Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 8, Number 1, 2014

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201 4 • SMART ENTERPRISE 11 T he moment of truth has arrived: The corporate IT department is no lon- ger in charge of the data and computing assets t h a t t h e i r c o m p a n i e s rely on to conduct business. The command and control philosophy that IT executives once relied upon to bring order and stabil- ity to the corporate data center is being disrupted at an unprecedented pace. To survive, IT leaders are having to adopt new technologies, computing models and work strategies to meet the demands being placed upon them by their business counterparts. Rather than controlling the technology landscape, IT needs to collaborate and build consensus with business units to bring about the rapid innovation that competitive markets demand. Numerous technology trends are driv- ing IT disruption with so-called shadow IT initiatives cropping up at a rapid rate: n Employees are bringing their own d e v i c e s t o w o r k , w i t h t h e e x p e c t - ation that they can access the same enterprise resources they have relied upon with their company-issued PCs. n Business groups are acquiring and managing their own technology assets such as mobile apps for employees and customers as well as cloud comp- uting ser vices that host the mobile a p p s t h a t r u n o n t h o s e d e v i c e s . n Big data analytics are also being spearheaded by business groups ranging from marketing and finance to sales and engineering. While business heads are deciding how analytic applications and cloud services are being used, the job of managing the big data stores is still under the purview of IT. All of these new initiatives are adding risk and increased processing demands to the corporate data center. IT manag- ers are responding with a number of key strategies that enable them to deploy compute resources more rapidly and cost effectively. These include the con- solidation of data centers and the use of private, public and hybrid cloud com- puting services. Cloud services come in many forms ranging from infrastructure as a service, which allows application developers and system administrators to run their apps in the cloud, to software as a service, which provides sales and marketing departments with the latest CRM and ERP capabilities. The benefits of cloud services lets companies expand and contract their computing workloads as business needs dictate. The new dynamic data center provides visibility into the entire enterprise whether the computing assets are in the data cen- ter, within the firewall or in a third-party environment. And many of the activities that were managed by IT personnel are being automated, freeing up technology experts to spend their time figuring out new ways that IT can better align itself with the needs of the business. IT's role is shifting away from manag- ing the infrastructure to providing high quality services based on key performance indicators, just as business units such as sales and manufacturing are judged. In addition, IT leaders will need to foster greater collaboration between technology teams managing data center resources to meet increasingly stringent and time- critical business demands. T h i s m e a n s I T d e p a r t m e n t s w i l l increasingly take on the role of system integrator. IT leaders can help business units make informed decisions about selecting cloud services, negotiating contracts, building a bridge between existing and new applications and business processes and helping mitigate the risks that new systems can place on the data center. IT departments and compute resources will need to offer greater availability and flexibility to meet the shifting work- loads. This means new architectures will come into play, creating abstraction layers between the hardware, operat- ing systems, databases, applications and busi- ness logic. This new architecture enables changes to be made to any component without impacting t h e p e r f o r m a n c e of other parts of the system. Co m p a n i e s w i l l continue to accelerate the rate at which they change, adapt and innovate. P r o v i d i n g a d y n a m i c data center and playing a c o n s u l t a t i v e r o l e vis à vis technology choices will ensure that the IT depart- m e n t c o n t i n u e s to be an essential source of expertise for the business. n MICHAEL MADDEN is General Manager, Mainframe at CA Technologies. Smart Data The Era of the Data Center Dynamic | By Michael Madden IMAGE: CA TECHNOLOGIES

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