The journey to delivering data services anywhere starts with transforming your approach to deploying and managing storage and data technologies. Part of that is mindset. How do you map technology and technology trends—such as cloud, software-defined infrastructure and edge computing —to business benefits and outcome? Another component is choosing the right solutions and technology partners to make the transition at your own pace and with minimal disruption.
In this article, we look at five steps IT teams can take to transform their approach to managing storage and data technologies to maximize the value of their data and deliver data services anywhere within the organization and its broader ecosystem. We also look at technology solutions that enable you to make the transition smoothly and with an eye toward future-proofing your investment.
Step 1: Adapt business-focused KPIs. Change the IT team’s key performance indicators from familiar infrastructure outcomes and internal indicators—such as performance, uptime and cost of infrastructure—to business-visible outcomes and revenue-generating KPIs. This could be measured in terms of speed in getting new product to market, Net Promoter Scores, or improvements in employee retention and job satisfaction, among other factors.
Step 2: Move quickly, yet methodically and strategically. Begin applying newly acquired information from your data investigation into workloads and applications so you can put existing data to work for your business from day one. Many data architecture programs share a common problem: Value capture begins only at the end, after all the pieces are in place. But this type of big-bang effort doesn’t have to be the case. Consider making changes by site or department by department so you can transform both quickly and methodically.
Step 3: Build a new platform piece by piece. Start with the data on hand and then talk about the use case or end-to-end workflow that has the greatest opportunity for business impact. This sets the IT team up for success. The goal for this step is to create advocates and additional funding if necessary to continue to enable data-driven business improvements.
Step 4: Prepare to deliver data services anywhere. Putting the right technology foundation in place is essential. Transforming how you manage storage and data services will typically mean embracing software-defined hybrid cloud storage technologies. In a hybrid cloud model, you can align technologies, architecture and infrastructure solutions to the applications and services your business needs, which will mean delivering data services on premises, at the edge or in the public cloud.
For a more in-depth look at how to deliver data services anywhere, please see “Building a New Model for Data and Storage Services to Deliver Transformation Business Value.”
Step 5: Choose a data services partner that is in sync with your transformation goals. The reality is that transforming from a hardware/software-centric approach to one focused on delivering data services can be complicated and difficult. It’s worth the effort because of the benefits it delivers to the business and the burden it eases for IT. But it is helpful, to say the least, to work with a partner that understands the challenges and has developed its solutions and architectures to facilitate this type of transformation.
Of all the vendors in the data and storage management space, NetApp is best positioned to help IT teams make this journey. NetApp has already accomplished this type of transformation within its own business and has used what it has learned to help define its data services solutions for customers operating in an increasingly complex hybrid/multicloud world.
For more information on how your organization can successfully transform management of storage and services to make the transition to delivering data services anywhere, please visit NetApp at www.netapp.com/data-storage/solutions-on-prem-cloud/.