CIO Symmetry

Jul 14 2010   4:29PM GMT

IT consolidation for business innovation

Christina Torode Christina Torode Profile: Christina Torode

I’ve been touching base with IT folks and analysts lately to get a feel for the projects people are working on these days, and the phrases that keep coming up are IT consolidation, modernization and innovation.

A senior network administrator with a national hospice care provider is working on a data center consolidation project. The C-levels are pretty keen on leveraging cloud services to outsource IT functions, but he’s not convinced it will happen.

“From what I’ve seen, the ROI for the cloud is not there yet,” he said. “When you factor in the actual costs of building it in-house vs. hosting, it’s a lot cheaper to do it in-house.”

So that is the back and forth under way at his company: IT consolidation — Do we do it ourselves, go with a cloud provider or take a hybrid approach?

The task ahead for IT is threefold, explains Burton Group analyst Joe Bugajski. IT needs to contract, modernize and innovate. SearchCIO.com senior writer Linda Tucci has written a series of stories with advice from CIOs on their approaches to IT innovation.

To get to the point in which IT can help the business innovate, it first has to solve an age-old problem: IT modernization, the subject of Bugajski’s talk at next week’s Burton Group Catalyst conference in San Diego.

And tied to modernization is consolidation. To get started, the CIO and IT will have to start talking to the business to figure out what technology, what applications and what projects are really needed — and what can go. That’s where the point of innovation can begin, he explains. IT consolidation will help you free up the needed capital that will allow you to start innovating and modernizing, vs. just maintaining.

The marching orders to modernize and contract need to come from the top — meaning the board, because C-levels can come and go, he said. So I’m wondering what your marching orders are? Are you being told to consolidate, modernize or innovate, or all of the above? Email me at ctorode@techtarget.com.

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