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November 28, 2012

The CIO Mandate: Optimize

Posted by Chandra Shekar Kakal (View Profile | View All Posts) at 4:49 AM

Let's me begin, once again, with a client tale or two. 

Harley-Davidson contracted Infosys, in a 5-year agreement, for management of over 1,400 business applications, end to end infrastructure management and data center to network to help-desk. We have been engaged to optimize their local services delivery center in Milwaukee, also connected to their worldwide network, to ensure the center delivers elastic computing capability. Then, there's a class I American railroad company that we're helping by moving their datacenter operations to a private Cloud. Just consider this large building with hundreds of servers, routers, networks and cooling units now packed into a few boxes all set to go on a Cloud. We'll take charge of the management of their legacy applications with no disruption in business continuity. Once installed, the new setup will bring down costs for the enterprise by almost 50%. Yet another case, is that of Ricoh in Europe. We helped them move their entire infrastructure to a private Cloud. This move rendered redundant over 1000 servers! Ricoh was awarded the prestigious Green IT Award 2012 in the 'Best Cloud/virtualization project of the year' category.

Focus on IT infrastructure, and how CIOs are seeking to gain additional leverage from investments already made, is gaining momentum. With infrastructure hogging a significant bulk of their budgets, it's almost inevitable that CIOs must look to optimize this investment for greater scalability, flexibility and sustainability. Analysts believe, very soon, 3 out of 5 data centers will be less than half their current size, and yet process 300% larger workloads than they conventionally did. With the Cloud taking a giant leap in recent years, the possibilities for infrastructure optimization are only limited by the technology organization's data center strategy and road map, or the lack of it.

I am talking about the operational complexities of data hosted partly on-premises and in parts on private and public Clouds. Consolidating this distributed data - from a highly fragmented and hybrid environment - into a center is no small challenge. Then, there are the hurdles of data generated by a remote global workforce using personal devices for work. CIOs must support the security and assurance needs of this business-critical data as well. Given that this is the picture today, I'm not surprised that enterprises are expected to invest close to US$ 46 billion, in 2012 alone, in data center outsourcing, as estimated by analysts.

Nor am I surprised to see CIOs carefully investigating the track records of innovative partners, with new-wave thinking, and demanding to see solid evidences of the fruitfulness of their innovations and investments. I wouldn't do it any differently.

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