Bringing Business Agility through Data Center Modernization

By Rajesh Kumar, VP & Head Technology Transition, EXL Service

Rajesh is a team oriented manager with capabilities to bring any task closer within stringent timelines and perfection. His domain expertise and cross domain knowledge uniquely sets a perfect blend of Project Management and Technology Solution.

We are living in an interesting era of dramatic changes as technologies  are  evolving at  an  exponential  speed. Cloud, Robotics, Machinelearning, Cognitive, IoT, Digital and Data driven solutions are becoming more mainstream, and competition for technology as well as solutions is growing. The evolution of digital technology presents opportunities and threats for all businesses.  Companies have always relied on technology to innovate, contribute to growth, and improve productivity and so on. We’ve seen an explosion of technologies such as mobile and social media and big data which in turn is creating huge new opportunities. End customers are increasingly willing to  buy  goods  and  services through digital channels.

"Data center modernization is a requirement driven by needs of agility and innovation in the business"

As all organizations explore new channels and use  them as vehicle for opportunities for growth, there’s a good chance that data center modernization or  IT Transformation is in an area of focus for many of them. According to a recent IDC report, about one third of companies are placing it as a priority in their growth plans. Data center modernization is a requirement driven by needs of agility and innovation in the business. Understanding these imperatives  and principles behind them will help IT to enable an agile, services-based infrastructure that gives the  department a new value for the modern business Rajesh Kumar  Most  companies can make a  case for  datacenter modernization, especially in the face of a work landscape that’s constantly in flux - shifting to accommodate new millennial consumer demands as well as the need to stay competitive. It is critical that not only IT teams but businesses as well gain an understanding of the overall benefits of data center modernization to determine if it is a worth while investment. In many cases the modernization of the data center facilities could be the strategic move in case a company is poised for significant growth, to leverage that success.

To start with, it is imperative that everyone, including Business and IT, should be on the same page when discussing data center modernization. The term data center modernization is clear cut, but what it means today is different than what it meant a few years ago -  or even a year ago. One of the definition, as per EDQ website “Data center modernization is the organizational decision to restructure how data is captured and stored within a company based on organizational needs, economic trends and new technologies available”.

As Gartner, Inc. so aptly points out, data center optimization will mean different things to different people, depending upon their roles in the company. The perspectives among CIOs, IT leaders and technical professionals are among the top distinctions to make.

When analyzing various opportunities for data center modernization or consolidation, at least four areas should be considered. Many companies immediately think of data applications and mobility as prime considerations. However, security and reliability should also be a top consideration.

Business Data Applications

Big data has been a part of the conversation about business growth for more than a decade, but the pace has been accelerating in recent years. With the promise that the use of data brings for technological innovations, sales (i.e. consumer data) and other business services, IT departments are pressured to stay ahead or at least to keep up the demand.

As a result, IT team’s may consider modernization as a way of meeting that demand, maintaining agility and providing speed. This area could be among the important reasons to modernize - it could be the key to staying competitive.

Increased Mobility

With data center modernization, you open your team up to more opportunities for collaboration - no matter where they are. Many companies who have embraced modernization have reported increased productivity as a result of employees being able to work and collaborate remotely, access and complete documents, and perform other work functions without the need to be in the office.

When considering this as a priority, it’s important to outline the potential gains in productivity and savings in labor, server, storage and network infrastructure.

Reliability and Security
Besides the more obvious risks of downtime resulting from aging infrastructure, companies are turning to modernization to provide additional security for data centers. Data center modernization that includes a cloud solution can act as a backup for data that is lost because of damaged or compromised equipment. Modern data centers can also lead to improved reliability and connectivity.

A mind set which has Cybersecurity at core will be the key to enhance your capabilities. There are more emerging threats than organizations can currently control, exemplifying that the underlying IT infrastructure is ill-equipped to meet the new machine age.

With any modernization project, make sure your team is ready to make the commitment to study the impact, including savings and potential for growth while assessing any potential setbacks and budget limitations.

Technology has moved from the back office to the front office in nearly every aspect of business operations, driven by what IDC calls the 3rd Platform of computation with mobile, social business, cloud, and big data analytics as the pillars.

Biggest challenge of Data Center Modernization initiative is that organizations need to take an end-to-end view, ensuring that customers receive a complete experience from the service and that all functions are working together. Perhaps what is challenging for organizations is to operate in a joined - up and end-to-end way. Many organizations are siloed around different functions or geographies. But today’s digital customers expect a fully consistent and joined-up experience. And that requires companies to think quite differently about the way they organize, their govern structures, and their standards for data and systems.

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