By Raghunath Thiyagarajan on Dec 6, 2018 7:06:32 AM
Infrastructure and Operations (I&O) managers have their jobs cut out for them. The ground below their feet is shifting and the seismic waves are unsettling the IT function, as they have known it. Today IT infrastructure is intrinsically tied to business value and outcome. It is no more the backbone of an organization; it is the central nervous system that controls how far and how soon a business can push geographical and other boundaries. It controls how fast and best can customer relationships become, and how, importantly, costs can be controlled. IT infrastructure which till a few years ago, hummed quietly in a data center, has moved to center stage. Summarizing this change, Gartner Senior Research Director Ross Winser says, “More than ever, I&O is becoming increasingly involved in unprecedented areas of the modern-day enterprise,”
Infrastructure maturity essentially means how future ready or digitally empowered an organization’s infrastructure is. Organizations that are high on the maturity curve have paved the path for competitive advantage, seamless processes, and effective communications leading to business agility.
The Five Levels of Infrastructure Maturity or Maturity Continuum
Disparate tools, standalone systems, non-standard technologies, processes and procedures define this level. More importantly, the infrastructure includes an over or under functioning data center which does not make intelligence acquisition easy
Organizations when assessing their current infrastructure and mapping it to business needs will realize that they fall short of meeting organizational expectations while IT expenditure is out of bounds. IT infrastructure, therefore, becomes the weight that will pull an organization back from its path to progress.
Infrastructure that has systems, tools and processes in place but lacks standardization falls under this category. In the absence of standardization, ad-hoc decisions will be made to adapt digital transformation and this can be more harmful than beneficial in the end. What is required is a systematic approach where a road-map defining tools and technologies is established and processes are defined to pave the way for a digital future.
Level 3 maturity assumes that tools and processes are in place but the infrastructure may not be cost effective. It could be that data is stored in-house and the cost of running a data center far outweighs the benefits. While applications, tools and platforms are modern, they may still be grounded.
What is required is for organizations to consolidate and optimize their infrastructure, for operational efficiencies and cost advantage. Data intelligence may still be far away.
This level implies that the infrastructure can be moved to the cloud and it is ready for transformation. It also assumes that legacy systems have been replaced by platforms and applications that can be shifted to the cloud, without interruption to existing business processes. The concern for these organizations is related to data security and data intelligence.
Maturity in IT infrastructure sees a complete integration of tools, technologies, processes and practices. These organizations are future ready. The infrastructure costs are optimized and data is secure. They have adopted nexgen digital solutions that are focused on transforming user experience. These organizations have brought infrastructure to the front stage and built a business model that is future ready.
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