IT modernization means different things to different people. To some, it suggests a complete overhaul and revamping of the full range of server and network components — the process of developing an entirely new infrastructure based on the latest hardware, most current software stack, and up-to-the-minute virtualization technology. To others, it is a selective replacement of components to improve IT efficiency, performance, and security. In between, there are many variations and a number of hybrid approaches to modernization.
Traditional IT infrastructures are typically saddled with a heavy burden of technical debt. Pastgeneration technologies often require substantial maintenance and management tasks without the availability of centralized control or ready visibility into the overall network architecture. Deployment of network components can take weeks or even months to accomplish. Technicians and engineers with specialized skills are generally required to keep the infrastructure operational. Despite these drawbacks, enterprises often have deep investments in traditional systems and a reluctance to abandon those systems upon which the core of their business operations may reside.
For many organizations, the issue comes down to this: deciding whether to perform top-to-bottom modernization of an organization’s datacenter or to strategically modernize with those components that add efficiency, manageability, agility and cost savings to IT operations. This paper discusses the challenges involved in making this decision and offers recommendations as to how to approach IT modernization in a pragmatic, structured way.