Building the right foundation for your business
Making educated guesses is as close to predicting the future as any of us can get. While predicting the future of technology does involve a decent amount of guesswork, there are several practical ways that IT departments can be ready for what’s around the corner. This involves no casting of bones nor reading of tea leaves. Instead, they include an acceptance that change will come, and an ability to create foundations that prepare for whatever form that change takes.
Known unknowns and unknown unknowns
Donald Rumsfeld once described a situation as comprising “known knowns” and “unknown unknowns”. Although not describing digital transformation of the enterprise in 2019, his assessment could represent any one of the following ten situations for IT departments:
- We don’t know what software or services will be needed by the business in the future, but we know we need to be ready to deploy quickly. And we know we wantto say “yes” to decision-makers.
- We don’t know where the organization will be in a year, but we know we need to build our systems — compute, storage, network, and interconnectivity infrastructure ready for 1.
- We don’t know how to navigate efficiently through an increasingly complex infrastructure, but we know we need to simplify operations and systems management.
- We don’t know if the on premise data center or public cloud provider X will be suitable for us in the future, but for now, we know multicloud is the standard, so we need to to support and enable.
- We don’t know what new, regional or global data regulation we will have to adhere to in the future so we have to keep the protection of data running seamlessly in everything we do.
- We don’t know how every proprietary system will evolve — how could we? — but we know that industry-standard x86 server hardware is pivotal. We know “lock-in” is to be avoided
- We don’t know how standards may evolve, but we do know that open systems (with APIs, for example) are best for investment protection.
- We don’t know the future, but we do know abstraction across all elements of the topology is key, that unknown unknowns require greater adaptability
- We don’t know what the long-term strategy of IT department will be, but we know that the strategic imperatives of the business should take precedence.
- We don’t know how much resource we will have at our disposal, but we do know we have to build reliability, scalability and agility into everything we do.
The summation is, astute IT managers need to assimilate, adapt, and respond to whatever direction the organization wishes to take. Digital transformation is not contingent on acquiring product X or service Y but instead relies on an IT foundation (and a mindset) that can freely adapt.
Is thought leadership premature?
Just a few years ago, the talk in the IT press was of the decline of the data center and the increased dominance of the cloud – a “stampede to the cloud”. In reality, hybrid and multicloud solutions are what businesses need. That’s a timely reminder that it’s the pragmatic and business-oriented approach that is necessary.
Even household-name technology companies have changed their direction, adapting to altered markets, and using their inherent capabilities to provide new offerings. Microsoft has moved from its focus on desktop operating systems and applications to a cloud-based, business-centric company (even adopting GitHub and Linux). IBM pushes its cloud services and hybrid deployment tools and has successfully transitioned from its x86 hardware roots.
Similarly, as a networking company, Cisco’s launch of a server in 2009 made waves among both technology-watchers and the business community. Cisco UCS (Unified Computing System), as a programmable infrastructure, has helped over 55,000 organizations worldwide to cut costs (62% reduction of ongoing administrative/management costs), and speed up infrastructure deployment (83% reduction in provisioning times). Cisco UCS enables business-centric deployments, creating changing topologies on-demand and interconnectivity, and scalability of compute or storage as required.
Whatever the business or organizational imperative, Cisco UCS as the foundation in the enterprise, enables and empowers, rather than limits or obstructs, paving the way for continued transformation. This is computing that likes to say “yes”.
Companies of all sizes need the practical means to realize their potential, with technology that is open and secure. Digital transformation, a phrase much used, can only be realized when the underlying technology enables the people and the processes. Cisco provides the technology and tools that make digital transformation a reality, and this is the reason why it remains the gold standard. And that’s a “known known.”
To learn how to accelerate your organization’s transformative journey, read more here.