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Meeting Old Challenges in the New Normal

So it’s more or less official: the recession ended in June 2009. Anyone watching IT departments this year could have told you that. When the economy ramps up, there’s a shift in focus from cost savings and maintenance (back when I was an IT manager, we called it “bunker mode”) to innovation that moves the business forward. And in 2010 we’ve certainly observed that. IT departments are concentrating not only on streamlining operations and lowering costs—an absolute mandate of the recession—but also on innovation that leads to better business operations, greater productivity, and increased revenues—a clarion call of recovery.  Now, this innovation can be in business practice or improved technology—and most likely both—but it almost always begins with IT. Streamlining IT functions, managing assets carefully, and ensuring uninterrupted operations can lower costs, increase reliability, and free resources for research, development, and innovation.

 So it’s back to business as usual running IT departments and data centers in an expanding recovery, right? Wrong.

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Rich Applications + Poor Networks = Customer Experience Turn-off

You’ve probably seen the spinning “loading” wheel or the dreaded “hour glass” quite often in your Internet browsing experience, especially on rich media sites where videos download to your browser. You blame your ISP and move on. Lucky you.

Imagine if you are a store clerk manning the cash counter at a local big box store on Black Friday. Your POS application just went down, and the “self-service” counters have just blacked out. A collective sigh that goes up in the line doesn’t help either.

Now whom do you blame?

There are many layers to this problem. A typical business information ecosystem combines hardware—storage, servers, large computing capabilities; software applications—graphic interface driven information manipulation solutions; and the glue that connects them all—networking.

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