Time to Replace That Old IT Jalopy

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

From Clutter to Control - Time to Spring Clean the Applications Portfolio

As the economy seems to be steadily recovering, we're starting to see more IT organizations exit the bunker mentality that characterized much of the way IT has been managed for the last two years. During that time, the name of the game for many IT organizations was to hold the IT infrastructure together with as much baling wire and duct tape and using as few people as possible.

If that sounds like the guy who spends most of his time off and extra income trying to keep an old jalopy running versus buying a new car, the analogy is apt. And that sense of envy that guy has every time he sees a new car go by also applies equally well to IT managers and their legacy equipment.

While we're still dealing with the impact of the economic downturn, a lot of IT organizations have come to realize how costly it is to maintain older systems in terms of the actual time and effort required to keep them running. That's why so many of them are starting to investigate a more holistic approach to IT infrastructure that many hope will be simpler to manage. In effect, there is a desire to do some serious spring IT cleaning of legacy systems that may now be more trouble than their worth to manage.

One of the vendors trying to facilitate this much-needed refresh of IT infrastructure is Dell. The company recently launched a simultaneous refresh of its server, storage and switch product lineups for small-to-medium business (SMB) customers. According to Tony Parkinson, Dell director for SMB, in this age of virtualization, it's almost impossible to upgrade one element of the IT infrastructure without having a material impact on the other. As a result, Dell is starting to place a greater emphasis on a more comprehensive approach to packaging its offerings in ways that are simpler to digest and ultimately manage.

It's a little too early to say whether IT organizations are ready to standardize on one vendor in the name of simplicity. But it is certain that many IT organizations are more exhausted than ever because of the complexity of managing IT, which means that if they have the budget, there are many among them that would prefer to eliminate much of that complexity by any means necessary as soon as financially possible.

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