Study: Cloud Requires Infrastructure Management

CloudsWith cloud and Big Data solutions all the rage, most organizations are in various stages of adding related infrastructure to their IT environment. And no doubt that portends opportunity for the channel. And among some of the most significant will be more than a few new open doors around infrastructure management.

A CA Technologies Inc. study, conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that the most innovative technologies can’t exist, let alone thrive, without a service assurance portfolio driven by sound infrastructure management. And that leaves plenty of room for behind-the-scenes channel services to flourish in the not-too-distant future.

Altogether, the study came to three main conclusions:

Fragmented infrastructure management erodes IT value: Most organizations have some array of infrastructure management tools in place. That said, organizations view them as secondary priorities, according to the study. In addition, many of these tools are often added piece meal as needed, which means more often than not, they lack integration. That, in turn, results in visibility and behavior challenges that can be a drain on performance and pose threats to security.

Convergence Needs Gas Pedal: Granted, with the rapid acceleration of cloud and Big Data analytics, more organizations are simultaneously converging infrastructure. However, there’s still a marked lag. Organizations that have been able to overcome administrative challenges and consolidate are putting themselves a few steps ahead of competitors.

Consolidation Requires “Anchor Vendor”: No one wants to be locked irreversibly into a single vendor. At the same time, having a disparate assortment of tools that fail to interoperate properly isn’t the answer either. The antidote is somewhere in the middle. Specifically, an IT environment should have a primary “anchor” vendor of integrated solutions at the core, complemented by an array of specialized tools.

“Senior executives across all functions are expecting IT to contribute to game-changing innovation and business transformation that can get products and services to market faster, spur revenue growth and support the agile creation of entirely new business models,” said Mike Sargent, CA Technologies general manager, service assurance. “This study confirms our belief that converged infrastructure management better positions enterprises and service providers to manage the stresses and strains brought on by accelerated adoption of mobile technologies, rich-media content and higher expectations from customers.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, the findings mirror CA’s market philosophy of new and explosive cloud trends. That is to say, disruptive technology trends are likely useless to organizations unless they’re properly supported and managed. That’s where CA is hoping to make its mark in the cloud space, while bringing partners along with it.

Consider this oft-quoted example: Some of the biggest winners of the 1849 California gold rush weren’t the miners themselves. Instead, they were the business owners that emerged to service and outfit the miners in clothes, tools and other supplies necessary for their survival.

CA is taking a similar tack. While CA itself doesn’t have an extensive cloud portfolio, the Islandia, N.Y.-based IT management and software company is hoping to ride the wave of accelerating cloud adoption with what it does best — IT services, management and support.

And like Levi Strauss, it’s placing its bets well. The Data Center Infrastructure Management space is primed to grow at a CAGR of 47.33 percent between 2012 and 2017 to reach $3.14 billion in 2017, according to a MarketsandMarkets report.

That growth is driven by the increased adoption of cloud, Big Data, virtualization and other infrastructure complexity that often causes efficiency and productivity to come to a screeching halt. As organizations rush to add cloud and Big Data solutions into their IT environment, they often bump up against a slew of unanticipated obstacles stemming from lack of integration and other management challenges in the wake of their purchase.

And that’s where CA solution providers inevitably will find opportunity to create relevancy and value in the burgeoning cloud market. CA partners might not have been on the forefront of cloud’s initial phases. But subsequent stages of its adoption could prove equally, if not more, lucrative.