The Cloud Experience Everywhere

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Data Center Fitness

By Patrick Porto

WW Leader, Integration & Performance Services/Channel

’Tis the season to ponder ways to improve our lives, and many IT pros are wondering how to push forward with data center modernization without the anxiety and frustration that dogged so many transformation efforts last year. Here are my top suggestions, along with some thoughts on how HPE’s integration and performance services can help. 

1. Get a check-up.

Personal fitness books often start with the recommendation to check with a doctor before starting a new exercise regime – advice that’s usually ignored. But when it comes to data center transformation, you really don’t want to skip getting that outside view from an expert. You won’t need to go full-diagnostic, most likely, but the right advisory partner can give you an invaluable objective read on the current state of your data center and where to go next.

It can be hard to see that big picture when you’re embroiled in the day-to-day grind of IT ops management, and even harder to compare it with what’s going on in the marketplace at large. IT shops can easily, and understandably, become somewhat inward-looking over the years. Company-specific workarounds can accumulate over time. Leaders who have spent decades coming up through the ranks may lack exposure to alternative approaches. Advisory services can augment that crucial in-house expertise with a wealth of knowledge about what innovations are out there, what best practices your industry peers are adopting, and what works and what doesn’t for companies around the world.


Advisory services delivered by HPE Pointnext (part of our comprehensive slate of integration and performance services) provide that essential touchpoint for your transformation. In our workshops, for example, our experts work with you to build your timelines and budgets, taking into account interactions with other large projects taking place in your environment. Most important, we ensure that everybody’s on the same page and agreed on the goals of the transformation. We define pragmatic next steps and provide solid advice, based on our deep understanding of the IT landscape, to enable you to achieve your targeted business outcomes.

2. Make a plan to stay motivated.

Big projects can seem intimidating; consider breaking them into bite-size chunks. Let’s say you've got 12 or 15 different projects that you see as core to the transformation journey. Which ones are the quick wins? In our HPE Transformation Journey Workshops, we help customers identify projects that offer an immediate ROI. If you’re looking at a giant storage transformation, for instance, and you can demonstrate some fast savings – even if it’s just $50k, $100k, $200k – from an initial investment, you’ve made it much easier for leadership to sign off on the larger initiative. Then we look at the medium- and long-term projects; we may recommend regrouping 12 to 18 months later, before the final project's finished, to make sure it’s still on track. We may even re-run the workshop if things have changed in your environment or competitive landscape.

In IT, there’s no such thing as instant gratification, but having some near-term feedback and rewards definitely keeps you motivated. It’s hard to wait 18 months to see the results from actions you’re taking today. Choose projects that quickly demonstrate that you’re shedding pounds and gaining muscle, even if your new super-fit, agile IT setup is still a ways off.

3. Cut the stress – don’t try to do everything yourself.

Companies are increasingly realizing that when it comes to deploying new IT infrastructure, DIY is not always the best way to go. It’s a time-consuming task that’s too easy to put off, so it tends to pile up – sometimes the hardware ends up quite literally piling up on the loading docks until the company can find the time, money and resources to get the job done.

It's worth paying to get it done right the first time. It’s one less thing to worry about, it’s a lot faster, and it frees you up to do more interesting and rewarding things. It can even end up saving you money in the long run; mistakes can be costly, and equipment that doesn’t get used quickly becomes out-of-date.

Another advantage, a big one you might not have thought of, is that you get access to the deployment expert while he or she is at your site. You’re paying for their time, after all. Why not seize the opportunity to ask a few questions, get their take on some other projects you’re weighing, leverage their knowledge of the technology and best practices? I’ve known cases where customers have done exactly that; our advisors have turned out a quick statement of work, and the customer said “hey that’s great, you’re here on site, can you do that this afternoon?” With great results all round.

HPE Factory Express service offers pre-configured, pre-tested, pre-integrated hardware, with a project manager to oversee the onsite installation. We also offer Onsite Deployment by our installation teams or accredited partners. Our Deployment Project services cover large, complex projects that involve multiple countries and/or sites.

The people-and-process aspects of your project are vital to its success.  HPE Education Services – a leader in Education Services for four years running, as reported by IDC – can help your people thrive in the new environment. Our Management of Change (MoC) Impact Workshop helps you develop your MoC Strategy, accelerate the benefits of your initiative, and minimize the risk of business disruption.

Not sure where to start, but still have budget money sitting around you don’t want to lose?  Purchase HPE Pointnext Credits and then, like a gift card, you can redeem them for any of our services based on your approach and what the small checkmark items are.

The digital transformation wave is still far from peaking. Let’s make 2019 the year when the transition got faster and smoother.

Learn more about how Digital Transformation Services from HPE Pointnext can take your digital enterprise to the next level.

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About the Authorpatrick porto2.jpg:

Patrick leads our WW Packaged Solutions offerings team, both direct and channel business, focusing on our Integration and Performance Services portfolio.


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