Businesses should be turning their IT functions into a provider of services to the business, but legacy infrastructure can be a significant barrier to this, according to EMC.
“EMC is about 95 percent virtualised. Most of our customers are at around 50 percent. Most are trying to get to the ‘as a service’ world, which is one of the toughest things to do,” James Petter, EMC’s UK and Ireland vice-president and country manager told ComputerworldUK at an EMC infrastructure launch event in London this week.
The vendor believes that there is a clear path for businesses that want to simplify and reduce the cost of their IT, which Petter referred to as a “virtualisation journey”.
The journey comprises three phases, said Petter, starting with consolidating legacy infrastructure.
“That’s where you see 70 percent of time spent on maintenance,” he said, adding that this is where EMC’s new enterprise data service platform, VMAX3, which helps to consolidate enterprise applications on virtual machines, comes in. At its launch this week, EMC claimed that VMAX 3 offers up to three times faster performance and half the cost of ownership compared with previous versions.
The second phase of the virtualisation journey involves putting applications into the cloud. The third and final stage is running the IT environment as a service provider to the business.
“You increase agility and reduce cost,” Petter said. “With VMAX3, what would have taken 25 or 30 clicks in the old world, in the new world, we want to do it in two or three clicks, and your [IT] people can go out and do more innovative things that adds more value to the business.”
How far companies are on this ‘journey’ depends on the sector. According to Petter, service providers, oil and gas, e-gaming and gambling companies are among the most advanced, while the banking sector, for example, is "in the middle".
“They know they have to do it, but they’ve got 70 years of legacy to deal with," he said.
Having a clear leader to manage the transformation of IT is key to its achievement. This is why it is often with the CEO, CIO or CFO (chief financial officer) that Petter, as a country manager at EMC, has the relevant conversations.
“You need to have the governance in place to do it,” he said. “You need a leader. You’ve got to start from the top down. And then you put the kit in.”