Story image

Modernise your IT Infrastructure in five steps - Gartner

08 Dec 2017

IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders frequently start their bimodal IT infrastructure modernisation efforts backwards, by spending on new — usually Mode 2 — technology and talent before properly assessing, rationalising and simplifying their existing assets and systems, which are often in Mode 1.

“In many cases, I&O leaders can simplify their infrastructure without significant additional capex or opex investment,” says Phil Dawson, Gartner research vice president.

“This creates a stronger platform to move forward and invest wisely to position IT at the heart of business growth.”

Through 2020, Gartner predicts that 80% of Mode 1 modernisation projects will fall short of cost savings targets due to a failure to simplify and address unnecessary complexity.

Moreover, the extent to which Mode 1 projects will effectively support new Mode 2 investments will often depend on how well the process of simplification and rationalisation has been carried out.

Dawson recommends I&O leaders follow five steps to achieve optimal outcomes with IT infrastructure modernisation:

Step 1: Reassign your inventory of servers to address random server proliferation Organisations at this stage have a highly inefficient infrastructure marked by random server proliferation, where systems have been added in a siloed way to meet the ad hoc needs of business units or particular workloads. I&O leaders should begin addressing this by taking a detailed inventory of assets. Once complete, they have the necessary information to start a process of consolidation and rationalisation. “Consolidation is a reduction in the number of physical servers, while rationalisation is the reduction of the variety of different server types. Both are important aspects of simplifying IT infrastructure, yet rationalisation is often overlooked even though most complex IT systems include underutilised or inappropriate systems,” says Dawson. “Consolidating without rationalising simply perpetuates unnecessary functions in a less complex infrastructure,” he adds.

Step 2: Develop common management tools and processes When unnecessary assets have been removed, it’s a good time to implement a common management of the entire IT infrastructure, including the software-defined network, compute infrastructure, and storage. This should be straightforward and can enable the measurement of success of all subsequent steps.

Step 3: Reduce the number of common locations across an infrastructure At this point, opportunities to reduce the number of physical locations in the IT infrastructure will emerge, which should reduce real-estate costs, as well as further simplify management and sourcing. Often this will involve data centre relocation or re-examining provisions for lights out operations and remote office/branch office.

Step 4: Renovate infrastructure through workload consolidation and automation This step can be complex and the overall goal is to further reduce physical assets by increasing the workload density and efficiency of each server. Typically virtualisation is used to fit more workloads onto each physical asset and reduce the total cost of ownership of the IT infrastructure. This is also a great time to identify workloads and processes that are good candidates for automation and further increase efficiency.

Step 5: Rationalise the variety and type of items within your infrastructure Now the number of physical assets has been reduced, the next step is to rationalise the number and type of logical assets present within the infrastructure. “Initially this step is concerned mainly with infrastructure standardisation toward commercial off-the-shelf infrastructure, typically achieved with software-defined implementations and virtualisation,” says Dawson. “This is an ongoing process as new business demands are placed on IT infrastructure and old processes, and workloads become redundant.”

Zoom’s new Rooms and Meetings features
Zoom has released information about the upcoming releases for its Rooms and Meeting offerings for 2019.
Aussie company set to democratise direct-to-orbit IoT access
Adelaide-based Myriota has released a developer toolkit that has been trialled and tested by a smart waste management platform.
Apple's AirPods now come with 'Hey Siri' functionality
The new AirPods come with a standard case or a Wireless Charging Case that holds additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.
Dynatrace takes pole position in APM Magic Quadrant
It placed highest on Ability to Execute and furthest on Completeness of Vision in the 2019 Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM).
HCL and Xerox expand strategic partnership
Under the terms of the agreement, HCL will manage portions of Xerox’s shared services, including global administrative and support functions.
Avaya expands integration with Google Cloud AI
This includes embedding Google’s machine learning within conversation services for the contact centre, enabling integration of AI capabilities.
Forrester names Crowdstrike leader in incident response
The report provides an in-depth evaluation of the top 15 IR service providers across 11 criteria.
Poly appoints new A/NZ managing director, Andy Hurt
“We’re excited to be bringing together two established pioneers in audio and video technology to be moving forward and one business – Poly."