I hear it all the time – midmarket customers today are frequently facing the same big challenge – they do not have time to innovate or focus on aligning IT with the business. They spend most of their time managing day-to-day operations or near-term projects, even though IT leaders want to focus on new innovation that can help transform their businesses.
According to Gartner, they recommend aligning “data center initiatives with the Run, Grow and Transform (RGT) strategy and the business momentum.”*
- Run the Business – Is all about keeping existing operations and infrastructure running to serve the business. This is KTLO (keeping the lights on) mode;
- Grow the Business – Initiatives relate to capacity planning, infrastructure upgrades, new app delivery models (public/private/hybrid cloud);
- Transform the Business – Initiatives relate to completely new ideas for driving new business, new innovative applications, business intelligence to find new markets or better ways to engage with your existing customers.
Midmarket customers we speak to often spend more than 80% of their time on Running the Business. They may also spend some time on Grow the Business initiatives, but they don’t have time to focus on initiatives to Transform the Business. A major concern with this situation relates to the competition. If an organization’s competitor can find a way to innovate, then the organization is in serious jeopardy of falling behind or worse. Just look at what Amazon and Uber have done to their competitors in retail and transportation.
SimpliVity is helping customers address this problem by allowing them to more efficiently address Running and Growing the Business, which gives them time to innovate. An example SimpliVity customer doing this is Coughlan Companies. Brett Hoerner, Manager of Infrastructure at Coughlan, says it best: “Before SimpliVity, we spent 80% of our time working on day-to-day IT administration and 20% of our time working on strategic architectural issues. With SimpliVity, we now spend 80% of our time innovating and driving key business initiatives.”
Coughlan Companies serves as a holding company for Capstone, a publisher of children’s books, and an industrial mining and processing company. Coughlan is an international organization with sites in the U.S. and the U.K. The company relied on a mix of legacy equipment across its different sites including tradition servers, NAS and SAN gear along with VMware for virtualization. The IT team manages the entire multinational operation from Minnesota, with little or no IT support at the remote locations.
The IT team was consumed with managing the legacy stack below the hypervisor. Operations like creating LUNs, managing storage, configuring RAID sets, expanding the SAN or NAS systems, adding VMs, and reliably performing and verifying remote backups consumed a large portion of the IT staff’s time. If a performance issue arose, then the process of “finding the bottleneck” across the various silos was a major challenge and time sink.
Coughlan selected SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure for both a multi-site, remote office / branch office (ROBO) modernization project and a new core ERP application for their company. With SimpliVity deployed, the IT staff has gained significant time back that had been spent “running” the old legacy infrastructure. A key goal for the team at Coughlan Companies was to reduce or eliminate the technology silos. With SimpliVity, they have simplified the IT down to just VMware and SimpliVity. Their confidence has improved, and they have time to focus on new IT initiatives the can deliver innovation to their business.
To learn how you can simplify IT and give your IT team time back to focus on transforming your business, I recommend reading the full story on the Coughlan Companies in this case study and check-out the new 2015 State of Hyperconverged Infrastructure Market Report.
*Source: Gartner, Building an Agile Operation Means More Than Just Keeping the Lights On, Henrique Cecci, 1 July 2014, G00257987