March 09, 2022
One of the regular conversations I’ve been having in CIO roundtables recently is about the shift in IT from an operations center role focused on better business efficiency, to a role of an agile innovation engine that provides a platform for growth and change. There is immense investment in new technologies, with IDC seeing over $68 trillion of direct investment in digital transformation globally between 2020 and 2025.
Many of these IT leaders are telling me that they want to change how they build and run their own IT in a way that’s guided by their experience of the features and scalability of public cloud. They have been trapped by the inflexibility of building individually optimized IT infrastructure systems targeted at specific applications. Instead, their goal is to have a much more programmable and scalable platform approach that is far better suited to deploying applications and services that may change dramatically over time.
The companies that are realizing the most success in this shift are those that embrace a digital first approach. This approach places apps and data front and center in product development, sales, operations and support. Digital first enables IT to reach new levels of expectations and deliver real-time services at scale and with high quality, 24/7. The approach also strikes the right balance by prioritizing external market needs as well as internal requirements.
These new capabilities for IT are urgently needed – especially for midsized companies where requirements have risen to levels similar to the demanding requirements seen in most large enterprises. The implication for storage systems for midsized companies is that scaled down performance, features and functionality sets are being replaced by midrange storage systems with high end characteristics.
This means building on a single unified architecture with common features and management, but that is optimized to the midmarket’s requirements for capacity, price and performance requirements. A proven architecture with five-9’s availability out of the box. A flexible architecture that is NVMe flash centric, but that can also seamlessly incorporate flash SSDs and hard disk drives for a hybrid approach to optimize cost where needed. Today’s state of the art is a data-driven architecture designed to be intelligently managed with AI-based predictive analytics.
This story is the first in a four-part series by IDC on the digital-first approach to IT.
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