Walk the tightrope between IT ops and business needs - How well do you?

Discussion created by eric.senunas on Jun 12, 2014

Walk the tightrope between IT ops and business needs

Published in SearchDataCenter on June 12, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. -- IT directors are stuck in the middle between old-school operations staff who think in terms of CPU utilization and network packets, and tech-savvy business leaders who see the data center as a money pit.

The way out is to communicate with both groups and guide them on a path to IT operations and management that prevent fires rather than fight them.

"It's hard to convince the company that innovation is actually good business," especially in a heavily regulated and conservative sector like healthcare IT, said Teri Hohentanner, vice president of infrastructure at Trinity Health, a Michigan-based healthcare company that operates two of its own data centers and colocated assets.

It's also hard to tell an old-school IT ops tech that an application is underperforming when the end user complains, not when the monitoring tools pick up on a utilization strain.

By 2017, 50% of IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams will be eliminated, predicted John Enck, managing vice president at Gartner Inc., during the analyst firm's IT Operations & Management Summit this week.

The two main disruptions to the I&O paradigm come from within IT.  Savvy staffers that know how to find a tool to do what they need without calling IT,  and business staffers -- marketing, human resources  and other departments that won't wait for a new project because it takes I&O weeks to provision the servers and other infrastructure components. Instead, they go to a public cloud provider.

If you're just fighting fires, you can't compete with shadow IT or cloudification, Enck said. If you benchmark and map your IT infrastructure with the business needs, you can strike a balance where IT supports the business goals and also prevents security and compliance issues. Here's how:

Step one: Learn the right way to ask for what you need

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