IT is in flux. No longer an ancillary support department, it has become integral to the success of organizations everywhere. But ironically, the technology used by IT can also be its worst enemy. It's not an exaggeration to say IT's identity is in crisis as it tries to keep pace with the onrush of an emerging infrastructure of mobile devices and applications, along with social networking and the challenge and opportunity of big-data and analytics.
This was the core message of the first two presentations in the new 7 Days of Executive Education series on expert integrated systems that will run on Internet Evolution throughout this month.
"IT has to make a dramatic improvement in the efficiency of operations," Richard L. Villars, vice president for information and cloud at IDC, said in his presentation on the state of IT and the need for better systems.
For IT to become agile in responding to business needs, it will require a new platform for growth and innovation, Villars said. Clouds, enabled by virtualization and supporting mobile broadband and applications, are moving into the enterprise space formerly occupied by mainframes and terminals, then a "generation" after by client/server networks. This "third platform" will support high-value vertically focused solutions for all kinds of enterprises.
However, the shift will not happen without IT boosting progress by adopting converged systems and networked storage, which provides efficient replication of virtual machines, applications, and data.
Just as importantly, IT can't move ahead without automated provisioning and intelligent data management. That is where expert integrated systems come in.
"Even with cloud computing, you often have to worry about how to physically implement some of these things," said Ali Shadman, senior vice president of global upgrades and business cloud at Infor, an enterprise software developer and an IBM ISV.
The challenges IT faces
Since IT is under increasing and relentless pressure to cut costs, as well as to accommodate greater and more complex workloads that need to work under unpredictable conditions, systems like IBM's new PureSystems series contain integrated compute, storage, networking, virtualization, and management hardware and software, accompanied by downloadable packages of "patterns" for configuring these resources.
The 7 Days of Executive Education series will expand on the topic of expert integrated systems, explaining how they work, what they cost, and how they change traditional IT roles and procedures. Class resumes on June 12 with a lecture on Understanding Built-in Expertise & Patterns in expert integrated systems.
— Mary Jander , Managing Editor, Internet Evolution