Corporate IT is at a crossroads. The financial crisis has had a massive impact on budget priorities: Do more with less is the message of the day. But how can this be achieved?
Challenges for Enterprise IT
I’ve spent 15 years focused on the business of IT, with a special interest in data storage, since it makes up such a large part of modern information systems and budgets. The current crisis has forced many of us in enterprise IT to focus inward, tackling the tough challenges inside our data centers rather than adding on exciting new capabilities. The priority has shifted from features with a potential for cost avoidance to real current-year cost savings.
Even as budgets are tightening, we continue to pour good money after bad. This happens everywhere, buying too much of what we don’t want or need.
- As the high end marches ever-higher, we find that most applications require lower tiers of capability
- Data center managers are scrambling to control power and cooling costs
- At the same time, utilization of existing resources remains low, especially storage systems
But change is in the air. Enterprise IT is questioning their old assumptions.
- The monolith of IT infrastructure is finally becoming a pyramid, with a small amount of super high-end “tier-0” capability and a widening reliance on lower tiers of bulk capacity
- Virtualization of servers and storage is having a real impact, enabling mobility of systems, applications, and data across tiers
- Enterprise IT is increasingly offloading non-essential services to outside partners who can deliver focus and economics
A New Challenge for Me
I have always tried to focus my efforts on making a difference in my little corner of the world, so the time has come for me to make a change professionally.
I am pleased to announce that I am joining Nirvanix, where I will be starting a new strategic consulting practice. We will focus on enabling enterprise customers to leverage modern data storage technology for infrastructure transformation. Nirvanix shares my vision of evolved IT infrastructure supported by tiers of applications, servers, and especially storage. Nirvanix moving forward and attacking the storage issues that face enterprise IT head-on!
I pride myself on giving honest and straightforward advice, and this will not change. Nirvanix Consulting will deliver independent and trustworthy advice, and this is exactly what enterprise IT organizations require and demand. Although Nirvanix provides managed offsite storage as a service to enterprise customers, this offering is not the correct answer for every application or business. In discussing this business concept with Nirvanx CEO, Jim Zierick, I stressed that I will certainly sometimes recommend competing solutions, and that the right move for some is reuse of existing assets. Zierick, who was formerly a partner at the respected consultancy, McKinsey, agrees with this independent approach. We must help each client to develop a strategy that is appropriate to their needs.
Although I have a new professional affiliation, my independence and commitment to the storage community will not change. I remain committed to open communication, and will maintain my Pack Rat blog, Gestalt IT, and my other public writing and speaking activities. Now let’s get down to work!