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Business expectations of IT higher than ever before

March 20, 2014 • Opinion, Top Stories

CIOs and IT managers are faced with higher expectations from their businesses than ever before – which they must meet with tighter budgets.

Warren Olivier, Veeam Software Regional Manager for Southern Africa (image: Veeam)

Warren Olivier, Veeam Software Regional Manager for Southern Africa (image: Veeam)

The balance of power between IT departments and the rest of the business has shifted decisively in the past few years. Users are no longer prepared to take IT’s word for it about what is and isn’t possible. The new generation of virtualised modern data centres needs to meet exceptionally high expectations for round-the-clock availability and reliability.

The growth of follow-the-sun global business strategies and demand for 24/7 availability means backup and data protection requirements must now be met with little or no downtime.

It used to be the case that IT departments would have a comfortable downtime window overnight that they could use to make backups and do system maintenance. In many organisations that’s now gone, or at least drastically reduced – at the same time as the amount of data to manage has exploded.

Virtualisation has fed these expectations: Business users are well aware that we can fire up a new virtual machine in minutes – we’ve boasted about it enough. So they’re not happy if you tell them it will take half an hour to restore a lost data file, or that you need to shut the system down for maintenance.

As a result of these expectations for low-impact management, you need to be a lot more clever about the tools you choose nowadays. How do you deliver on new, more demanding business requirements without blowing your budget?

In this context, management tools that are specialised for only one function cannot deliver. It’s wasteful and inefficient these days to have separate tools for archiving, business continuity, WAN acceleration, deduplication, application agents, backup and replication. Rather use a single backup, monitoring and management tool that will enable you to meet all the various business and compliance needs.

As IT professionals we’ve sold virtualisation on promises of no downtime, instant availability and zero data loss. Now that we’ve achieved the easy wins of virtualising, business is collecting on those promises.

Warren Olivier, Veeam Software Regional Manager for Southern Africa

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