Data Centre Modernisation – It’s all about the experience

When people ask me about data centre modernisation, I often tell them the story of my favourite steak restaurant. Bear with me on this one… Every so often I go out to a local restaurant that serves my favourite medium rare sirloin steak. The meal costs about £50, the experience is hassle free and everything is delivered to me literally on a plate. The restaurant orders the different ingredients for the dish, the chef cooks those ingredients while the waiter lays the table and brings the meal to me with a glass of wine. The restaurant hires the staff to ensure my steak night is a seamless experience and all I have to do is eat, drink and leave. The alternative? I stay at home, which means I have to buy the steak, prepare the meal, buy the wine and then clear up afterwards. It involves a considerable amount of my time and energy as well as costs in lighting and heating. Your data centre modernisation menu For me, the steak dining analogy is important because it has a bearing on the data centre modernisation programme for many organisations. It’s what lies behind the seamless experience that is critical – the patching, the management, the air conditioning, the floor costs… and when you move into the complexity of the multi-cloud environment, you still expect the same seamless experience. In other words, the superlative steak restaurant service. This rich, hassle-free world comes down to your infrastructure choices. Your menu is either Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service or Software as a Service, which is consumable via a self-service portal. All this ensures you’re running the right suite of applications on a stable platform. A superlative service is crucial for the health of your organisation and that’s why we look in-depth at your operations, to ensure you have a seamless experience to achieve your business outcomes, while saving on costs. Every enterprise consumes IT in a certain way, but fundamentally it all comes down to users and data; there are always users and there is always data, created by the users or created for them to use. Everything we do as IT professionals has to facilitate the interface between the users and the data they utilise. I have been consolidating data centres for some 25 years and in all that time – first and foremost – I have viewed myself as something of a problem solver, providing the right solutions for customers. And I like to get down to those fundamentals; to understand the business needs and outcomes so I can deploy the right technology to bring about the right solution, to overcome obstacles in the way of the user/data relationship. Often organisations fail to understand the many and varied problems involved with data centre modernisation and moving to the cloud. For instance, many will have outdated firmware and drivers as vendors are always adding new functionality. So customers need to keep abreast of innovations that are happening around them. Back to the steak analogy; you need to keep up to date with fresh ingredients. Mature steaks are great, but after they’ve been hanging for 35 days they start to go rotten. Likewise, outdated firmware will undermine the seamless experience your users expect and your business needs; indeed, if left too long this can actually become a serious danger to the health of your enterprise. The NHS ransomware attack of last year was a good case in point. It all stemmed from a failure to update the operating system – a failure to overcome the obstacle between the users and the data – and eventually cost the healthcare provider £90,000 and huge reputational damage. Business outcomes into technology solutions It’s our mantra to put the workloads on the appropriate platform at the appropriate costs within a modern compliant and regulatory environment. It is also our job to translate your required business outcomes into technology solutions, to give you the best solution at the best total cost of ownership and with the best return on investment. And it’s important to reiterate that a lot of companies in the modern workspace define their cloud first strategy without necessarily understanding what cloud first is – because cloud isn’t appropriate for all of the workloads. For example, certain workloads may cost you twice as much to run in the cloud as they do to run on-premise. You could have workloads running very fast 24/7 that are never turned off and are constantly crunching data – and that may not be the best place for a cloud solution. So at SCC we offer technology solutions that work on-premise or in the cloud and can even burst out in either direction to help that application run. It may be a cliché, but the focus should always be on flexibility and agility. For instance, maybe applications that your users only access from 9 to 5 during the day don’t need to be on at night. You need to have that flexibility and agility to build solutions that work for you as a business. SCC uses a suite of technologies to upgrade your data centre strategy – from an initial assessment and design through to migration, management and optimisation – without the need for any internal technical skills. It’s important to take the stress out of digital transformation with an end-to-end service, so the business can function without concerns around the technology that underpins the operations. Enterprises all have to adapt, update and innovate. I may like going to my steak restaurant once in a while, but if another opens its doors nearby and quickly establishes a reputation as a better dining experience, then I’ll not hesitate to go there instead. Food for thought eh? For more information on our Data Centre Modernisation Services please click here.
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