Historically, the management of workloads and related critical infrastructure has often been an afterthought for enterprise organisations and with the increasing complexity of where to sit workloads, for some, optimising these workloads in line with bigger business priorities becomes an ever more distant aspiration. Mark Gaydos, CMO at Nlyte discusses why channel providers are perfectly positioned to solve this customer pain point.
Beyond the hardware – the computing devices, networking and software that defines a company’s IT infrastructure – is the workload. Infrastructure is susceptible to change based on areas of business need and demand such as financial budgets, regulatory compliance or otherwise, but the workloads supported by these assets are what is truly critical to any organisation. In today’s world, these are application workloads are how organisations operate and express value to customers, all happening in real-time.
Application infrastructure assets are the framework that supports the workload output, and as such they continuously need maintenance and optimisation as business demands adapt (and generally: increase). IT is forever told that they need to optimise workflows in order to improve business service performance, efficiency and continuity, but too often this is a priority that falls by the wayside as more administrative and maintenance-led tasks take precedence over the difficult job of making fine-tuned adjustments to bolster performance.
Historically, it is often only after a disruption or impact to end-user services that businesses start to think about where critical applications and workloads should sit in order to keep them continuously available and the lowest total cost. For example, many businesses only look to evaluate following a system failure or cyber-attack that results in significant downtime. However, this is something that should be kept top of mind not only for when problems occur, but also when operations are running smoothly, as prevention is the best cure and stops many issues before they become challenges – or reach public notoriety.
Choices of where to position applications and data have increased dramatically in recent years; from the traditional data centre model to cloud and everything in between, each has benefits and limitations pertaining to performance, cost, flexibility, scale and compliance.
Understandably, making strategic decisions in view of this carries a reasonable amount of managerial overhead and, for some, this means that optimising workloads for both continuous availability as well as overall business effectiveness becomes an ever more distant aspiration, particularly when IT teams have no idea where to begin in embarking on the task.
So, then, if the main priority of a channel partner is to increase value for its customers, then this pain point presents an opportunity. Automation tools that cover the concept of Workload Asset Management (WAM) are imperative here, as keeping track of disparate and interlinked technologies manually and independently presents a huge and unnecessarily painstaking job. There are solutions that provide comprehensive discovery, management and optimisation of all assets across technology ecosystem – from data center to colocation to desktops– covering everything across physical, virtual and edge including software and IoT devices. It’s quite the revolution for the traditional builders of these systems, and those tasked with keeping them running after years of sprawling growth.
Channel partners that can align themselves with such technologies to provide associated support, services and training, could stand to capitalise from this growing business challenge. In recognising the problem, providing the solution and maintaining high levels of support throughout, VARs and resellers can expect rewards of healthy profit margins and increased customer satisfaction and retention rates. The partner will literally be keeping the tech stack running and workloads performing at peak: the genie in the lamp that allows bigger IT-led initiatives to happen.