Looking to DCIM to Manage a Hybrid IT Environment that’s Resilient, Secure, and Sustainable

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It’s been a while since I read Who Moved My Cheese but I thought of the book recently when speaking at DCD New York City about the future needs of IT professionals and the challenges of managing a hybrid IT environment. The book is about how things change in business. Business tools that were once dominant suddenly aren’t relevant anymore. Markets disappear. New ways of doing things are required. Pretending change isn’t happening leads to disaster . . .   or, at least, a lack of cheese.

I don’t know if change is a blessing or a curse, but I do know it is a constant in our lives and Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software is no exception. In my keynote address, I discussed how DCIM is no longer only about managing a resilient infrastructure, which has been the goal for years. It is about managing an infrastructure that needs to be resilient, secure, and sustainable.

Like the book says, new ways of doing things are required. DCIM tools are evolving beyond data centers to meet the needs of the edge and the hybrid environment as well. The challenges associated with managing and supporting a resilient edge bring new challenges and complexity: grappling with alarm storms, managing geographically dispersed sites with limited-to-no visibility, and a lack of on-site staff.

Cybersecurity zooms up list of business priorities

Just seven years ago, cyber risk ranked 15th in the Allianz Risk Barometer, an annual survey in which more than 2,700 risk experts from 100 countries identify the top threats for companies for the next 12 months and beyond.

In 2020, cyber risk topped the list, coming in at number one.

It’s not surprising when it seems like every day, headlines are filled with the latest hacks. A ransomware attack leads to the shutdown of a major pipeline system in the United States or the world’s largest meat processor pays $11 million in ransom after a cyberattack. Cybersecurity issues dominate the headlines and risk seems to be everywhere we look.

This new reality brings with it a question: How does one manage the extended footprint of IT Infrastructure, which is a potential hole in a cybersecurity strategy? Schneider Electric data indicates that 70% of devices have a vulnerability due to configuration or out-of-date firmware. We’ve built new and powerful capability into our DCIM software to assist IT professionals in identifying IT device vulnerability and resolving them through proper management and updates, regardless of whether they are in a data center or at the edge.

IT Engineer in Server Room

How big is your footprint?

Just as cybersecurity zoomed to the top of the list, sustainability needs to be a priority for how we conduct business. When it comes to C-level attention, 99% of large company CEOs agree that sustainability issues are important to the future success of their business, and 75% of investment executives agree that a company’s sustainability performance is important when making investment decisions.

If shareholders are now asking about sustainability, it seems to be only a matter of time before CIOs will be asked about their IT carbon footprint – and not just for data centers but for the entire hybrid environment. In fact, our models indicate that IT power consumption outside of the data center (i.e. edge) will exceed data center power consumption by 2030. In the future, availability requirements will likely need to be balanced against an energy and carbon equation.  DCIM software provides insights and tools to improve the energy efficiency of overall IT infrastructures and ultimately comply with sustainability initiatives.

DCIM evolves to meet modern needs

DCIM was conceived at a time when enterprise data centers dominated, which is why it is evolving to be inclusive of hybrid IT and include not only resiliency, but also sustainability and security. My DCD presentation details five attributes to help you do things differently, putting you on the right path to addressing these new management priorities. The journey starts with gaining visibility into your infrastructure. Anytime, anywhere visibility is essential to reduce physical and environmental threats, gain control and ensure resiliency, improve resource management, and integrate with existing platforms, if needed.

Visibility is more of a challenge than many people realize. A majority of companies – 82% – say they are unable to identify all the devices connected to their network. This is not something to be embarrassed about, it is something we need to address and manage.

And while I am enthusiastic about the progress we have made with our DCIM software suite, we see many more opportunities to help the industry meet the challenge of a resilient, sustainable, AND secure hybrid IT environment.

Thanks for looking into the future with me

If you think your company is not prepared for these new management priorities, you don’t want to be left wondering who moved your cheese and what happened to your operations. You want hybrid IT that is more resilient, secure, and sustainable, and you are not alone. I encourage you to find out more about our software and solutions and watch this video to learn about a framework for sustainability to get you on the right path to the future.

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