What’s the slowest moving part of your IT stack

Everyone’s heard of the old military adage “You are only as fast as the slowest moving piece in your unit”. The phrase is applied across many areas of our life. Sports, relationships, business. But how often is it really applied in IT. I guess in reflection, its not often applied in IT as our industry is a field that moves forward in leaps and bounds, so we often don’t consider IT as being limited or inefficient simply because the benefit IT is delivering, is always better than what it was.

The IT stack
When considering how IT transforms business, the one key issue all organisations struggle with is how much is effective IT spend. As businesses mature and as IT evolves, this question has become a greater problem. Not to mention that it’s made worse by the state of the economy. So it logically means we should be looking at what is the slowest part of the IT stack.

I often ask friends and colleagues and commonly the answer I get is adoption, transformation, or something of that sort of high level conjecture – to most people it’s an academic question. In my mind however it is a practical question that can have tangible returns if treated correctly. There is a clear slow moving piece of the IT stack, but people rarely think it’s a part of the IT stack. The Data Centre Facility.

The traditional Date Centre facility
For years Data Centre’s have been the domain of facilities managers, specialist construction or project based organisations. Like all buildings, they are built under a project that may last one or two years. They certainly cost a lot and have a very structured ROI, which is balanced across many years. The implications are that we cant really change once we adopt, our associated costs increase at minimum with CPI and from the day we utilize the facility, we are forced into a solution who’s technology may already be many years old and just getting older.

But its just a building.

Just like all our other utility services which we consume, it’s a necessary evil. But unlike all our other utility services, there is a very indirect conversion between the building and how it actually accelerates our return or revenues. To most businesses, it delivers little more than being the necessary evil, but that shouldn’t be the case. In fact, buildings are one of the most obvious slow and most restrictive pieces within any business. Outside of IT, many organisations are addressing this limitation by developing the mobile work force. But what is happening in our field? How do we transform this fundamental layer of IT?

In my mind its simple. Make it a part of the IT stack. In this manner, the forces of change that drive IT to innovate and deliver improvement will be applied to the Data Centre and evolve the slowest moving piece of the IT stack into something that eventually, won’t necessarily be the slowest moving piece. But that means that the Data Centre industry needs to evolve rapidly. Which is something that the Data Centre industry simply cannot do rapidly, as it is tethered by the tenure of its investment into these large buildings. So really, business needs to look outside of the established market and consider “really what am I getting for my investment in Data Centre services”.

FrontierDC provide flexible and innovative data centre solutions from a flexible, scaleable slice-based module allowing reduced capex and operating costs, to a plug-and-play, fully engineered solution for even the most extreme conditions.

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