IT’s new role: From supporting business to enabling it


In the 1990s, the founder of one of the world’s leading overnight shipping companies reportedly said, “We’re a technology company that just happens to ship boxes to pay for all our technology.”

In fact, his company pioneered such groundbreaking applications as customer web portals for tracking packages. Like many visionaries, he was ahead of his time in realizing that technology went much further than supporting his business: it enabled it.

More and more, that’s the case today, especially with modular, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure helping IT do the enabling.

Need for IT speed and agility while simplifying the data center

These days, IT must be turbo-charged and nimble to respond to the constant demands of departments and business units to adapt, update or otherwise tweak key apps to capitalize on new market conditions. Or they’re asking IT for new apps, so they can do their jobs better. Either way, they’re expecting these apps to be spun up with the speed of an App Store download.

That’s why IT speed and agility are vital to providing these groups and the larger enterprise with the time-to-value, responsiveness and competitive differentiation they need for success. Fortunately, server and app virtualization has made time-consuming, bare-metal app deployment models obsolete. And the trend in adopting a cloud-based model — whether private, public or hybrid — can further streamline virtualized app development and management.

Ultimately, cloud adoption is about simplifying the data center, while boosting IT’s ability to enable the business through improved service-level agreements, greater scalability and more flexibility.

Managing the “make-versus-buy” decision for cloud architectures

Cloud architectures can be a nebulous concept for a lot of businesses, especially SMBs. They’ve heard about cloud-this and cloud-that over the years, but what they really want is a practical answer to: “How can we deploy a well-defined, cloud-ready architecture that can better enable my business today, plus put me on a path forward to the future?”

Whether a business takes a DIY or buy approach depends on their needs, expertise and resources. Larger companies with IT staff know-how, time and big budgets could justify deploying a standards-based server architecture in their data center, adding a proven hypervisor layer and cloud software apps on top.

Alternatively, smaller companies could go to public cloud providers, as many are doing, or they can invest in a greatly simplified, converged or even hyper-converged infrastructure that can give them their path to the future. The latter consolidates compute, networking, storage, virtualization and applications in highly scalable yet compact, modular packages.

Simplifying IT to better enable the business — and accelerate success   

Take, for example, the VxRail appliance, a hyper-converged device jointly developed by EMC and VMware, both now part of Dell EMC. It offers an all-in-one, 2U rack appliance that comes preconfigured, pretested and preloaded with VMware’s vSphere hypervisor and Virtual SAN software along with EMC software. Setup takes literally 20 minutes. And independent research has shown it can deliver:

  • 71 percent more efficient data center management
  • Apps deployed 4.4x faster
  • 36 percent reduction in IT infrastructure and staff costs
  • 96 percent less downtime

If businesses lack the cloud expertise and resources to tackle a DIY approach, converged and hyperconverged IT solutions can immediately give them a turn-key, cloud-ready architecture that’s easy to use and manage today, yet as highly scalable as tomorrow’s needs might dictate.

This way, with IT tremendously simplified, staff members can focus on more strategic, value-adding ends — ways they can enable the business, not just support it.


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