Contributed by: Jason Cherveny, CEO, Sanity Solutions on January 9, 2018.

IT Transformation is getting up to speed with your organization’s technology needs to best serve your customers and employees. We can look at this in multiple ways, but one of the simplest is to look at our lives over the past couples of years.

Change is a part of life, part of your personal life, your business, and your technology needs. I can think back when I wasn’t married and I thought a Porsche would be a great idea. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the money to purchase a sports car but in truth it would have served my individual needs just fine. I then got married so a sedan fit our needs. Now four children later with carpools to boot and weekends spent in the mountains, a minivan is the most practical. Not as cool as the Porsche but it serves my family’s needs better! We can think of IT Transformation in the same way. Businesses and industries change so it makes sense that information technology must change as well. The incredible pace of change in the types of businesses that are common today is sometimes mind blowing. Cars that drive themselves, crops that ask to be fed and watered when they need to be, not when we think they need to be, Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, delivery companies that can anticipate when you need something and the list goes on and on. Sometimes that speed of change is so fast that it can be intimidating. For many of us, when something is intimidating, we might choose to do nothing at all and hope that it will go away. But I have bad news; hope is not a strategy and in today’s environment, we need a strategy.​

The good news is that once your business has an idea where it is going in the next 12 months, three years, and five years, the technology isn’t as difficult as we might think. Technology will continue to change as industries, businesses, and ideas change, so we as IT professionals need to understand that time waits for no one and stay ahead of the competition. Heck, it’s often the technology itself that changes industries! It is obvious that data will continue to grow, people are going to want things faster, the world is getting smaller, and every day we are getting smarter and smarter with the help of artificial intelligence and other technology. If we believe that these are true, how can we put ourselves in the best position to take advantage of change and not be left behind? There are basically five items that we need to address when we tackle IT Transformation.

Flash Storage – Flash storage addresses the need for speed. There are a lot of options when it comes to flash storage (add a link to David’s NVMe presentation) which complicate the topic but flash is the way of the future. There are even hard drive factories that are converting to flash factories. If you have been caught in the shortage of flash devices, you understand this very well.

Scale Out – Historically we have addressed storage needs with scaling up. This has served the industry quite well for some time now but with applications and networks changing so readily, it is best to look at not only more storage but also more processing power by scaling out as well as up.

Security – Again, the world is getting smaller. We can find information on just about anything at anytime throughout the entire world. While this is great for many things, (knowledge is power or another way to think about this is “data is power”) it is also true for people and organizations that look to take advantage of individuals, businesses, and governments alike buy accessing data for not so altruistic purposes. Organizations need to take action to protect their data.

Cloud Enabled – I often get asked, “Does the cloud scare me?”. After all, Sanity Solutions is a data management solution provider and historically we architected, sold, and implemented hardware and software. I understand why the question gets asked but the way I see it, the “cloud” is a part of transformation and part of the whole solution. I actually like the cloud. It’s part of the infrastructure and has its place within the data management solutions we architect, implement and manage for our customers. In general, options are good for all of us.

Software Defined – All things being equal, if I didn’t have to cut my lawn, drive my car, or organize my day and these activities just were done for me, let’s face it, it would be pretty nice. That would give me more time to spend with my family, participate in sports, or transform my business. This is what software defined can do for us as individuals and organizations alike.

Sure, it’s easy for me to say that IT Transformation is relatively easy. After all, we spend most every minute working with our customers to help them achieve their IT and operational goals to address the greater goals of the overall organization. Once you get into the “weeds,” there are a lot of questions that need to be answered but that is just part of the journey that we travel every day. A solution with the end goal in mind is the correct way to transform IT so we can focus on what is really important.