Navigating Digital Transformation from Legacy to Now

By Shane McDermott, Director of Alliances, iQuate

Last month’s white paper update to the Cisco Global Cloud Index confirmed what a lot of us already knew, that global data center traffic is still on a steep rise. It will grow threefold over the next three years, according to Cisco, at a compound annual rate of 25 percent. Annual data center IP traffic is forecast to reach 10.4 zettabytes (863 exabytes per month) by the end of 2019. This makes navigating the digital transformation from legacy to now harder to grasp.

According to the whitepaper, data center workloads are expected to more than double and the rate of cloud architecture adoption triple in the period from now to the end of 2019. Cisco talks about how this growth is facilitated by virtualization and a growing complexity around applications that are supported by several workloads distributed across multiple servers. This generates “multiple streams of traffic within and between data centers, in addition to traffic to and from the end user”.

Complexity in Digital Transformation

So what’s pushing organizations towards cloud architecture and this new complexity?  It’s the much talked about digital transformation journey that most organizations have now embarked upon.

For the IT shop, digital transformation means more data, more analytics, more insights, and agile behaviors. The appetite for data to drive competitive advantage, or improve operational performance, whether it comes via online interactions or transactions, or the instrumentation of running operations, results in the generation of vast volumes of data that then needs to be curated, managed and served up to business users. The scale and complexity in managing it is pushing traditional systems to the limit. How do you plan for a doubling in workloads by 2019 and keep control of your costs?

Many are trapped in money draining refresh cycles and upgrades, struggling to stay ahead of the tsunami wave of data with more rack space and hyper-converged storage solutions….while their local friendly software vendor hits them with audit after audit. If you do nothing or don’t move fast enough in the modernization of your Enterprise Defined Data Center, inevitably your costs will rise and rise. Most CIOs are attempting to consolidate their IT infrastructure or migrate to the cloud, but are racing against the tide, with one prominent roadblock being the ability to achieve and maintain transparency in the dependencies between hardware and software in virtualized server estates.

To consolidate and optimize, IT teams need granular visibility on their infrastructure, from applications down to storage. Enterprises set about addressing this challenge on visibility in the data center that first became apparent a decade ago with the emergence of virtualization. It’s now much more complex as we enter a whole new phase with software-defined data centers.

Gartner estimate that only around 5% of existing workloads are ‘cloud ready’. To get to a situation where maybe 80% of your Enterprise Defined Data Center (EDDC) is running legacy applications with the remaining 20% on new hybrid or bi-modal platforms, your IT team has to bridge a “new-v-old” skills gap to manage the future state of your EDDC. Most people would prefer to work on new cloud-based applications and platforms. Automating discovery and dependency mapping of infrastructure is essential in delivering bi-modal IT and consequently digital transformation. Automation of legacy application functions will free up staff to focus on new data center inventory actions. This, then helps drives digital transformation in a much more efficient way.

Exploiting the Cloud OpportunityDownload the Whitepaper now

So, who is in a position to lead any organization from legacy to now? The new role of CDO (Chief Data Officer) is a direct consequence of the digital transformation journey. Some enterprises are struggling with the implementation of this new role. There is a lack of clear understanding of where the CIO’s responsibilities stop and the CDO’s start, but it’s safe to say that the CDO is more focused on liberating processes from siloed environments than managing infrastructure. There is widespread consensus that the job is central to business transformation strategies. The CDO needs to have the transparency to sail the business in the right way to digital transformation.

Who we help

Take for example the Servicenow (business first approach) and Cisco (flexible infrastructure first) approaches – they are in the market to facilitate application and infrastructure change. They both rely on transparency in the data center estate to enable the control and management of the rate of change. Despite the differing approaches by Cisco & Servicenow both companies’ offerings are radically enhanced with a richer source of infrastructure data from iQuate. Why? Because iQuate’s discovery and dependency mapping solution, iQSonar uses an infrastructure-up approach, it is unique in its ability to provide a comprehensive list of assets & CIs that can for example be fed into the ServiceNow CMDB, or into Cisco migration programs. The visibility we provide together is invaluable for helping navigate an organization’s digital journey,

The data assembled in the ServiceNow CMDB has multiple use cases and informs decision-making across a range of roles, including database and operations managers as well as procurement and asset management personnel. Strategically, it can also help those higher up the chain, the CIO, and, increasingly, the CDO – Chief Digital Officer.

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By helping consolidate and optimize data center environments, by exposing the silos before breaking them down, we believe iQSonar has a huge role to play in digital transformation. We can provide transparency across the IT organization that will help the CIO and CDO delineate their roles and work more effectively together while helping businesses clearly navigate from the old world to the new world safely and in the most cost effective way.