Merging Board Room Visions With Storage Innovation
IT pros are experiencing a unique turning point in the industry; with an expanding climate of innovation among storage, data insights, virtualization and security, back-end technology and business leadership have become closely entwined. To adapt to this shift, IT administrators must avoid getting caught up in the technical needs of their data center environments and proactively consider the potential every component might have on the business as a whole. Gartner analysts Jeff Brooks and Robert Naegle highlighted this feature-benefit divide in a session at last year’s Gartner Data Center Conference Summit, likening the process to a situation where engineers have created a multi-functional drill, and yet the buyer is only concerned with its end result – the utility and convenience of having a hole in the wall when they need it.
So, how can IT pros map the features and functions of products and technology to the needs and benefits that matter most to business? The key is to reverse their creative process. Rather than embarking on a project with its functionalities in mind, teams should identify the goals and objectives that drive an organization and consider what IT can do to simplify those efforts. Pros can then use this data as a guide to build technologies that will directly serve strategic business objectives. For example, if a business has a goal to reduce its storage costs, the ability to map out dormant data provides the insight needed to then move cold data to cheaper tiers of storage, cutting unnecessary spending in the company’s IT budget. Meanwhile, to support improved security through data governance, a business can seek out solutions that highlight personally identifiable information (PII) or financial data in less-than-secure locations within the company’s user network. This knowledge helps IT pros protect sensitive information, safeguarding the organization and its workers from data breaches and potential security risks.
Brooks and Naegle polled the audience during their session, and the survey revealed that that 38 percent of IT administrators admit that their infrastructure and operations (I&O) metrics are not integrated with their business goals. Thirty-five percent claimed minimal alignment, and only 1 percent was able to boast a full integration between the two. This data shows an incredible opportunity for any IT pro. Businesses are ready to recognize the full impact and benefits of the technology they use on the success of their businesses – in some cases, they just need it mapped out for them to get started.
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