Data centre optimisation: Not just for the IT department

Steve Evans

Thursday 16 March 2017

Data centre optimisation can have far-reaching consequences beyond the server room. It can boost worker productivity and free up IT to concentrate on more than keeping the lights on.

Most executives realise the data centre is now a strategically important part of the business. It’s no longer an afterthought; no longer something workers have little to no interest in. Instead, it is the beating heart of many enterprises, driving innovation and enabling employees to be as productive as possible.

Alongside the evolution of the data centre, the need to keep it running quickly, efficiently and securely has grown. That’s why data centre optimisation plays an increasingly important role.

Streamlining and automation

Data centre optimisation is a combination of technologies and processes that aim to make everything in the data centre operate more resourcefully. This can involve lowering the power usage efficiency, streamlining hardware by powering down unused servers, finding a different approach to applications or increasing automation.

What’s more, an effective, efficient data centre optimisation strategy will have a positive knock-on effect across the entire business.

Financially, a properly optimised data centre costs less to operate – not least due to reduced power costs. Any money saved can then be reinvested into the business via new employees or hardware upgrades. A refreshed PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone estate helps workers be more productive, whether at their desks or out of office. It is also cost-effective as newer machines are more secure and less likely to require IT maintenance.

Beyond ‘keeping the lights on’

Data centre optimisation generally involves the automation of processes that are traditionally manual, and therefore much slower. For an IT department that might suddenly find itself with plenty of time on its collective hands, this presents a golden opportunity. IT staff can spend that time developing and deploying revenue-generating services. Rather than their sole purpose being to ‘keep the lights on’, optimisation allows IT departments to become the focal point for technological advancement across the business.

This approach can modernise and futureproof the data centre for years to come, and as demand for its services increases, optimisation will give the IT department the flexibility it needs to cope with those changes.

As businesses grow, the strain on IT infrastructure and the network grows with it. Optimisation can help IT monitor and manage what’s going on, recognising and eliminating problems before they arise. In most cases, this will happen before workers are even aware of them.

An optimised data centre should meet the needs of the entire business – not just the IT department. Systems, services, hardware and software can all be improved with the help of optimisation, and this will have a positive impact on employees to be more flexible, agile and productive.

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