If you look at cloud, running old architectures makes it difficult to deliver the hybrid models that so many organizations are looking to introduce. Many enterprises and government departments are solving modern business challenges by moving to a hybrid cloud model. This might mean storing heavily regulated data in an internal data center, but shifting other workloads, such as application development, onto hardware provided by a third-party cloud provider.
In a recent survey of 590 CIOs and IT directors, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Micro Focus, 51 percent admitted that their organization was exposed to compliance and risk issues. This was largely because they found it difficult to justify the expense of continually updating core applications.
A desire to stay with legacy systems and do things the way they’ve always been done is only natural. Yet this short-term view is damaging to business. New, more powerful hardware that combines server, storage, computer, and networking technologies designed to work together provides a platform to truly transform business operations.
Regardless of whether an organization is public or private sector, a migration strategy must focus on the desired outcomes rather than the technical details of moving from legacy internal systems to hybrid architecture. When making such a significant change to operations they must look to include innovation where possible and avoid letting the need to cut costs control the outcome. Focusing solely on cost will fail to generate the advantages that such a transformative project should deliver.