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Power to the problem-solvers
C-SUITE

Power to the problem-solvers 

The fact that the IT department plays a crucial role in today’s enterprise environment is no secret. However, they often require the latest business-centric technology to ensure that they offer a high quality of service. IT solutions provider SolarWinds documents this in their report entitled IT Trends Report 2015: Business at the Speed of IT.

According to the findings, an overwhelming majority – 93 per cent – of IT professionals surveyed believe that implementing new technology is at least somewhat important to the long-term success of their employers. Within that group, 48 per cent said it is important to have it in place, and a further 20 per cent added that it is extremely important.

But despite those results, IT still faces some significant challenges. Suaad Sait, executive vice president of products and markets for SolarWinds spoke to IT in Canada to help shed some light on this dilemma.

IT in Canada: Why is it important for IT to be able to work as efficiently as possible?
Sait: Before we did this survey, we kicked around a different set of theses on what we wanted to focus this work (on). One hypothesis that we formed was that IT used to be for what I would call “the business of the elite” that had budgets that could afford hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars’ worth of technology. It formed a core, and they were able to run the business off of it.

In today’s time, every single business has IT at the heart of (its operations). The mom-and-pop flower shop up the road, your doctor’s office and your dentist’s office all rely on it. Zero paperwork changes hands, and everything is electronic. Everything is being run on systems that are constantly getting updated.

The success of these businesses is equal to the rate at which they can adopt an implement IT, whether it’s taking orders, making appointments or ordering inventory. If IT is a core of your business, the faster you can implement and adopt change inside of that environment, the more successful you will be.

ITIC: What is one of the main challenges faced by IT today?
SS: One of them is the fact that people don’t have the budget or the resources to take advantage of this new technology, but also the skillset required to convince the decision-makers that this is the right thing for the business to do. Many businesses will take the short-term view versus implementing IT infrastructure that leads to longer-term growth.

ITIC: Why do some IT managers view CIOs as barriers to their progress?
SS: It’s more critical today than ever before that the CIO be a business thinker or a business impact thinker. Otherwise, it could be a barrier to their success because they may not get a view on what impact the CIO or IT organization can have from a business perspective and really think of it as a cost-setter.

If you think of the IT organization as an organization that drives growth in your business, you take a different perspective, and many CIOs think that way.

ITIC: According to the report, 93 per cent of IT professionals believe that adopting new technologies is important. Why is this?
SS: If you look at technology and how fast it’s moving today in giving people the resources to do things easier, faster or better, we are at the point where new applications are being made available to do extremely complex things. If you cannot adopt those technologies to (accomplish) that, or you’re left doing it in the older, more expensive or slower-to-market ways.

For example, let’s assume you need server storage capacity. You could do it the old way, which is to fill out an order, get you internal procurement and IT departments to approve it, get your CFO involved to approve it, make sure that your IT organization has provisioning for whatever server or storage device you need inside the data centre, and get it going. Within a two-to-four week timeframe, it will be up and running.

The other option is to pull out your credit card, visit Amazon Web Services, and within nine or 10 clicks, you would be able to get the provisioning that you need to move your business forward within five minutes. That’s a dramatic shift in infrastructure provisioning that you can use inside your business to advance towards the future.

If companies won’t adopt new technology, their competitors will, which means that their speed to implementation will be faster than yours, and you will be left behind.

ITIC: What solutions does SolarWinds offer to IT professionals achieve their goals?
SS: Our role is to enable IT professionals, whether they are running IT (within) their business, in the data centre or in the cloud and give them visibility of the performance of what they have inside of their business. Whether you have networks, systems applications, databases, or websites that you’re concerned about, we (provide) the ability to look at the performance of those and fix issues when they happen as quickly as possible.

We don’t have an agenda on how they solve these problems or selling them anything more than the ability to diagnose and solve those issues. We enable them to visualize what’s going on, understand what the problem is, and then resolve it.

ITIC: What are SolarWinds’ future plans for empowering IT professionals?
SS: We want to enable the IT pros of the future to look at the infrastructure perspective, which includes what kind of servers or storage networks and databases they need, and be able to view their world in a connected way, whether they’re running it themselves or running it connected to the cloud.

We believe that the cloud brings significant time-to-market advantages to IT pros, and we want to deliver products that enable them to take advantage of things like cloud-based infrastructure in a seamless way inside their businesses, versus having to (branch) out to a different context to do that for whatever the needs of their business may be.

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