Making the Business Case for IT

One of the biggest challenges IT organizations face is building executive mindshare, but in today’s world, it’s critical.

IT organizations have been trained to think of their value in terms of CAPEX and return on investment. While these are undoubtedly important to the bottom-line, they are not game-changers.

To be relevant tomorrow, IT organizations have to adopt a business-down, customer-centric view of the data center and their roles within it.

They need to be thinking about aligning IT investments to business goals, not just about improving performance or recovery SLAs. They did need to get out of the data center vacuum.

This means thinking about how IT – and data protection too, can be used to bring new applications online faster, reach new customers, deliver new value, drive innovation and outpace competitors. And they need to make sure they’re positioned to take advantage of the benefits that the third platform will enable.

If you caught our keynote at EMC World, you heard the folks at Wells Fargo, Sub-Zero Group, and Nielsen talk about how they’re continuously innovating around IT, and how they’re redefining data protection within their organizations.

While these three organizations are at very different stages of transformation and have very different environments, they share a “boardroom” view of IT, and this is huge.

Regardless of how much data they have, what applications they used to create it, or where their data resides (mainframe, private cloud, etc.), making sure this data is accessible anytime, anywhere, and on any platform or device is their #1 priority. It’s about understanding customers’ needs and delivering the tools internally to meet those needs.

In this way, the journey we’re on in the IT world is not unlike the one we’ve been on in the music world. The music’s the same (okay, unquestionably, it was better in the 80s), but the way it’s delivered (i.e., the way customers are consuming it) has changed dramatically. The question is who would you rather be: Sony, Blockbuster, Apple, or Pandora?

Like Wells Fargo, Sub-Zero Group, and Nielsen, we’re all on a journey, and it’s our goal to do more than just help you build the business case for IT.

You’re going to hear a lot from us in the coming months about:

  1. New consumption models: Organizations need to be thinking of IT in “as a Service” terms, and this means delivering Data Protection as a Service (DPaaS) in the cloud, in mainframe environments or in physical environments. Here, multi-tenancy and APIs will be key, allowing organizations to basically manage themselves.
  2. Increased visibility and control for the data owners across the organization. This means getting much closer to the applications themselves and amping up self-provisioning.
  3. Broad spectrum data protection: Organizations need to provide a data protection continuum. On the RTO/RPO scale, this means providing services all the way from cold storage on a deep archive to high availability on primary storage.

Those of you who know me or were at EMC World last month, know I love music, but have never managed to actually click with playing it, which has been somewhat frustrating. But what I find cool is being able to listen to it on whatever format I feel like at the time – whether it’s my tricked-out record deck or through streaming media. Similarly, it’s rewarding to help organizations transform regardless of what platform or stage of the IT journey they are on. In the end, it’s all music to our ears.

If you’ve been following my “Five Things Our Kids’ Kids Won’t Know” series, you know the magnitude of change that’s ahead.

Exciting? Definitely, although I’m a bit nostalgic for the days when stores were closed on Sundays and kids learned to drive on stick shifts. Scary? A bit, but life without challenge is, well, a bit boring.

About the Author: Guy Churchward