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Don’t Let IT Infrastructure Slow Down Innovation

At this year’s Discover event in London – our biggest customer event of the year and the first as the newly launched Hewlett Packard Enterprise – we’re talking a lot about hybrid infrastructure.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “Sounds like tech jargon to me. What does that actually mean?”

Let me put it into terms that everyone can understand: your home.

In your home, you have light switches and a thermostat. They might be the same ones you’ve had for years, but you know you can rely on them every day to turn the lights on and off and control the temperature. But, perhaps you’re a bit of a techie and decide to buy Bluetooth-enabled light switches that connect to a smartphone app, or a smart thermostat which lets you better control the temperature based on the weather and your schedule.

While these new tools have benefits like saving energy, reducing your monthly electricity bill, and providing a better user experience, you’re not going to immediately rip all of the existing wiring out of your walls. You want the familiarity, stability and security of your old system while you adapt to and invest in more modern technology. As a result, you end up housing both traditional and modern technology in one home.

The same thing is happening in IT. Many enterprises are beginning their journey to the cloud, which will allow them to be more agile and create value faster – but in the meantime, as they evolve, they need to maintain the legacy IT infrastructure that they depend on.

Different organizations have different IT requirements based on a number of factors – scale, customer base, industry regulations, security risks – and there is no “one size fits all” solution. Taking a hybrid approach to IT infrastructure means choosing the combination of traditional infrastructure, private cloud and public cloud that’s right for your business.

Twice the responsibility for CIOs

The challenge of the hybrid infrastructure model? CIOs are tasked with running two different IT environments at the same time – maintaining the traditional IT infrastructure workloads designed to keep the business running (such as data processing and email) and introducing new IT infrastructure built on mobile and cloud applications that help grow the business. IT organizations, now responsible for a wide range of infrastructure needs, are stretched for resources.

This poses a major problem for organizations, since an overwhelmed IT department can hinder progress. Under pressure to drive innovation and quickly bring new ideas to reality, developers get frustrated having to wait weeks or even months for their IT departments to manually set up the server, storage and networking resources their new applications require. As a result, they often turn to third party cloud providers for their IT infrastructure needs, which creates security, compliance and cost concerns.

HPE’s perspective

This week we introduced HPE Synergy – our solution to help CIOs manage a hybrid infrastructure environment. HPE Synergy automates the process of gathering and deploying infrastructure resources for an application: A developer can write a single line of code to define the infrastructure needs, and HPE Synergy can then compose those exact requirements from its resource pool and spit out the application. When the application’s lifecycle is over and those infrastructure resources are no longer needed, they return to the pool, ready for the next application.

Effectively, we’re using software to control hardware quickly, programmatically and without human intervention.

Keeping developers happy

This approach lowers the cost and complexity of running traditional IT, while increasing the speed and ease of deploying revenue-driving cloud and mobile applications. It frees up time and resources in the IT department, improves efficiency and reduces friction between developers and IT organizations.

That last piece is critical – because trust me, when your developers are happy, your customers are happy. To use a home analogy again, when you create an environment where developers can thrive, they shine a light on innovation.

-Meg Whitman

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