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By David Angradi, Director, Software Defined Data Center Solutions, Logicalis US

If you ask them, CEOs and CFOs won’t say they want a “virtualized environment” or a “software-defined data center.”  They’ll say that they want “fast access to technology services” and that they want to “enable the company to be more productive.”  It’s not the technology they’re interested in as much as it is the end result. Virtualization and converged infrastructure (CI), however, are the tools that provide a means to that end – they provide the road for you to follow along your journey toward the software-defined data center and the service-defined enterprise, and ultimately, toward better service delivery and more satisfied end customers – which is exactly what the CEO and CFO want as well.

To rally support for the implementation of these technology changes, the CIO has to address each stakeholder’s individual and very different needs.  IT can no longer afford to talk only in speeds and feeds, but must rally support by becoming business problem solvers and addressing what matters most to each stakeholder.

CIOs are, therefore, under tremendous pressure to be more responsive to the needs of the business.  The CFO is pressuring you to do more with a smaller budget.  The CEO wants things done faster.  And line-of-business users want on-demand technology at their fingertips.  Virtualization and a converged infrastructure can help provide all of this, but smart CIOs must first learn how to have the right conversation to garner support and money to implement these changes.

Most CEOs, for example, are looking at future opportunities to generate revenue and meet income goals.  A CI solution can put the IT department in a position to help them do that by speeding response times to emerging business opportunities and demands; using CI to simplify IT spends by offering servers, network, storage and management in a single solution; and lowering risk by providing a tested and proven virtualized platform that is fully supported by a single provider.

Responsible for developing and meeting corporate budgets, the CFO likes predictable costs and needs to be able to associate all costs with a specific source of income.  For them, the biggest appeal of CI is that it can make IT spends more cyclical and predictable; set the foundation for leveraging public, private and hybrid cloud efficiencies; and enable costs to be linked to income sources so operating budgets can pay for specific IT services as they are used.

Line-of-business leaders are the folks on the front lines, facing the competition head-on every day.  They are looking for new opportunities to grow the business, and when they see one, they need the technology tools at their disposal that will help them act on those opportunities immediately. Here, CI helps pave the way for SDDC and the service-defined enterprise, which ultimately leads to an on-demand culture where line-of-business leaders can quite literally use a self-help service catalog for their requests and see their IT needs provisioned and fulfilled in days instead of weeks or months.

This means a fully virtualized CI environment can help reduce the time it takes for these line-of-business stakeholders to bring new products or services to market; it reduces outages and technical glitches that get in the way of their productivity; and it provides them with the flexibility they need to respond quickly to emerging opportunities, giving them peace of mind that the tools they need to succeed in their jobs are really just a few mouse clicks away.

Do you have a blueprint for this kind of IT transformation? Take this brief quiz to find out where your company stands along the IT Transformation Journey, then learn how to overcome internal barriers to a converged infrastructure strategy.  See how virtualization can you help set the foundation for a software-defined data center and make the service-defined data center a reality.