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You Think Infrastructure Doesn’t Matter? Well, Think Again

Although it has almost become cliché to talk about it, digital transformation is a very real thing. But what has changed recently is that the equivalent of gasoline has been poured on the “bonfire” of digital transformation with everything around artificial intelligence (AI).

ChatGPT has been “all the rage” since late 2022, with no sign of slowing down. We’re inundated with news reports of AI’s latest achievements on a regular basis, such as an AI system succeeding in a one in 100,000 chance to diagnose an obscure disease while human medical students come up short. AI is a mechanism to digitally transform organizations and the world itself, including healthcare, education, government, financial services, and daily living.

Leveraging technology on the cutting edge – yes, even the bleeding edge – is on the forefront of technology leaders’ minds, as it should be. Increasingly, the strategy that many of them are considering for digital transformation is to distance their organizations from the infrastructure that supports it (whether imbued with AI capabilities or not).

This trend among CTOs, CIOs and CISO’s begs the question: what role does data center infrastructure play going forward?

Sure, no one cares about infrastructure. I hear the arguments, and I get it. There is a rationale to justify this move away from thinking about infrastructure. Ferrari owners buy their cars for the marque’s history, the passion, the sensations…the sound…the design language. They don’t buy them because of the spark plugs.

Yet, it can be argued that they should care about the spark plugs because if they didn’t care, they wouldn’t even be able to drive the car in the first place. Without spark plugs, a Ferrari is gloriously beautiful but more or less a leather and steel garage ornament. There is value in the spark plugs. There is enablement that allows you to do what you actually want to do. This analogy extends logically to IT infrastructure.

Guess what? CTOs, CIOs, CISOs and other decision-makers responsible for technology in enterprises should care about infrastructure. But why? I am going to make a case in this article for why it’s important to pay attention to infrastructure, even in this age of digital transformation and the prominent emergence of AI. The main reason should be obvious but has been lost in the noise lately.

Get ready, here it is: when you optimize your infrastructure, you free up resources – specifically, money for capital expenditures – to do those leading-edge projects that you want and need to do. Let this thought sink in. I am giving you a workable, pragmatic strategy for information technology management. It inherently changes the outlook on infrastructure.

Let’s say that you want to implement a new innovation project that will take advantage of a hybrid cloud approach. How do you fund it? One of things you can do is storage consolidation. You can go from using 12 storage arrays from another storage vendor (or multiple vendors) to using only 2 storage arrays and save a substantial of money that can be used to fund the really cool innovation project that will drive your organization’s business forward.

By allocating the appropriate amount of attention to what may seem like the “mundane,” you fund exciting projects. Consolidating your enterprise storage with storage solutions built for consolidation and reduction of CAPEX and OPEX, such as Infinidat’s enterprise storage solutions, is not rocket science. But storage consolidating can make your innovation initiatives take off like…a Ferrari. Clearly, I have an obsession with Ferraris.

How would you like millions of dollars to be freed up? What is your wildest dream when it comes to digital transformation? How will you pay for it?

You are responsible for ambidextrous management. You need to innovate but you need to stay within budget and keep the lights on. You need to do these two competing things in a way that allows you to be successful as a technology decision-maker. You also need to do it in such a way that will protect and propel your business into the future.

No one willingly chooses to pay attention to the “mundane” infrastructure “stuff,” but you need to fund innovation. It keeps coming back to that fact. This is why this simple, yet profound strategy I am recommending for you is so integral to achieving what may sometimes seem like “the impossible.”

You can do so much to automate enterprise storage, as well as consolidate storage. You can reduce overhead and make it much easier to manage storage, allowing the system to manage itself. You can shift to a “set-it-and-forget-it mentality” after you extract the value from the storage infrastructure – leveraging the mundane – to free up resources for your other projects. Unlock the hidden value of storage.

Innovation will continue to evolve. Innovation is leveraging AI to completely transform how your business runs <Fill in the blank>. Let the countdown begin to free up capital through optimization of your storage infrastructure.

Dave Nicholson
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