Tips for implementing a converged infrastructure

CIOs will find themselves at an interesting crossroads this year as their organizations struggle to become Digital-Enabled Enterprises, businesses that embrace technology and services to improve the customer experience.

This kind of change is pervasive. It is much more than simply acknowledging the importance of cloud, analytics, mobile and social strategies to the organization; in effect, it is a transformation that will lead many companies to truly leverage data as an asset, to integrate with the world around them in real time, and to explore new models of doing business made possible only through the maturation of the organization’s digital capabilities.

According to Logicalis US, CIOs who aren’t ready will be left behind. Smart IT pros who want to cement their value within the organization of tomorrow have already begun preparing their IT infrastructure to handle the experiential demands that will soon be coming their way. For those at the beginning of this curve, implementing a converged infrastructure strategy is a solid first step.

Five principles for implementing a converged infrastructure

By taking things one step at a time, CIOs can begin today to prepare their IT infrastructure for tomorrow’s digital economy. Keeping in mind the goal of becoming a broker of IT services to users who are looking for a consumer-like experience in the way their at-work IT performs, IT professionals can plan a strategy that relies on as-a-service options in the cloud to create a new kind of relationship between the organization and its IT staff.

The first step along that journey is to invest in a converged infrastructure (CI). To help, the CI experts at Logicalis have identified five important principles to get any organization’s CI movement off the ground.

1. Put a plan in place

As cloud computing makes its way to the top of CIOs’ priority lists, a well-implemented virtualization plan can be the key to success. Virtualization can lead to a truly converged infrastructure that is more efficient, adaptable to changing business requirements, and easier to maintain and support.

Unfortunately, a surprising number of enterprise IT departments don’t have a plan in place that clearly defines the goal for their virtualized IT environment or any next steps beyond virtualization. They need a blueprint for IT transformation, a step-by-step guide that helps them determine where they are as well as where they’re headed.

2. Centralize management tasks

The speed and agility made possible by deploying a converged infrastructure that is designed to meet the needs of specific applications allows IT to focus on the business rather than trying to source individual best-of-breed components while managing this infrastructure from a single pane of glass.

Therefore, a converged infrastructure is more than a preconfigured resource; it requires – and makes possible – a centralized management framework.

3. Establish a starting point

CIOs have always known CI offers a myriad of technical and business advantages; what’s changing is how CI is being used – and these new implementations can quite literally spell relief for CIOs’ shadow IT woes by answering the need for better, faster delivery of technology services.

Targeting converged infrastructures to run mission-critical applications and workloads like VDI or mobility is a perfect example: The organization gets the benefits of a converged infrastructure where they’re needed most, and the CIO establishes a starting point with a high-performing working model that can be extended incrementally throughout the organization as time and resources allow.

4. Don’t get stalled between CI and the cloud

Enterprise organizations are clearly taking the steps needed to become virtualized, and many already have a solid converged infrastructure foundation in place.

The problem is, they’ve stalled there; they’ve stopped just short of implementing a cloud strategy that can give them the kinds of IT efficiencies they wanted when they started the virtualization process.

5. Embrace the service provider model

Servers, storage, networks, applications and management – all the technologies the enterprise uses today – have evolved to the point where they can be converged into a single entity. In effect, the capabilities that a converged infrastructure makes possible can turn a corporate IT department into a service provider rather than a cost center, though each organization is in a different stage of its IT transformation journey.

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