Data is at the Core of Five of the Toughest IT Challenges
In this article
IT organizations face many challenges: attracting, training, and retaining technical talent, meeting higher technology costs within a murkier economic climate, and striving to stay ahead of the increasing pace of digital transformation are among the top contenders. Managing data is at the heart of these challenges: securing it, processing it, automating real-time access, and maintaining the physical systems that contain it. Taking a consumption-based approach is vital to overcome these challenges and should be considered as you strategize, modernize and optimize your IT ecosystem.
Following are five of the toughest challenges you can find today, along with solution recommendations that can make your organization run smoother, your business remains competitive, and your IT life more straightforward.
This challenge should come as no surprise. Organizations struggle to make timely and effective decisions without good data or effective data processes. Data stored in legacy ecosystems makes it difficult to extract the knowledge you need to make well-informed, data-driven decisions while mitigating risks. Many enterprises today strive to optimize, modernize, and transform their businesses.
What do they use to make well-informed decisions? Their data. Whether it's an Excel spreadsheet, a warehouse, a log file, an event stream, or any other piece of quality, timely, repeatable data—data informs and drives today's businesses. In fact, CIOs identify the need to leverage their data and analytics to meet their business objectives as a top priority, according to a 2022 CIO Leadership Perspectives study. Data are everything when optimizing, transforming, growing, or identifying your business priorities for sustained competitiveness.
If you don't have data with integrity, then everything is a guess. If you have "bad data" or low confidence in your data, it's more like a guessing game (and that's not fun). Your company's data dictates what gets measured, what gets paid, and what gets accomplished. Forrester recently found that less than 0.5% of all data is ever analyzed and used and estimates that if the typical Fortune 1000 business increased its data accessibility by just 10%, it would generate more than $65 million in additional net income.
Typically, companies struggle hardest when they have legacy ecosystems firmly in place without a viable way to manage, store, or secure their data. This approach is referred to as "store-and-ignore." Legacy IT infrastructure often means you are stuck with manual processes, unsupported systems, poor security, frustrating user experience, and limited opportunities for innovation.
THE SOLUTION: Migrate to architecture that provides access to data from anywhere in your IT ecosystem—in a way that delivers effective access to the most crucial data. So you have robust data you can leverage to inform your insights and decisions.
HPE GreenLake is a self-service, HPE-managed platform that combines the simplicity and agility of the public cloud with the security, governance and compliance, and performance of on-premises IT. Not only does HPE GreenLake deliver effective access to cloud-like benefits, but you can collaborate with a dedicated team of experts with vast experience across all areas of IT and cloud and in all industries and governments.
Engaging WWT and HPE GreenLake is Simple
WWT & GreenLake can help you evaluate your current system, identifying what is empirically going on with all the data within your organization. We ask the right questions to get to the bottom of who's talking to whom on what channel, what database gets hit, etc. This engagement gives you a snapshot of what's running on your system today. You will discover where your data is siloed and identify where your most significant pain points are lurking.
Next, we put a high-performance architecture (HPA) in place based on current needs and where your organization wants—and needs—to go. What's first, second, and third in terms of priorities? What's not going to work? What is working? What needs to be re-engineered or refactored based on the needs of your business team, analytics team, R&D, HR, Marketing, etc.—all of your organization's stakeholders?
There's a growing need for mass customization (often called mass tailoring) to manage the demands placed on today's infrastructure. Not every organization should go to the cloud. With issues like cost and data gravity, one size does not fit all. But with limited technology comes limited opportunities. For instance, many data center operators are unwilling or unable to do some form of liquid cooling. If yours is one of them, your processes will be limited by what only air can cool. That means lower-performing chips and lower-performance CPUs, GPUs, DPUs, TPUs, and QPUs. Slower data processing creates friction throughout the enterprise: slower analytics, weaker support for AI and other resource-intensive applications, and compromised business performance at higher risks.
That leaves room for competitors to outperform, innovate, and leverage their data for greater access, scalability, and business outcomes. If liquid cooling is not an option for your data center, you may see just three options, none of them ideal:
Option 1: Go to the cloud—but cost and compatibility issues put it out of reach.
Option 2: Leverage a colocation facility—still costly and possibly out of reach.
Option 3: Opt out of modernization—and opt out of growth.
THE SOLUTION: Modernize on your terms. Or, opt for a consumption-based model that provides the benefits of data modernization without a prohibitive price tag.
Wherever you are on your journey toward modernization, WWT is ideally positioned to help.
WWT partners with the world's leading technology manufacturers like HPE to bring innovative solutions that drive positive business outcomes and position you to adapt and scale seamlessly—without compromising security or performance.
We help you plan for the requirements of today and anticipate the needs tomorrow, giving you full control over your systems and complete visibility of your data.
WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) allows you to explore, evaluate and gain hands-on access to various HPE technologies—so you can try them before investing and deploying them seamlessly.
If a consumption-based model is your goal, HPE GreenLake is a way to reach it. HPE GreenLake brings a cloud-like experience to all your apps and data. It can be used on-premises or in the hybrid cloud—at your choice of location with public cloud integration.
HPE's operating model offers sustainability, scalability, and efficiency in a flexible solution customized for your enterprise.
The procurement process is fraught with red tape. Procurement departments face challenges getting buy-in, approval, etc. The current financial climate is not making that process any easier. Widespread rising prices will be a significant challenge in 2023, according to CIO.com. And as reported by EY, higher inflation makes it even more challenging to invest in long-term transformation. Even the best plan for storage automation takes approvals, which takes time and slows progress. What are you requesting? What's involved? How do you justify capital investments in digital transformation when you're still waiting to see solid ROIs from pandemic-era initiatives?
THE SOLUTION: Cut the red tape by reframing your procurement strategy. Instead of RFPs and protracted negotiations over multiple contracts, a consumption model may require only an SOW or a change order request.
With GreenLake, you know what to expect. You know the process. You did the upfront work in your statement of work. For example, WWT recently created a GreenLake solution for the Department of Defense. The GreenLake model enabled the DOD to obtain funding from Congress and do the work in year one—much faster than buying on-premises infrastructure.
This model allows your procurement team, CFO, and key stakeholders to focus on the business versus the uphill struggle for spending approval. In turn, procurement can then focus on what they can optimize next.
The skills gap is a national concern. IT departments don't have the skills to build, run, optimize, or secure all the systems they need to keep up with today's demands. Staff shortages and turnover leave gaps in institutional knowledge, making scale-up difficult, if not impossible.
THE SOLUTION: Leverage automation so overloaded staff can focus on higher-priority data center and business needs.
WWT automation teams with HPE automation tools enable you to efficiently resources, reassess models, and fine-tune storage performance around criticality, responsiveness, and relevance to overall business objectives.
Securing data is constantly evolving, demanding more resources to ensure compliance and remove new threats. Hackers (internal and external) are increasingly targeting hardware instead of software, adding to the burden of considerations when considering any growth upgrading your infrastructure. In securing your IT ecosystem, you will want to consider:
- Where was the hardware built? Is cryptographic authentication built in? What's the microcode at the firmware level?
- Not to mention an eternal pain point: having to take the servers down any time you do firmware upgrades.
THE SOLUTION: Protect your digital supply chain automatically.
HPE GreenLake employs a Zero Trust Architecture from the edge to the cloud, ensuring security and compliance throughout the data infrastructure. Automatic updates help you secure the integrity of your hardware, operating systems, virtualization systems, and workloads, providing continuous protection—spanning clouds, data centers, and edge-to-cloud.
In addition to helping you assess your data needs, WWT technical experts will assess your existing environment and provide unbiased feedback and strategic solutions for all your business modernization needs. We can help you design, test, and deliver best-in-class HPE solutions that optimize performance and drive your business forward. Whether you need to identify ways to scale your IT for fluctuating demands; support next-generation processors and accelerators; map out your data gravity issues and move your overly-burdensome workloads; or get as much out of your data as possible, we can help you meet your challenges and rise above them at every stage. You can also leverage our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) for hands-on access to explore any HPE server solutions and interact directly with expert solution architects who can provide product comparisons and recommendations.