Flexible IT infrastructure in a dynamic world
By Natasha Kwan February 18, 2014
- With new challenges, CIOs need to make better use of IT team’s time and budgets
- MNCs in Asia are looking at ‘Dynamic Services’ or ICT infrastructure ‘on demand’
MODERN enterprise IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly complicated. The need to factor in the capacity to deal with trends such as digitalisation, virtualisation, big data and mobility require increased diversity, platforms, functionality and compatibility.
With this increasing complexity, comes increased expense. According to Gartner’s IT spending forecast, worldwide IT spend is set to increase by another 3.1% in 2014 to reach a total of US$3.8 trillion.
Integrated solutions offer enterprises a way to centrally manage corporate processes. SAP models, for example, encompass everything from financials through to human capital and operations management.
However, many organisations find that managing such advanced IT infrastructure is a strain on resources. The costs involved include not only the initial software expense, but also ongoing hardware purchases and maintenance, management time, licensing, and possible cloud deployment.
Additionally, some organisations find traditional SAP models restrictive as they prevent businesses from responding to new, often fluctuating, market demands because of scalability limitations in their SAP infrastructure.
Faced with these challenges, over-burdened CIOs (chief information officers) are looking for ways to simplify IT management.
In an age where IT departments are increasingly being called upon by management to drive the business and further enable the enterprise to focus on its core competencies, it stands to reason that CIOs need to make better use of the IT team’s time and budgets.
This can be done by collaborating with an experienced partner to manage an integrated IT infrastructure in an approach that meets the demands of trends, such as big data, mobility and virtualisation, whilst delivering a service that is flexible and scalable to fluctuating market requirements.
The concept of ‘Dynamic Services’ or ICT infrastructure ‘on demand’, which has been popular in Europe for a decade, has already been implemented by pioneering major multinationals in Asia.
There are three key factors that are compelling the region’s multinationals to take a collaborative approach to maintaining IT infrastructure, by implementing Dynamic Services rather than resorting to conventional inhouse ICT infrastructures.
Improved operational efficiency
Outsourcing ICT infrastructure can aid CIOs in many ways. With a new, scalable infrastructure in place, organisations will be able to respond to business requirements, empowering new, KPI-driven (key performance indicator) ICT.
Unlimited access to on-demand cloud storage, rather than pre-determined ‘fixed’ capacity, allows enterprises to scale the infrastructure according to market-centric conditions, rather than contend with pre-determined estimates.
Further, operational efficiency is increased as the cloud gives IT departments the opportunity to deliver pioneering virtualised future workspace models that are efficient and secure, with faster deployment of applications across multiple geographies.
Such secure, virtual cloud space allows for full mobile access, for example, and seamless, efficient, communication for employees to collaborate, regardless of the location.
Additionally, day-to-day administrative tasks as basic as reducing the number of vendors that IT departments have to deal with, are addressed by Dynamic Services – all contributing to a more efficient IT operation.
Minimise inhouse admin
Corporate ICT can demand massive resources. A recent study by the Data Management Institute shows that administration accounts for a staggering 80% of total storage cost, with just 20% for the actual hardware.
By implementing Dynamic Services and migrating IT infrastructure to a privately managed cloud, inhouse administrative processes and operations are streamlined. Valuable IT team resources are therefore freed up from the tedious, yet critical, day-to-day tasks, which enables IT to prioritise higher value work, which can drive forward the core business.
Finally, the cost benefits of outsourcing ICT infrastructure processes to a Dynamic Services model means that functions across all inhouse ICT applications, platforms and locations are simplified. This lowers the management time required in day-to-day IT operations, thereby reducing cost.
Dynamic Services privately managed cloud enables organisations to reduce licensing costs by only paying for what is being utilised. In a market where cloud licensing costs could increase exponentially as a company grows, the flexibility to scale according to business requirements can lead to significant cost savings for enterprises.
Natasha Kwan is managing director for T-Systems in Asia South. T-Systems operates ICT systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions.
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