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Many organisations are grappling with how best to leverage technology to underpin their digital transformation and unlock their competitive advantage. Picture: 123RF/evgeniyshkolenko
Many organisations are grappling with how best to leverage technology to underpin their digital transformation and unlock their competitive advantage. Picture: 123RF/evgeniyshkolenko

The past year has served to accelerate the digital transformation road map for the majority of organisations across SA.

As such, chief information officers (CIOs) are now more aware that managing and interpreting data to provide actionable insights will play a crucial role in driving innovation and differentiating companies from competitors.

That said, many organisations are being held back by legacy IT infrastructure that is unable to scale sufficiently to meet the demands of their operational ambitions. 

The good news is, according to the latest Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index, 84% of SA business leaders across various markets recognise the need for more agile and scalable IT infrastructure.

About the author: Tony Bartlett is the director of Data Centre Compute at Dell Technologies.SA. Picture: SUPPLIED/DELL TECHNOLOGIES SA
About the author: Tony Bartlett is the director of Data Centre Compute at Dell Technologies.SA. Picture: SUPPLIED/DELL TECHNOLOGIES SA

Organisations that modernise their data centres will enjoy the many advantages of optimised IT operations including scalable applications, agility to support multiple workloads, reduced risk of downtime, enhanced customer experiences and reduced total cost of ownership. 

Doing so, however, involves facing new and evolving challenges brought on by the pervasive nature of data and computing, rapid changes in technology, disparate processes and technologies, and the increased risk of cybersecurity threats from both internal and external players.

All of these challenges put additional demands on IT infrastructure and resources and thus, as CIOs think about modernising their company’s data centres, they should keep three essential considerations in mind:

1. Is it scalable?  

Determining the scale and architecture of a data centre is the critical starting point. The facility itself must not only meet current requirements but provide the flexibility to scale and address future power, cooling and density requirements.  

In today’s digital environment, enterprises must also be able to run diverse workloads incorporating the latest technology innovations without overhauling the entire data centre.  Therefore, it is important that the hardware and accompanying solutions selected for the data centre allow for adaptive compute and scalable business architecture.

Having access to a portfolio of servers that are optimised for the latest technological advances and integrate easily into server clusters would help enable seamless scaling while still performing efficiently. 

2. Are you optimised for automation? 

In many companies, the IT infrastructure is being pushed to the limits of its capacity and its ability to manage the environment.

The increasing complexity of new technologies, the surge in data volumes as well as the constant threat of cyber intrusion is forcing IT staff to spend more time bogged down fixing problems and less time delivering new capabilities or innovation to the business.

Autonomous compute allows customers to fully realise self-deployed, self-provisioned and self-managed infrastructure and represents the means to dramatically increase productivity while reducing costs for IT teams.

Enterprises should look for the ability to automate the entire server life cycle from deployment to retirement through embedded intelligence. 

3. Is it secure and resilient? 

Digital transformation requires security transformation. Customers’ top concerns on the path to digital transformation are data privacy and cybersecurity.

Ensuring the safety of data stored by enterprises has become a boardroom concern. While there is no magic bullet solution that addresses security concerns across all fronts, there is one approach that can help detect and protect platforms against threats and enable rapid recovery in the event of a breach — building a cyber-resilient architecture from the ground up. 

To deliver this, hardware and firmware should have integrated security that is built-in, not bolted on, for end-to-end protection. Security should start before deployment then continue through every phase of the product life cycle with systems and software designed for secure interactions and the capability to predict potential threats. 

As an example, built with cyber-resilient architecture and a well-established silicon Root of Trust, Dell Technologies’ latest PowerEdge portfolio products are secure throughout the server’s life cycle, from manufacturing to deployment and beyond.

Ultimately, as organisations re-evaluate their IT approach, those that will be most successful will be the ones who have a clear vision to leverage their IT infrastructure as the source of their competitive advantage and embrace the latest technology advances to unlock their full innovation capability.

This article was paid for by Dell Technologies and Intel.

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