We are all aware of the hype surrounding Big Data and it is indeed very much flavour of the month, but underlying the topic is a major issue that most IT decision makers are not yet aware of. Big Data generally provokes strong conversations about IT software and data management, but there is something else that should be considered – the nature of your IT infrastructure.
With the number of consumer devices proliferating at a rate of knots and everyone seemingly wanting to get their hands on the latest smartphone, tablet and laptop, the demands on a company’s infrastructure have grown substantially. So, in the panic that this has created within organisations and the cultural shift towards mobile working, there is a potentially challenging issue that IT decision makers are facing.
Afraid to be the bad guys and fun spoilers, IT decision makers have to literally work miracles to make their IT do more for less. There are many tricks of the trade that are employed by these under pressure individuals to fix things, especially when coping with the growing use of public and private cloud tools by the workforce.
It is now extremely common for employees to use consumer tools to assist them in the day to day operations such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Dropbox to name just a few, but these are crippling many IT setups.
So, with the problem established, the important point to raise is that by trying to employ quick fix solutions, IT professionals are often hampering rather than benefiting the organisation. The explanation – apologies for using and mixing my methaphors, but ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and that is very much the case here.
By trying to force square pegs into round holes by overloading an already struggling system with data, organisations are simply compounding future problems. What they should be thinking about instead is identifying and putting the case forward for a flexible IT infrastructure which can provide the stability to cope with current data requirements whilst also being able to future proof them.
I know what you are thinking at this point – ripping out the current system at a huge cost and putting in a monstrous system. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Instead, what you could think about is building a Converged Infrastructure which provides a platform built on flexibility, adaptability and agility. Built to fit current requirements, this is extremely cost effective and you would not be paying for anything more than you require now.
What a Converged Infrastructure can provide is quite significant. It is not simply an IT solution, it provides a new way of thinking about the way your company operates. It ensures that the IT team can now focus on what Big Data should be really all about – doing interesting things with Data. Suddenly IT can become involved and engaged in the conversations above about bringing in new technologies.
This is an attractive prospect for many IT decision makers as it provides renewed exuberance and enjoyment to their roles which then manifests itself in the quality of their work. A key point to mention here is that the companies that have made the transition are noting the benefits and are using them to get a head start on the opposition. I know it is a bit obvious to mention but companies like Red Bull racing can provide testament to this. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether the organisations are house hold names or smaller niche operators, the results are the same.
This piece is not meant to be a sales drive to get you to sign up to Converged Infrastructure (although it would be nice). Instead, it is to shed light on an issue which is troubling many organisations and CIOs at the moment. Many CIOs are waiting for their infrastructures to go into meltdown before addressing the challenges presented by Big Data. Instead, they should consider thinking about them now – it is can make a major difference to job satisfaction – firmly positioning CIOs as a proactive strategic role, which is where they should be!