What are the biggest challenges facing the data center now that data-driven decision making has become so prevalent and critical in enterprises?
The way I see it, the biggest challenge facing data center managers right now is digital transformation—how to transform their business resources so they can leverage information most effectively. They need to take a good, hard look at the business functions they’re supporting now—and will need to support in the future—and figure out the most effective and cost-efficient way to accomplish that. Fundamental questions like, what needs to be managed on premises and what can reasonably be migrated to the cloud? Do they need to scrap the old systems, keep them and make them more cloud-ready or offload the entire infrastructure to the cloud?
Another challenge they’ll face is how to address business agility, their organization’s ability to make changes on the fly using a DevOps approach.
These are weighty concerns, to be sure. And addressing them will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the organization and the systems that are already in place.
What can IT professionals and resellers do to address these challenges?
The best way to start is to take an extensive inventory and assessment of everything that’s currently residing in the data center—physical hardware, networking equipment, power sources, cooling, backup and data recovery solutions, as well as the applications residing on the infrastructure. Next, the organization needs to take a detailed inventory of all the disparate sources of data within the organization and all the human resources available to perform a digital transformation endeavor. For example, do they have data scientists, database administrators and people with DevOps skills in their organization?
Data center managers need to examine all their resources and determine what’s proprietary; what’s current, could be modernized or needs to be replaced; and what business functions and apps would be more efficiently served on the cloud.
Ingram Micro can conduct the inventory and assessment and can also help give advice on the best way forward. In fact, digital transformation is a major aspect of what we bring to market for our reseller partners and their customers.
What are the biggest risks facing centers today in the era of big data?
The single biggest risk is not being able to properly utilize the data they have—not having the proper tools in place to get the biggest value from that data. That’s where effective digital transformation is pivotal. Physical aspects of the data center will eventually all be commoditized. It’s the data that’s the key asset for any organization.
What’s the latest thinking on the cloud in data centers today? Which route do they seem to be going?
It depends a lot on the size of the organization. Smaller organizations that don’t have the capital to support infrastructure in-house tend to go public cloud all the way. Many midsize and large organizations are going the hybrid route, maintaining some infrastructure in-house and offsetting some capital expense by migrating certain advanced applications off premises.
What’s the best data center strategy for resellers to pursue right now?
Become a trusted advisor to your clients as they undergo digital transformation, leveraging Ingram Micro’s resources for assessment, evaluation and guidance. Partnering with us will help give you the credentials to position yourself as an expert.
To learn more about digital transformation and the data center, contact Nicholas Vermiglio