Take your average mid-size IT operations organization. They're running a variety of operations, both inside and outside the data center, including end user device support. Notice I said device and not computer, because increasingly, IT shops aren't just managing the business critical applications, but also, campus infrastructure like printers, WiFi and telephone systems, digital signage , security controls , and their employees smart phones, tablets, car navigation systems that are connected to the WiFi. Then there's what they were hired to do - manage the boxed applications from vendors like SAP as well as home grown applications built on LAMP stacks or Java with SQL or Oracle back-ends that move the business - order taking, accounting, payroll, customer relationship management, inventory flow and order to manufacturing, demand generation and sales tracking. The list goes on and on. It's growing and each application requires regular maintenance and updates to meet new business needs. All these applications require 100 percent uptime and need to be recoverable in the event of a catastrophe - which means they need rock solid infrastructure, software and data management tools that will reliably work. And work with each other.
Add to this the fact that in most cases, the CIO has mandated that IT evolve to a more agile model where the functional silos of hardware and software expertise are being torn down in favor of service-oriented groups and the traditional cycle of application or project development and delivery is being challenged to move faster, automate everything, provide automated feedback and institutionalize iterative learning.
So how do IT shops cope? Lots of ways, but one common approach is to go to the public cloud. Or alternatively slow down the rate of delivery and their users go to the cloud on their own - sometimes breaking all kinds of compliance rules. When you go to the cloud, operations get a lot simpler. The cloud service provider takes care of the infrastructure and provides a simple set of interfaces that let IT staff focus on architecting at the application level... until the bill comes in. And it generally doesn't happen overnight - but within a couple of months or a year it becomes obvious that there's a high price for that simplicity.
Whether for cost or compliance concerns, the CFO or CIO will likely claw the resources back from the cloud... which isn't received well by the IT operations team. Spending less time on low-level hardware or firmware or interoperability maintenance and troubleshooting provided relief. The application infrastructure model that the cloud provides finally gave them some breathing room to focus on the mountain of backlog projects in queue.
What IT shops need is an infrastructure that solves both the operators' and CIO's concerns. Operators need a data center that runs like a cloud - where they spend no time focusing on low-level configuration details and more time on application-centric architecture and innovation. CIOs need an environment that enables agile development and operations so they can increase project throughput, but they need cost and compliance controls to make sure that IT value matches the level of expense and risk that's right for their business.
Lenovo's ThinkAgile CP is built to help solve this problem. It delivers an on-premise infrastructure at a fixed investment, providing a secure environment and predictable costs for the CIO's business demands. It provides everything needed to run a private cloud - the networking, compute and storage hardware as well as the cloud management platform - as a fully managed product. No interoperability or manual updates to make within any single component of the stack. The interface is designed with IT generalists, application owners and developers in mind. And like a public cloud, you do not need certifications and training to operate the environment.
Enterprise IT shops deliver a ton of value outside of the data center infrastructure. Non-IT people don't realize how much they rely on IT for basic yet critical functions like making sure their phone works or that they can print a document or deliver a purchase order to manufacturing. And it's those activities which tend to be much more visible to the business and impactful to the bottom line. So then it should be obvious - IT should spend its time focusing on delivering and improving those things. And Lenovo's ThinkAgile CP series allows that to happen!