Industry talking to customers What's this? Is your data centre holding you back? Published: March 27th, 2017 By: IT World Canada The pressure is on for IT leaders to transform their business operations to gain advantage in the digital economy. But when your staff is spending too much time maintaining the data centre, innovative projects get pushed aside.Eighty per cent of CIOs say their plans are hindered by legacy infrastructure. According to an Intel white paper, “The bulk of enterprise software still runs on legacy platforms and on infrastructure that simply isn’t designed to achieve the levels of manageability, agility, and self-serve convenience that users now demand.”Yet, sitting on the digital transformation sidelines is not an option. Deloitte points out that new digital business models are the main reason why just over half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000.And IDC predicts that two-thirds of all companies will make transformation a core business strategy by 2020. Yet most Canadian companies are still in the early stages as they get set to tackle the challenge of dealing with legacy systems in their data centres.Why modernizing your data centre should be a top priorityThe explosive growth in data has placed incredible demands on traditional storage architectures. To meet these demands, enterprises need more automation, better use of computing and storage resources and on-the-fly provisioning. For many, this can be achieved by adopting an infrastructure controlled by software, known as ‘software-defined infrastructure.’A modern data centre that employs this technology yields a number of benefits for the business:Simplicity. Most data centres are complex environments and involve a lot of manual work to maintain. A 2015 IDC survey found that 49 per cent of staff time was taken up by daily administrative chores, such as patches and upgrades. Automation will simplify data centre management and reduces the chance of error.Agility. In traditional data centres, it can take a long time to deploy new infrastructure. Modern data centre technology allows you to add resources on the fly to ensure you can meet the needs of customers who expect better and faster service.Cost savings: Three-quarters of a company’s total IT expenses are operations and maintenance. Data centres can take up a big chunk of that in real estate, energy and operational costs. With modern technology, 20 racks of servers can easily be reduced to five, resulting in dramatic savings. For Intel, the shift to software-defined infrastructure has saved millions in capital investment and has improved operating efficiency by ten per cent each year.Cloud readiness: Businesses can’t expect to reap the benefits of cloud with traditional, siloed infrastructure. To become truly agile, you need to standardize and automate your infrastructure before moving to cloud.A new way to get startedFor many, especially those with complex infrastructures, the question of where to start can be daunting.Fortunately, global solutions provider, CompuCom recently launched a Data Centre Modernization Self-Assessment tool that provides a customized road map based on input you provide.“The tool is a good starting point,” says Ryan Demelo, program manager at CompuCom. “It provides useful insights on where to start in the move to a modernized data centre architecture and what it can do for your business.”The free assessment takes only a few minutes to complete. Participants will be asked to respond to a series of confidential questions about their organization, their business challenges and IT plans for the future. Afterwards, they’ll receive recommendations, including solutions worth exploring, and potential business benefits. Participants can request further “deep-dive” information, a discussion or a workshop, says Demelo.Take the Data Centre Modernization Self Assessment now.