Organizations often experience difficulty with IT transformation as it becomes more complex due to the addition of applications and infrastructure. The increasing reliance on dynamically shared resources makes this process more challenging, especially in a hybrid IT environment where some resources are on a cloud platform while others are on-site. The situation often occurs because organizations rarely eliminate their existing technology when they adopt new approaches. IT managers therefore require new methods of managing their environment efficiently to ensure business success. The driving factors in IT currently include the following:
- Cloud computing
- Mobile devices and BYOD
- Big data
Cloud computing is becoming more popular because it allows organizations to obtain IT resources more quickly while reducing their cost. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) initially drove the adoption of cloud computing, although organizations of all sizes now use cloud. Organizations that need to acquire IT resources from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers typically use a public cloud. However, organizations that wish to implement techniques such as virtualization internally are more likely to use a private cloud. Hybrid environments that use both public and private clouds are also common solutions in cloud computing.
The loss of control over resources is one of the primary disadvantages of using a public cloud platform. This tendency increases the challenge of resource management, making it more difficult to ensure that the provider is complying with service level agreements (SLAs). The dynamic sharing of resources on a public cloud also increases the difficulty of resource management.
Mobile Devices and BYOD
Employees often use their own mobile devices at work, causing many organizations to establish Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. In most cases, IT managers must also support mobile devices provided by the company as well as desktops and laptops. The management of company-owned devices requires a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution to back up the data on those devices and delete it if the device is stolen. However, managers also require some means of separating corporate data from personal data on employee-owned mobile devices so they can exert the necessary oversight over the corporate data. The existence of these different categories of computing devices means that IT managers have an increasing need for a centralized management solution that can handle devices in all categories, while retaining the ability to be configured for the specific needs of each device type.
Big data refers to a data set that is challenging to process with traditional means due to its complexity or size, rather than a data set of a particular size. The use of big data is becoming more popular among organizations of all sizes due to its increasing availability from cloud providers and the growing recognition that big data has broad applications. Common business uses of big data include optimizing business processes, targeting customers and improving research.
Many of the challenges of managing big data are the same as those in traditional data analysis, such as ensuring authorized access to the data. However, big data also introduces additional management challenges, such the requirement to collect the data from a larger number of sources. Furthermore, the data must be stored and accessed in a manner that minimizes the impact its size has on performance. These challenges will increase as data sets continue to grow dramatically.
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