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Keeping up with Demand

How time flies: Cisco and Intel are celebrating their one-year partnership anniversary of Unleashing IT with the launch of the all new, Spring 2013 edition. Available online and in print, this latest installment is once again packed with thought-leadership content and company profiles.

Over the past year, Unleashing IT has uncovered and shared many IT best practices. The industries represented through the company profiles featured are extremely diverse, as are their solutions and deployment strategies.

But there is a common thread -- they are all are leveraging data center technology to advance, accelerate and streamline their business, enter new markets, all while achieving substantial cost savings. From education to healthcare to utility companies, innovation in the data center is driving their success -- and allowing them to keep up with demands of the business.

Perhaps you will find inspiration from these profiles, sparking new ideas -- and allowing you unleash the full potential of IT for your business.

To get full access to Unleashing IT, subscribe or log in here.

 

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Virtual desktops, virtual workspaces, voice, video, … virtual reality

Today, there is lots of buzz around the big news from Cisco and our ecosystem partners with the launch of next generation VXI validated solutions.   If you missed our launch event, you can still get all the details online via our community.

Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) delivers desktop virtualization with secure access to data, voice, and video for fixed and mobile devices.    

Pretty cool but, why is virtualization important for government agencies? 

  1. cost control, more than ever government agencies are focused on strategies to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs
  2. flexibilty, allow government workers ability to work in different workplaces, from city hall to public works, with choices of different combinations of virtual desktops, voice, and video devices including latest smartphones, tablets, and Cisco Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC)
  3. security, better security and control of information in the data center rather than distributed endpoints and with the ”bring your own device” (BYOD) to work phenomenon, security is more critical than ever
  4. uncompromised, helping government agencies achieve mission objectives without compromising cost or resilience mandates

See more details below. Read More »

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The Automation Imperative

So what’s with the increased interest in automation lately?  No doubt you’ve noticed there have been more than a few blogs already written on this site and others espousing the importance and value of automation.  (“Meet the Newest Member of Your Data Center Operations Team,” Tere’ Bracco, November 8, 2010 and “Mad Scientist Alert,” Christopher Kennessey, October 27, 2010) What trends lie behind this demand?  Three come to mind:

1)     Disappearing cost-benefit of offshoring

2)     Increasing skills shortage

3)     Growing adoption of virtualization/cloud technologies

And each of these deserves a bit more exploration. Today, I will focus on offshoring and leave the other two for future blogs.

Moving IT operations to low-cost parts of the world has been a very lucrative exercise for the past two decades.  However, the financial benefits that were obvious 10 years ago are mostly gone thanks to increasing salaries in India, China, and other emerging countries combined with rising hassle costs (compliance, regulations, security, communications, language, and management) associated with off-shoring.  Here is a quote from Sramana Mitra who wrote a very well publicized and much debated article in 2008 titled “The death of Indian outsourcing” (http://www.sramanamitra.com/2008/01/22/death-of-indian-outsourcing/).  She writes “Rising wages in the most popular offshore centers (especially Bangalore), are eroding the cost advantage that drove this business to India in the first place. When the practice began, there was a 1:10 cost advantage. Today, this has dropped to 1:3. Over the next 5 years, perhaps, it won’t make sense to send work to India anymore.”  Further complicating the offshoring play is the 20-40% attrition rates seen in many of these low-cost countries.

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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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