THE EDGE he shift to the cloud brought many benefits and it has
T also added complexity to IT operations . For CIOs tasked with managing what has evolved into a sprawling hybrid IT architecture ( whether at the Edge , in distributed sites and / or in the cloud in a centralised data centre ), it ’ s hard to recall a more challenging time .
In an age when every Edge data centre and IT closet should be considered mission-critical , CIOs are in the spotlight . We are dependent on IT and every application is dependent on not just the data centre , but also on all the connection points . Most CIOs have resiliency of the systems at the top of their agendas and it ’ s fair to say that cybersecurity is a strong second . However , we also believe there is an emerging agenda item for CIOs : sustainability .
Resiliency , security and sustainability – a trifecta of responsibilities that could be keeping them up at night .
MOST CIOS IN THE FUTURE WILL BE ASKED A SIMPLE QUESTION : WHAT IS THE CARBON FOOTPRINT OF
YOUR IT AND WHAT ARE
YOU DOING TO REDUCE IT ?
For the forward-looking CIO , it may be time to evaluate your infrastructure portfolio to ensure you have the capacity and availability to support these new requirements . And it is not just about IT but also about the physical infrastructure : the power and cooling equipment supporting the IT .
To borrow a saying from Jack Welch , it might be time to ‘ Change before you have to ’.
Distributed IT poses basic questions for CIOs
Question 1 : How many server rooms , wiring closets and Edge sites do you have ? In other words , exactly how much ‘ distributed IT ’ do you own ?
It might be surprising , but most CIOs can ’ t answer this question definitively . This question sounds simple but with the proliferation of new installations and the legacy of old , answering is not easy for the savviest , most up-to-date CIO . It seems intuitively obvious : most CIOs would benefit from gaining greater insight into their physical infrastructure systems . Where are they located ? Are they cybersecure ? Are they in need of maintenance ? Knowing the answer to these questions is the first step in starting to ensure that sprawling IT infrastructure is resilient and cybersecure .
Question 2 : Who last accessed your IT rack and is the physical environment appropriate for equipment that is now considered mission-critical ?
The large number of server room and wiring closet locations represents a potential attack surface for physical intrusion – perhaps not as significant as a full-blown cyberattack but a vulnerability nonetheless and one that must be taken into consideration . In many distributed IT locations , it is unlikely there is local , knowledgeable staff . For the CIO , the challenge is to implement systems that enable the same best practices in data centres as in these remote locations .
Question 3 : How much energy is your IT consuming ?
Sustainability of IT has begun to come to the forefront in recent years . Harvard Business Review reports that 99 % of large company CEOs agree that sustainability issues are important to the success of their businesses and these concerns will extend , at some point , to the IT infrastructure .
Most CIOs in the future will be asked a simple question : what is the carbon footprint of your IT and what are you doing to reduce it ? Having visibility into the energy consumption of your entire IT infrastructure is rising in importance .
Software is key to drive reliability , security and sustainability
These three questions are directed at CIOs but that doesn ’ t mean CIOs have to answer them alone , nor should they be expected to do so . Resources and experts are available . Developments in Data Center Infrastructure Management software ( DCIM ) have made it easier to manage remote IT sites and derive granular information into not only how they are performing , but the status of www . intelligentdatacentres . com