According to most industry analysts, information technology (IT) spending will increase in the near-term. Businesses that have survived the Great Recession are now pouring money into cloud computing and virtualization technologies, mobile, social, and collaborative technologies. They view these innovations as game-changers that can create new, more cost-effective ways to acquire, engage with, and retain customers. They also see in these technologies new ways to collaborate with business partners efficiently and responsively, and new ways to respond more rapidly to strategic opportunities (or crises) as they unfold.
For IT organizations, this kind of techno-feeding frenzy can be both exciting and overwhelming. The new technologies hold great promise for the business, but they also promise to complicate the lives of those tasked with deploying and managing them.
The key to success for IT organizations facing these challenges? Evolve into a Real-time IT organization.
Evolving into a Real-time IT Organization
Real-time IT is all about empowering IT with the real-time tools that can enable them to deliver services more effectively to the broader enterprise. It’s not just about providing the tools that IT needs to manage the infrastructure of an enterprise that’s simultaneously going virtual and mobile, social and collaborative — it’s also about providing IT itself with the virtual, mobile, social, and collaborative tools that can enable it to support this evolving enterprise more effectively.
At a time when more and more users are bringing their own devices to work — and expecting IT to support them — IT needs to be more flexible than ever. With employees working around the world — and therefore around the clock — IT needs ways to be more responsive and efficient than ever (because you know that the IT organization itself is not going to get bigger than ever).
IT organizations that focus on the idea of Real-time IT can rise to these challenges. Indeed, they can rise above these challenges in ways that are critically important both for IT and for the broader enterprise. Real-Time IT tools enable IT organizations to operate far more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before, and this creates opportunities for IT leaders to spend more time with business leaders determining how best to deploy information technology to open the doors to new business opportunities. And, it should be noted, how best to deploy information technology is not just a question of how to execute an existing process faster. With input from IT leaders about how IT can be leveraged, business leaders can begin to see opportunities that may not have been apparent before.
As the enterprise infrastructure expands more deeply into uncharted virtual and mobile spaces, Real-time IT tools provide a way to manage the entire enterprise from a single pane of glass. At the same time, they help IT play an ever more meaningful role in the evolution of the enterprise — and those IT organizations and those enterprises that can take advantage of this opportunity will be the ones who thrive in the future.
The Requirements for Real-time IT
Real-time IT organizations require tools that are not just on 24/7, but that can keep pace with the needs of business on a 24/7 basis. These are tools that can act upon a fundamental understanding of the processes and priorities that are of greatest importance to the business. Monitoring for availability is important, to be sure, but Real-time IT goes much further. Real-time IT enables you to monitor the experience of users and customers. If the experience of a customer on your website is not optimal, you need tools that can enable you to know that and respond quickly — otherwise the firm cannot maximize revenue and profitability.
The subtext here is that Real-time IT organizations now share in the responsibility of meeting the business goals of the company. Moving forward, many critical business processes will be predicated on emerging technologies like virtualization, cloud, mobile, and social apps, and IT organizations require flexible, powerful real-time tools to manage these “always on” technologies. Indeed, IT organization can take advantage of these same game-changing technologies to deliver IT service more effectively. Traditional IT management tools haveproven themselves good at managing silos, but Real-time IT tools break down the barriers between these silos and offer a holistic, actionable view of the entire organization and its infrastructure. That includes the network, the servers, the applications, and the user experiences that make the business what it is. With the tools to manage that broader world effectively, the IT organization is poised to play a much more important role in the organization as it evolves.
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