David Angradi, Director, Software Defined Data Centre Solutions, Logicalis US looks at how implementing a software-defined data centre (SDDC) can have a dramatic effect on how long it takes you to start generating income.
Following a recent SDDC implementation a Logicalis client – a SaaS provider – slashed the time it took to provision new customers. As a result, it is now able to begin generating new client revenues in less than four hours – a big reduction on the 14 days is took previously.
That might sound like an astonishing, near impossible feat, but these kinds of returns can be generated more easily than you might think.
The service-defined enterprise
The key is to first become a service-defined enterprise (SDE). The SDE acknowledges and embraces the consumerisation of IT and understands that your users want the services they need, right now – it’s what they get at home, so why not at work? And the simple fact is, you can’t be an SDE without SDDC.
The good news is you and most other companies are further along the road to SDDC than you realise. Most organisations today have been using at least some of the tools and processes involved in implementing the software-defined data centre (SDDC) for years.
Virtualisation of servers, storage, applications and networking, as well as automation and orchestration initiatives, are happening – albeit at different stages – everywhere.
SDDC, however, is more than the sum of its parts. The real potential of SDDC is in the integration and management of all the capabilities together so you can make an evolutionary leap from the technology-defined data centre of yesterday to the service-defined enterprise (SDE) of tomorrow – a move that necessarily sees an alignment between your business and technology objectives via a shared vision.
Three steps to heaven
Regardless of where you are on your transformation journey to SDE, these three steps will move you forward:
- Virtualise as much as you can. The more you virtualise, the better off you are.
- Develop a plan, including an organisational structure, which focuses IT on business services instead of technology. To be successful, your plan has to be driven from the top down.
- Use automation and orchestration to eliminate manual steps for managing and delivering IT services. Start out in small steps and build acceptance through a series of quick wins that clearly make your employees’ jobs easier.
The biggest cause of failure for SDDC initiatives is organisational: Using SDDC to transform to SDE means changing the way people do their jobs. If you don’t all have a shared vision of “what’s in it for me?” people will push back and drag their heels.
Putting business and technology leaders under the same reporting structure is a good way to get them pulling together in the same direction.
Be warned though – there is no going back. The technology-driven data centre model will be broken – it will no longer deliver applications and services at the rate that your businesses requires.
And that’s great news, because now you’ll have more time for strategic planning, your users and customers will be happier and you’ll be generating revenue in hours, not days – so what are you waiting for?