Bringing Digital Thinking to the Data Centre


Posted on: April 23, 2015 by Guy Lidbetter

Despite offering a foundation upon which organisations can be built, traditional IT departments still suffer from a perceived lack of flexibility. Its slow processes and rising costs have frequently set the CIO at odds with the business.   The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) represents a fundamental shift in the way we build infrastructure and will change the way IT can respond to business demands.

Traditional infrastructure has always been constrained by the physical devices, meaning that configuring an IT environment would require hours, or even days, of manually configuring hard drives, cabling networks and provisioning software stacks on servers. SDDC addresses these constraints by moving control of specific environments into the software layer, sitting on a far more constant hardware platform that no longer needs to be touched when setting up a new service.  This opens the door to IT delivered on-demand, provisioning new environments in a matter of minutes, instead of days or weeks, with lower capital and operational costs.

Just in Time

Data is now a critical asset for organisations and being generated in unprecedented volumes, at unprecedented speeds. This raises serious challenges for businesses – particularly around data centre capacity and IT resources need to be used as efficiently as possible to cope with the expected information influx.  With the business now wishing to operate at ‘Digital Speed’, IT must also up its pace, providing the organisation with capacity as and when it is needed.

A True Digital Enabler

SDDC addresses the long-standing IT challenges: scalability, automation, agility, flexibility and cost such that IT no longer needs to be a drag on the business ambitions but can work to enable digital transformation, helping deliver new and innovative services. From a practical perspective, one key benefit coming with SDDC will be the ability to design application blueprints that represent an entire environment (infrastructure and application) in software, enabling applications to be delivered to users far more quickly than before. This opens the way to businesses being able to take advantage of new market opportunities – no matter how short-lived.

The value of SDDC to businesses across the world should not be underestimated. Infrastructure optimization may not be the most glamourous of topics, but it has for too long been an inhibitor to IT delivering the value business should rightly expect from it.  The opportunities for new business models, digital thinking and, not just efficient but effective IT, make it one the most exciting developments we have seen for a number of years and even a step change for the industry.

Check out my next blog in this series to hear more about the technology behind this revolution…

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About Guy Lidbetter

Chief Technology Officer, Infrastructure & Data Management. Atos Fellow and member of the Scientific Community
With over 30 years of experience in the IT services industry, as CTO for Atos Infrastructure & Data Management, Guy is responsible for setting Technical and Innovation Strategy across the IT infrastructure stack in both cloud and non-cloud delivery models. He is also responsible for senior level relationships with technology leaders of strategic partners. Previously, he has held numerous technical and management positions in Sema Group, SchlumbergerSema and Atos Origin. In 2017 Guy was appointed an Atos Fellow and is also a founder member of the Atos Scientific Community, most recently sitting on the Editorial Board for the latest Ascent magazine, “Imagining our Quantum Future’.  He has a passion for sport, particularly Chelsea Football Club, baseball’s Atlanta Braves, rugby union and cricket. He also walks, cycles and more leisurely pursuits include photography, reading, music and attempting cryptic crosswords with varying degrees of success.

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