Writer's note: Every Thursday in November and December, this blog will highlight the SDN solution, Cisco ACI. As market acceptance and adoption increases for SDN, IT professionals can count on WEI to fairly evaluate the market leading SDN solutions available today.
The digital transformation of our economy today has paved the way for multiple disruptors that are altering entire industries and markets. The induction of disruptive organizations such as Uber and Airbnb are introducing new paradigms that are threatening traditional business models and longtime industry leaders. There is one thing in common with disruptors such as these. They leverage assets. Whether it be a car or an extra bedroom, these two mentioned disruptors harvest additional value from these assets which in turn adds revenue streams. Suddenly a car is no longer an expense—it becomes a profit generating machine.
This is the very premise of the necessitated IT transformation that organizations must adapt, the idea that corporate IT is operated as a line of business. This requires a shift from the traditional mentality that corporate IT is a cost bucket, to one in which the IT department serves as a competitive differentiator that directly contributes to the profitability of the company.
What does this IT transformation require?
This corporate makeover of IT has two primary requirements:
- Executive sponsorship and pervasive influence (top-down support)
- The capability to use technologies to support new operational models (bottom-up support)
These two requirements require a totally new way of addressing IT, including:
- The organizational structure
- The necessity to match the functions and tasks of IT to the mission critical functions of the organization as a whole
- The ability to analyze and measure the effectiveness of IT through a calibration of measurable metrics
If we look at the way IT is traditionally structured today, it is organized around technology and not the objectives of the business itself. IT operations are divided according to function such as:
- Network operations
- Desktop support
- Application development
- Cyber security
Not only are administrative duties and responsibilities segmented according to function, but so is budgeting. The lack of cohesion between silos is reinforced by reporting structures and budgeting operations, which tend to be separate as well. Another contributing factor is that these silos were created in the first place because the technology for which each silo is responsible serves only the purpose of that silo itself. This lack of cohesion and continuity negatively impact efficiencies of both labor and CapEx. In addition, the needs of business often times get lost in translation as the needs of the individual technology silos are administered in a vacuum. What occurs is what we often find in government, multiple departments with overlapping resources, labor efforts and budgetary needs.
IT should be no different than any other facet of the business in that the operational effectiveness of every department, including IT, is tied to the success and effectiveness of the company. In fact, in today’s era of digital transformation and the accelerating rate of conversion, it is more important than ever that organizations require outcomes-based IT.
But the task of transforming IT within the organization takes more than just a commitment from the leadership on down. It also requires the technology that can optimize IT processes and can be designed around a functional architecture that dictates the right technology for the given requirements, use cases, and business outcomes. This technology should also be provided by a proven visionary leader in the IT industry and not a flash in the pan.
How Cisco ACI Can Transform your IT Organization
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) is the catalyst that today’s businesses are seeking to effectively complete this necessary transformation. Cisco ACI serves to operationally simplify the underlying technology components, creating an environment in which traditional silos now work together—unifying the infrastructure so that IT works in tandem, not just within its own technology silo, but in synchronized conjunction with business functions and goals. Cisco ACI is designed to leverage the operational benefits that are inherent within today’s technology.
Cisco ACI is designed around the following core principles:
- A distributed and innovative system architecture
- Open source technology that is restrictive by design
- Multivendor inherent capabilities
- Physical and virtual interconnectivity
- Reduced CapEx and OpEx costs
Cisco ACI also provides measured value, providing the capability to gather and trend specific metrics and their relationship to performance. Cisco ACI is the all-inclusive solution that business visionaries are seeking to implement the transformation that is desired (and required) in today’s global digital transformation.
To learn more about Cisco ACI visit http://www.wei.com/ciscoaci/ and contact us with any questions you have regarding this SDN solution. Based on our experience implementing Cisco ACI in production environments, we can help you maximize your investment in Cisco ACI.