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Five Building Blocks of Infrastructure Agility

Author: Ritika Puri, a self-described entrepreneur and people-lover immersed in tech

 

Top IT leaders know that change lies at the heart of success. That's why, according to a recent report profiling infrastructure leaders, 62 percent of surveyed leaders say they expect IT to either be very or completely different in five years.

 

Infrastructure agility empowers organizations to respond to change and customer needs faster. Here are the five building blocks that will position IT teams to make decisions faster.

 

Unlock infrastructure agility with these five building blocks

 1. An ability to learn

Over the last few years, IT has transformed from a cost center into a strategic change agent, creating new terrain for organizations. To succeed in finding new business opportunities, IT and business leaders must join forces in learning together, on a continued basis. One company that exemplifies this transition is Zynga.

 

"The way they used their analytic platform was to watch everything that happened in the game, understand the behavior of every single player and then tailor the individual gaming experience to each individual player," says Colin Mahony, SVP and general manager of big data at HP.

 

 2. Flexible infrastructure

IT teams need to be prepared for sudden changes in their customer bases. These may include down periods, new market opportunities and unexpected surges in demand. At any given time, organizations must be able to change direction and shift gears. At the same time, IT leaders can't afford to waste money on excess capacity. Technology must be custom tailored to an organization's unique needs.

 

 3. A desire to improve performance

At the heart of infrastructure agility is a desire to pursue improvement. One case that exemplifies this idea is the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which has recently transitioned to a high-performance computing infrastructure to save space and reduce power consumption.

 

"Their story is quite unique because their infrastructure allows them to reheat their building," says Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager of HP Enterprise Group. "Innovation was put on the table to meet their customers' needs in a more innovative way and to cut costs while helping the environment."

 

Infrastructure agility means pushing limits — not settling for the status quo.

 

 4. Curiosity

Organizations don't know what they don't know. That's why it's important for IT teams to evolve through a process of continuous experimentation. As consumers move to a multi-platform world, new opportunities will continue to emerge. Organizations must continuously strive for improved outcomes by testing new initiatives. It's critical that leaders give team members space to explore.

 

5. A customer-first approach

Customers are the foundation of every business, and today's customers have higher demands for speed and quality of service than ever before. The most important building block of infrastructure agility is and always will be a company's customer base. A customer-first approach will enable IT teams to prioritize their customers' most pressing needs — and respond faster.

 

Final thoughts

In the face of uncertainty and the fickle nature of IT trends, infrastructure agility provides the ultimate competitive advantage. Discover the value of moving faster, and you'll build closer relationships with your customers.

 

For more information on what sets digital leaders apart from their peers, check out the 2015 Report: Profiling infrastructure leaders.

 

2015 Report: Profiling Infrastructure Leaders

 

About the author

Ritika PuriRitika Puri

 

Ritika is a corporate intrapreneur turned startup founder and writer. She enjoys helping companies build stronger customer relationships and bring products to market faster through her company, Storyhackers.

About the author

Connect with Ritika:

 Follow me on Twitter ritika_puri

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