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Making peace between IT and Operations – Plant Engineering Article

September 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm PST

Bridging the gap between IT and Operations

Understanding the shared goals can bring peace – and value to manufacturers.

Check out last quarters’ ‘Plant Engineering” Magazine (May 2012) and you’ll find Cisco’s published article where we discuss how the world of IT and Operations are coming together -- and it’s no longer a clash of corporate titans, more a collaboration of corporate allies.

We talk about the convergence between IT and OT (Operational Technologies) as businesses are embracing open standards and enjoying increased value at lower costs, and the issues that can raise.

The article covers how important it is to remember that the fundamental purpose for the IT organization is to provide the availability and the protection of critical information. The manufacturing operations group on the other hand, needs to build a product to sell to customers for money. Sometimes, the two groups are at odds with each other over their respective priorities. It is possible, however, to reach a mutual understanding that can meet both groups’ priorities and goals.

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Investing Means Gaining

Return on investment has been around for ages, but the meaning of ROI is taking a spin in today’s business world. Companies are no longer purchasing solutions for technology improvement; they are investing in better industry processes as a whole. In return, they can achieve positive cash flows.

Concentra, a national healthcare company, provides a perfect example. With an outdated data center, the company had exhausted their power and cooling resources and was in need of reconstruction.

Concentra did some research and discovered that, by significantly investing in revamping their IT infrastructure, not only could they dramatically improve efficiencies and performance, but they could also create a positive cash flow for the company.

Furthermore, implementation doesn’t have to be risky. Concentra’s Senior Vice President and CIO, Suzanne Kosub, says, “With the right planning and financial analysis, we were able to show exactly how much the project would cost, how long it would take to pay for itself, and what the company would gain moving forward.”

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Is a Data Center Transformation for You?

Is a Data Center Transformation for You?

Migrating mission-critical applications have known benefits, which are often accorded significant attention -- and for good reason. But what’s left unsaid is how the process is successfully carried out.

Application migration can be fearful – poor execution could result in unexpected and detrimental IT issues, which may negatively impact service levels for the entire company. But simply avoiding a migration is not solving the problem, either. More than likely, you will have to face an application migration at some point, due to poor application performance, outdated technology, or compromised architecture. This is when it becomes crucial to consult the right technology, and the right people.

Cisco provides a framework to help you understand the process of undergoing a data center transformation. In the Cisco® Domain Ten Framework, Cisco Services outlines information such as network standards, management procedures, security, and outsourcing options -- just to name a few.

The Cisco Domain Ten Framework will guide you through the most important aspects of the migration process, and what you should expect. You will gain insight into your environment that will enable you to predict whether your migration will be successful, and how to best execute the transformation – whether you are working with a virtualized, automated, or full cloud environment.

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The Enterprise’s Inclination to Private Cloud

By Uwe Lambrette, Director of Service Provider Solutions, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Cisco IBSG’s recent interviews with about 45 enterprise CIOs and architects clearly revealed that enterprises have a preference for private cloud. They want to maintain control over their IT, especially where the architecture is new and skills need to be built. In addition, they are not comfortable with accepting externally provided cloud solutions (although there are certainly exceptions).

At the same time, the survey indicated that once enterprises have gained private-cloud experience, they are more willing to allocate this architecture to an external provider.

This is reminiscent of the classic outsourcing
 cycle, where corporate functions are moved externally once they have become a commodity.

This trend has Read More »

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A Workplace as Flexible as the Network

Three trends are defining the enterprise workforce today: mobility, collaboration, and the BYOD movement, where employees connect the device of their choice to the enterprise network.  Smart companies are finding ways to embrace these trends for improved productivity, a more satisfied workforce, and lower costs. Read More »

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