Rapid change is the new constant with today’s Enterprises. There is a continuous shift in the technology landscape and the demands of the customers coupled with Enterprises wanting to stay competitive. This changing, fluid environment results in concurrent changes with IT infrastructure. Enterprises today are turning to IT Operations Management to bring order to this complex situation.

The Paradigm Shift in Enterprise IT

Technology is central to the ability of the Enterprise to respond to changes in the market and its customers and to execute its business plans. Today’s IT leaders are responsible for more than overseeing technology breakthroughs but are also integral to advising chief executives about the organization’s business strategy. Similarly, this has also meant that traditionally non-IT departments are also getting more involved in decisions that were earlier the purview of IT – for e.g. Choices regarding edge devices, cloud services and even security policies and plans. It’s clear that several factors are at work in making the IT infrastructure ever more complex and unmanageable.

The Infrastructure has to ramp up and scale back as demand fluctuates. Enterprises are themselves becoming more complex and the IT infrastructure has to evolve to keep pace. Significant technology shifts also necessitate small as well as large-scale changes in the IT infrastructure of the enterprise on a regular basis.

The role of the IT department and the IT infrastructure of the Enterprise is to:

  • Help the Enterprise to execute to plan
  • Maximize the value delivered by the IT infrastructure
  • Proactively identify and ensure a smooth shift to the most appropriate, next technology paradigm
  • Eliminate or manage risks associated with the expanded importance of the IT infrastructure

In achieving these goals, the IT infrastructure has to face several complex challenges, some internal to the Enterprise and others within the ecosystem the Enterprise operates in.

Which Internal Challenges do Enterprises face?

Budgets: Budgets are under pressure. The challenge for the IT department is to deliver more with the same amount of investment – essentially utilize the available budgets more efficiently.

Multi-locational / Distributed workforce: Enterprises are located across multiple geographies and teams are more spread out. To add to this, trends like telecommuting and remote teams are adding complexity. A Forrester Report had predicted that by 2016, 43% of the US workforce, 63 Million people, would be telecommuting. Further complexity is introduced by the growing number of freelancers or temporary workers, estimated at 60 million people by 2020 in an Intuit study. The IT infrastructure has to cater to the connectivity needs of the distributed workforce and also support them remotely.

BYOD: A Gartner report, “Bring your own device: The facts and the future”, projected that by 2017, 50% of employers would require that employees get their own devices for work.

Juniper Research estimates that by 2018 over 1 Billion devices would be used in BYOD mode. The emergence of tablets has further complicated the scenario by blurring the lines between traditional definitions of compute and mobile devices. A multiplicity of devices means added complexity in terms of integration needs, software compatibility, license issues and non-standard infrastructure elements.

Which External Challenges do Enterprises face?

Technology Shifts: There are several technology-driven trends that are impacting Enterprise IT – Cloud computing is no longer just a trend but has become a core part of the Enterprise IT strategy. The way Enterprises leverage the Cloud is evolving from the Public Cloud to the Private Cloud and to a more Hybrid version today. The need to leverage Big Data and Analytics is making greater demands on the data storage and network infrastructure of the Enterprise. A greater reliance on Apps and sensors on data gathering and reporting mean the IT infrastructure has to be more mobile friendly. These technologies develop rapidly and present a moving target for the IT department to assess and address with speed and efficiency.

Security: In June 2015 UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, reported in its “Information Security Breaches Survey” that 90% of large organizations and as many as 74% of small organizations had suffered a data breach in 2014. The IT Infrastructure has to evolve to ensure the security and integrity of the data, both at rest and while in motion over the network.

Compliance: Compliance has become more onerous for Enterprises. The regulatory landscape is complex and dynamic and the degree of difficulty is even higher for Enterprises located across geographies.

Enterprises need to hold themselves to very high standards of governance and these further increases the compliance burden as internal reporting and policy mechanisms get tightened. The need to give the Board transparent, real-time visibility into the operations of the whole Enterprise imposes a greater burden on all the IT systems. Data collection, filtering, analysis, reporting and dashboard creation becomes a core need and hence a significant challenge for the IT infrastructure.

Where does the answer lie?

IT departments in the Enterprise are faced with a double challenge – a more central and strategic role with a greater hand in the success as well as the failure of the Enterprise combined with a greater complexity in the IT operations. In this situation, they are turning to IT Operations Management to bring some order to this chaos. ITOM’s focus is on managing the overall IT infrastructure that forms the backbone for service delivery. In the context of the typical Enterprise today, this may include the networking infrastructure, the wide area and edge device connectivity, the data storage infrastructure, the applications and even the IT services delivered to the Enterprise. Enterprises are turning to ITOM software solutions to leverage their IT investments more efficiently and to address ongoing changes more easily. ITOM software can help to automate the processes associated with infrastructure provisioning, capacity utilization, performance management and ongoing maintenance of all the elements of the IT infrastructure.

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Sheetal 200X203

Today’s blog post is penned by Sheetal who is Director, Digital and Content Marketing at Alcor Solutions Inc.

Alcor Solutions Inc. is a global cloud advisory and implementation services company serving clients in multiple    geographies. They are passionate about their thought leadership and believe that successful technology implementations result equally from good business acumen and technology excellence. Their consulting team is derived from a combination of experts in Business strategy, Cloud Technology and Organizational Change Management.

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