Does this sound like you?You have a 25-year-old datacenter. Every three days something goes wrong and you have a minor crisis on your hands. Everyone pitches in to patch things up. It’s like your car when it starts to age, the fuel pump goes, then the carburetor.
You just had 16 hours of downtime. And, it wasn't scheduled downtime. Everyone was calling, the boss was upset, costs escalated. When we say, "costs escalated," we refer to a study that said datacenter downtime costs businesses an average of $7,900 per minute. Yes, PER MINUTE! Legal was in your face, as were sales and marketing. It wasn't a fun 16 hours.
You were frazzled, dazzled, and hassled. Does the word "crisis" sound familiar? How about the phrase, Gerry rig? Or, patchwork? Don’t you hate the thought that you have things glued together? Don't you just know it's going to happen again?
You lost your focus. You can't concentrate on personnel matters, projects, or customers because you're overwhelmed with an aging system and an unhealthy infrastructure. You've taken to prayer to help you cope.
If that sounds like you, it's time for some transformation.
Today's companies are becoming more and more information-enabled. Google, Amazon and Facebook, to name just three, are using data driven processes to stay competitive. They use data to create new products and services. This means they must have the computing power – the networks and storage, for instance – to achieve the scale, agility, and efficiency needed to compete. Some writers predict the need to be ten times the IT capacity they now have. And, they need to have the capacity always on hand. They need to have confidence in their systems. For that they must transform.
When companies transform to a hyperscale infrastructure, for instance, they find they can compete at lower operating cost and better performance. They find they have more agility as a result of moving away from legacy IT infrastructures. They find they can transform old systems into business assets that help their companies generate revenues quickly. IT becomes a catalyst, not just a support function. Companies move with speed to respond to user needs while gathering data and learning while adopting and innovating.
Transformation means businesses depend on developers to build products and services that drive enterprise-wide innovation. It means technology is business. To become this, companies must invest in technology or the developers who make it all work and companies will fail in the new marketplace.
Consumers accept technological change and adapt to it quickly, seeing innovation as a right rather than a privilege. Too often, however, companies change much more slowly. Few have evolved enough to accommodate their own digital transformations.
What does transformation bring? It brings efficiency, modularity, and programmability. Those who transform well free up computing, storage and network resources for optimal use. They virtualize their functionality and disaggregate them from specific workloads and large network components such as servers.
Transformation also brings flexibility and scale. Many datacenter operators are forced to architect and oversubscribe their networks to meet demand they have forecast well in advance of actual demand. If they transform, they can manage and match available resources and capacity with application, host, and workload requirements in a vastly more scalable manner than in traditional datacenters.
Popular singer and songwriter, as well as Nobel Laureate, Bob Dylan, said, "He who is not busy being born is busy dying." It’s true; the only constant is change. The only constant is transformation. We are not the same people we were ten years ago. Our companies are not the same companies they were ten years ago. We must transform or face a static and dead future.