IBM Global Small and Medium Business Gain Competitive Advantage by Aligning Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives Gain Competitive Advantage by Aligning Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives May 2007 Executive overview Contents In today’s highly competitive business environment, CEOs view growth as a key focus area. Growth is attained with planned strategies and by exploiting 2 Executive overview opportunities. It is important that IT infrastructure respond rapidly to 3 Simplify and automate IT assets changing business priorities so that it can handle business growth. 4 Increase operational efﬁciency 6 Retain and grow By contrast, many IT departments typically make IT purchase decisions based 7 Summary on short-term business requirements and timetables. Although this strategy meets the needs of the business, over time it results in disparate systems that are running on many individual servers and that require multiple support teams. Problem identification is complex, data accessibility across systems is generally limited and integrating new applications to existing systems seems impossible. The end result is an IT infrastructure that has met yesterday’s business needs but today is inflexible with rising operational and maintenance costs. IT optimization can bridge the differences between the disparate inflexible infrastructures of the past and the current need for IT to facilitate business growth. IT optimization is the process of modifying your IT infrastructure to be more consolidated, flexible and automatic. An optimized IT infrastructure facilitates the integration of new business applications. It fuels growth by managing costs through enhanced IT asset utilization, reduces operating expenses and makes it easier to manage your entire IT infrastructure in line with the growth objectives of your company. All businesses, regardless of size, can enjoy the benefits from IT optimization. An effective approach to IT optimization involves three stages: 1. Simplify IT infrastructure to reduce cost. 2. Create operational efficiency to increase flexibility. 3. Retain and grow IT infrastructure to align with company business goals. Simplification is the consolidation of servers, storage and network assets into logical asset pools. This provides a consolidated view of data, which can 2 Gain Competitive Advantage by Aligning Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives May 2007 minimize costs and lead to more efficient utilization of resources. Increasing “Virtualization plus operational efficiency is automating capacity and workload management for workload management increased flexibility and ultimately achieving policy-based computing, which and partitioning results in better IT and business alignment. Retain and grow is a strategy of will enable platform realigning the IT budget by using savings in maintenance and operational costs to invest in growth initiatives. This paper describes these stages in more detail. utilization to more than double during the next Simplify and automate IT assets five years.” Today, you might be facing an IT environment with one workload per server, —Dan Vogel, “Key IT Operational labor-intensive provisioning and disparate management tools that are spread Process Trends,” META Group over multiple sites. IBM and our Business Partners provide a comprehensive portfolio of services and solutions to help mid-sized companies simplify and automate their IT assets to: • Reduce IT complexity. • Use resources (hardware, software, people) more efficiently. • Manage costs better. Simplification of IT assets provides a consolidated view of data, regardless of where it is housed, freeing up valuable resources so that they can focus on exploring innovative ways to gain competitive advantage. You can also reuse your assets more easily, which reduces the cost of change in your IT environment. Simplification provides a proven architecture and platform that centrally supports and manages applications that are currently maintained at different sites. It also uses automated provisioning, which lowers costs by removing labor-intensive tasks. This can dramatically improve your decision- making, increase productivity, improve relationships with customers, partners and suppliers and create more uniform customer service. Virtualization is a significant component of asset simplification. When you establish multiple virtual servers per physical server, you can enjoy noticeable cost savings. When you incorporate an intranet and extranet portal, such as IBM WebSphere® Portal Express, to share information, it further facilitates 3 Gain Competitive Advantage by Aligning Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives May 2007 productivity improvements and cost savings. When your physical server utilization rates increase, your virtual servers are provisioned quickly and automatically. Such automation lowers your provisioning costs while letting your business respond quickly to changing business needs. In addition, with automatic workload management, your IT infrastructure utilization rates can be high without the burden of costly labor-intensive manual system configurations. Utilizing multiple virtual servers per physical server will also dramatically reduce licensing costs in many configurations and facilitate administration. Some typical cost reductions associated with IT asset simplification include: • Server consolidation (4 to 1) • Storage consolidation (25%) • Network consolidation • Support automation (30%) • Software licenses Increase operational efficiency A National Institute of Standards and Technology study states that 60% of availability and performance issues are caused by IT changes such as integrating new applications and upgrading hardware and software. For many companies today, provisioning a new business solution means provisioning a new application. In the past, this also required a new server to be provisioned along with networking and an operating system. These labor-intensive provisioning tasks are the first areas of possible failure when a performance or availability problem is found with the new business solution. When your technical resources, including hardware, software, services and staff, are consumed with problem determination and resolution, it can adversely affect efficiency and productivity. This is because identifying the root cause of problems and rectifying them can be extremely time-consuming 4 Gain Competitive Advantage by Aligning Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives May 2007 and very costly. The same National Institute of Standards and Technology study showed that 80% of development funds are spent identifying and fixing problems. Why does problem determination and resolution claim so much time? Because many companies rely on manual processes to identify and solve problems—manual processes that can impair a company’s competitiveness. IBM solutions for operational efficiency automate configuration, maintenance and problem determination and resolution tasks. They also integrate with existing IT environments to help mid-sized companies improve the performance and flexibility of their infrastructures. In turn, your solutions become more effective and less costly. Automated detection and isolation of performance bottlenecks identifies and corrects problems quickly without manual intervention and that means your organization can respond rapidly to shifting workloads and priorities. Automated provisioning of operating systems along with the business application onto a newly provisioned virtual server greatly reduces the mistakes that are possible during manual provisioning, and it also reduces the planning and procurement costs. In an IT environment optimized by IBM, a new virtual server is provisioned automatically and a new operating system is installed by IBM Tivoli® Provisioning Manager for OS Deployment Express. IBM Tivoli Provisioning Manager Express then provisions the new business application. The process is efficient and repeatable and errors are rare. Not only is the new business solution able to run with an improved operational efficiency, but it was also created in an efficient operation. By reducing the time that your staff spends on problem determination and resolution and by increasing the productivity of all technical resources, your IT infrastructure and staff can promote rather than inhibit your on demand business. Solutions such as IBM Tivoli Monitoring Express are powerful, affordable and easy-to-use availability solutions that help mid-sized companies manage their IT infrastructures with less system intervention, less disruption to their business and greater efficiency. You gain better visibility and control 5 Gain Competitive Advantage by Aligning Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives May 2007 of your increasingly complex IT infrastructure and applications—and faster problem determination and resolution. And, with IBM Enterprise Workload Manager, you can monitor transaction response time with specified service levels, system utilization and delay. The benefits of increased operational efficiency include: • Better server and storage use • Less server redundancy • The cost savings of automated provisioning • IT assets that are aligned with business requirements through orchestration Retain and grow As demands on your existing IT infrastructure grow each year, more resources are required to maintain the existing infrastructure. IT budgets have two components: spending on new initiatives and spending to operate and maintain IT organizations, systems and equipment. Companies typically spend approximately 80% of their budgets on maintenance and operations, leaving little of the IT budget left for new projects, such as integrating business processes with key partners, suppliers and clients. As you reduce the complexity and improve how your IT assets are used, the maintenance and licensing cost savings can be reallocated from routine operating expenses to investments that more directly support company objectives and business growth, such as innovative technologies, services, techniques and strategic opportunities. By integrating existing systems into a flexible IT infrastructure, you are giving IT the tools to respond to changing business priorities rapidly. The IBM Express Advantage IT Optimization portfolio includes offerings to help you integrate or migrate existing systems. If you are not sure which direction is best for your company, the IBM Express IT Strategy Assessment 6 Gain Competitive Advantage by Aligning Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives May 2007 offering will help you determine which strategy is best today and in the future. Oxford Instruments cut These IBM solutions are developed with mid-sized companies in mind, so they its total IT operating are easy to implement, use and manage. costs by around 20% by consolidating If integrating systems is your priority, you will look at many aspects, including data integration. IBM Balanced Warehouse offers a simple solution for onto the IBM System integrating scattered data resources into a scalable data warehouse that you x™ platform through can use to create, manage and deliver reports over the Web or embedded reduced maintenance, in applications. By integrating your data, you can send a unified view of administration and information to the right people at the right time, which helps them make floor space while informed business decisions. providing a unified brand image with IBM Another IT asset that you might want to optimize is your Web site. It is not only a communication and support tool for customers, but it is also a communication WebSphere Portal tool for investors and suppliers. IBM Express Web Effectiveness Assessment Server for both the evaluates and provides recommendations to improve the effectiveness of this intranet and extranet. communication channel. Summary By building a dynamic infrastructure, IT optimization offers many benefits, such as: • Improved efficiency • Managed capacity • Shared resources • Reduced complexity • Lower unit cost • Easy administration • Fast response rate Simplification of hardware and software returns a higher ROI than just the initial budget savings of software licensing and maintenance costs. 7 Simplification of your access to business data reduces the time and cost of © 2007 IBM Corporation making business decisions. IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 A simplified IT infrastructure can increase operational efficiency by U.S.A. reducing the time spent solving problems. This improved operational efficiency can increase employee productivity because it frees your staff to Produced in the United States of America 05-07 focus on growth initiatives instead of problems. All Rights Reserved. When you have access to a greater portion of your IT budget and staff, you IBM, the IBM logo, System x, Tivoli and WebSphere are can retain and grow your IT infrastructure, aligning it with the business trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, goals of your company. This increased IT infrastructure flexibility can help other countries or both. your company rapidly respond to opportunities. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. The IBM Express Advantage IT Optimization portfolio offers solutions References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them to help mid-sized companies simplify their IT infrastructures to achieve available in any other countries. exceptional performance. As with all Express Advantage solutions, they are easy to install, use and manage. Further, IBM’s Express Advantage The IBM home page on the Internet can be found at ibm.com program provides superior financing options, including leasing and loans, as well as a full range of buyback and recycling services, so that you can free up cash for core investments and lower your total cost of ownership. Only IBM and its vast network of Business Partners provide a range of solutions to help mid-sized companies simplify their IT infrastructures, deep expertise in every industry, extensive local presence and the support and backing of IBM to deliver simple, affordable, custom solutions. To help you get started, IBM and our Business Partners offer consulting in the form of the IBM Express IT Strategy Assessment to help you put together a strategy that will enable your IT environment to maximize the performance of current and future assets.
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