Why Business-Defined IT may well Define IT in 2015

One of the IT trends that we see coming in 2015 is something called “Business-Defined IT”. This is essentially a focus for IT on collaborating with internal business entities and providing business services rather than just building and running infrastructure. On the surface, this may not seem like a new concept, but the environment it’s being implemented in is very new. In this December 10th webinar, Hu Yoshida, CTO of Hitachi Data Systems and StorageSwiss Founder George Crump will discuss four macro trends, mobility, cloud, social, and big data, that comprise this environment and will help drive sustainable business growth in 2015, and beyond.

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More than IT as a Service

Progressive IT departments in many companies have been evolving into service businesses, not unlike the managed service providers and cloud services organizations that many companies currently engage with on one level or another. Treating internal departments like customers is one aspect, as is the use of self-service IT that enables users to do some of the provisioning and management of the infrastructure supporting their work.

Admittedly, there’s often been a fixation on hardware and software, as vendors push their latest technologies in flash, converged infrastructure or software-defined products. But, at the end of the day, IT exists to facilitate the manipulation and consumption of information by the business that’s needed to drive successful outcomes.

To do this IT must understand the work habits of the people who consume that information and help to support that work wherever they choose to do it. IT also needs to get out in front of changes within their markets by facilitating a direct connection with customers and within their industries by supporting the infrastructure that can help them leverage predictive analysis.

The Third Platform

The four micro trends mentioned above, employee and customer mobility, the cloud, social media and Big Data, comprise what IDC calls the “Third Platform”. This is the environment (in a larger sense) that businesses, their employees and their IT services will exist and operate in. To put this in context, the First Platform was the mainframe environment where IT and a select few employees were the information proxies for the company at large. They translated the company’s needs for information-based results into queries and programmatic input and to large extent interpreted the results as well.

The Second Platform was the Client/Server environment where the power of the computer was decentralized first into servers, then into desktops and laptops. Databases were still managed by specialized employees but access to their information was largely made available to all. Unstructured data on file servers and dedicated storage devices was also shared.

In the Third Platform, decentralization of data and compute has expanded. Application access is moving to mobile devices in order to keep pace with employees’ changing workplaces and work habits and companies are staying in touch with their customers via social media outlets. Much of this activity is occurring outside the physical walls of the company (and its data centers) and is being supported by a cloud-based infrastructure.

For IT, this shift to the cloud can mean less infrastructure physically on-site to manage and fewer applications to develop and run. But another job has taken hold, the need for advanced business analysis involving very large data sets. Big data and big data analytics, leveraging high-performance computing technologies and high-speed storage, is the new frontier in IT and the way outcome-oriented businesses can be successful.

Join HDS CTO, Hu Yoshida and StorageSwiss Founder, George Crump on this informative webinar as they discuss 10 IT Trends for 2015, including Business-Defined IT, and what these trends mean for your company.

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Eric is an Analyst with Storage Switzerland and has over 25 years experience in high-technology industries. He’s held technical, management and marketing positions in the computer storage, instrumentation, digital imaging and test equipment fields. He has spent the past 15 years in the data storage field, with storage hardware manufacturers and as a national storage integrator, designing and implementing open systems storage solutions for companies in the Western United States.  Eric earned degrees in electrical/computer engineering from the University of Colorado and marketing from California State University, Humboldt.  He and his wife live in Colorado and have twins in college.

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