August 27, 2015

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Software Defined Infrastructure :Why the CIO is still relevant

With the emergence of Digitization and Internet of Things (IoT), the demand for highly agile digital applications and workflows built on third-platform principles has increased, and LoB leaders and the CIO’s peers in an enterprise have begun consuming infrastructure services directly from public clouds such as AWS, Google and Azure. The CIO community has traditionally been the custodian of conventional datacenter architecture based on hardware technologies that were monolithic and brittle in nature; but this trend is putting immense pressure on it to provide agile and scalable infrastructure that can present competitive advantages.

CIOs are also challenged by their applications teams on the economic aspect of what cloud brings to the table. Their peers are comparing internal infrastructure pricing with the public cloud rates available. It is a big threat for CIOs when external providers are considered for such requirements as opposed to buying infrastructure from the central IT team. This also gives rise to a spate of technologies under a single roof with little or no standardization.  

In addition, significant IT decisions are being made without taking the CIOs’ considerations into account, and business believes that the current architecture cannot support new age application development and maintenance

To prove their relevance, CIOs are quickly adhering to the standards of public cloud. This is why Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) is gaining a prominent place in discussions within the CIO community. It is, in fact, one of the most discussed topics in global forums. CIOs are primarily looking at SDI as a concept to build the datacenters of the future, which are known as Software Defined Datacenters (SDDC).

SDI not only needs a bare installation of the stacks but also the customization of business processes that must work in an SDI environment. SDI also requires the customization of applications that have been traditionally built on traditional hardware-based reference architecture. A significant aspect of SDI is Software Defined infrastructure Management (SDIM), which is all about monitoring and management tools. Having said that, the challenges are not limited to the ones stated here.

Despite the initial adoption challenges, SDI is being considered as one of the biggest bets for CIOs to prove their relevance. In my next blog, I will discuss the aspects of Software Defined Datacenters, which will illustrate how CIOs can stay relevant.

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