IT organizations have experienced a dramatic shift over the last 10 years with the widespread adoption of x86 server virtualization. Gone are the days of a server administrator procuring a physical server for a new application, then requesting the necessary network configuration from the network team, and finally requesting the appropriate storage from the storage team. Today’s reality requires a converged engineering skillset, because the Software-Defined Data Center spans all three pillars of the IT organization – compute, network and storage.
The recent challenge of CIOs has been to break down these silos and all the operational red tape and team animosity associated with them. Many IT organizations continue to struggle with this. Typically, the larger the organization, the more divided the teams. Tearing down silos is absolutely critical to transforming an IT organization into a “service provider” model that can provide services quickly and cost-effectively. The dreaded “re-org” is sometimes a solution. A change in culture, however, is often what’s really required. Changing culture within an organization is a difficult thing to do, and it can take years to accomplish.
The next generation CIO has an even bigger challenge to overcome with the introduction and adoption of cloud-native applications. The developers of the future will write applications that are cloud infrastructure aware and have the ability to leverage all the benefits of traditional virtualization. These applications will be highly flexible, highly available, and extremely efficient. Development teams mark another silo that will need to be converged with compute, network and storage. Simply providing a virtual machine to a developer for their application to run will no longer work. Developers will need to write applications that leverage cloud infrastructure APIs and run in virtualized container workloads.
So how are CIOs to overcome this next challenge?
A CIO must understand several things before an organization can move forward. Who are our customers? How much does it cost to provide the services we provide? And how long does it take to provide our customers with the services requested? These are all questions a VMware Technical Account Manager (TAM) can help an organization answer.
VMware has the unique advantage of touching every piece of the infrastructure: storage, network, compute, and now the application platform. As a VMware TAM, I have the opportunity to help IT organizations step into this brave new IT world. TAMs work with their customers to help drive strategy, best practices and operational efficiencies across the entire IT organization, resulting in collaboration, consistency and streamlined processes. TAMs are not only technical in nature, being able to understand the infrastructure and Software-Defined Data Center, but they also understand business objectives and capabilities at a strategic level, enabling your organization to better serve its customers.
Steve Tilkens is a VMware Technical Account Manager (TAM) specializing in the definition and implementation of long-term strategic IT initiatives, policies, standards, and guidelines that direct the selection, development and implementation of Information Technology within the enterprise while adding organizational value and cost effective solutions to business challenges.