3 Barriers to Innovation: Are you a Sustainer or an Innovator?

Technology continues to become more complex as siloed projects create new layers and inter-dependencies within infrastructures. That’s not to say companies don’t want to simplify their landscape. It just comes down to how much time is allocated to addressing project sprawl. The fact is that the skills gap is becoming the new “silent killer” and only surfaces when issues cause business impact.

Barrier #1: Sustaining the Technology

Just as the business and technology environment changes, so do the skills and knowledge required to sustain it. It’s hard to manage change however, when most of your time is spent on just sustaining what’s already there. In fact, in most IT organizations 70-80% of resources are spent just keeping things working, while only 20-30% of IT efforts are spent on innovation and development.

To realize the full benefits and capabilities of today’s advanced infrastructures, it’s important to have expertise that can uncover value in under utilized areas or find hidden savings that can help drive operational excellence. [Read more…]

To scalability and beyond! Part 2

It’s time to get started

Once your captains er– leaders are on board with the benefits and significant cost savings an efficient data center can deliver, it’s time to assess your current infrastructure and create a plan. The very first thing you need to do is,

 “Shunt the deuterium from the main cryo-pump to the auxiliary tank.

 Just kidding. But there are best practices and procedures available to ensure you have a successful implementation. To get started you can:

  • Complete an energy efficiency assessment
  • Benchmark data center performance
  • Rate data center energy efficiency
  • Look for ‘quick win’ opportunities to improve efficiency (these can add up to massive gains)

You need to be able to show your energy usage before and track improvements over time. This will make a big difference if compliance becomes an issue or new energy incentives come into place. When you’re ready to drill down, take a look at each area of your data center to see where can make room for improvement.

 Servers

Look for old server environments and applications that can [Read more…]

To Scalability and Beyond! Part 1

IT Managers discover the high cost of ignoring data center efficiency.

Your data center is running low on space. Your cooling system is at its limit. Network demands are growing. Energy demands are growing. The business is growing. You need more power. You need more servers. You feel like standing on the boardroom table and shouting,

“I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain! If I push it any harder the whole thing will blow!”

What do you do when all she’s got isn’t enough? It’s a classic case of the plant outgrowing its pot. It’s easy for IT managers to simply add servers, but adding servers takes up space, uses energy and overcrowds the network. On the other hand, if the plant is too small for the pot (think server sprawl) you risk wasting money purchasing more capacity than what you really use.

Either way, it costs more money.

What if a green thumb tapped your shoulder and told you they can improve the performance, availability and energy efficiency of your company’s data center – all while reducing overall energy costs and avoiding capital expenditures? [Read more…]

A Softchoice IT forecast: Hot technologies to watch in 2012

As 2011 comes to a close, Softchoice customers are evaluating the success and challenges from the present year, and planning for the year to come. The Softchoice Advisor sat down with our Manager of Category Marketing, Bryan Rusche, to understand the opportunity organizations should expect to encounter while continuing to mitigate risk and maximize efficiencies in 2012.

What are the key IT priorities that Softchoice and other organizations will be focusing on in 2012?

I think the big theme is continued economic uncertainty and the need to continue driving greater efficiencies within IT. Using that as the backdrop, I think there are four big areas where we will see our customers investing. One is going to be on providing efficiencies and better management tools on client infrastructure and helping organizations deal with some of the dynamics around new devices and operating systems. The second thing is driving greater efficiencies in the data center through greater density, more efficient use of power and cooling and better utilization. Unified Communications is the third area, particularly people-driven processes and creating efficiencies by reducing travel expenses as an example. Lastly, cloud – which remains the most
hyped term in the industry, will play a growing role. Spending on public cloud as an example is expected to grow four times faster than IT spend in general.

The evolving client infrastructure continues to be a hot topic. What challenges are organizations facing today and what solutions are they going to look to in 2012? [Read more…]