4 ways CIOs can optimize IT and boost business value

Commissioned: The current economic uncertainty has cautious CIOs tucking in for tough times.

Although still important for brand viability and competitiveness, potentially transformative digital projects and so-called moonshoots appear to be giving way to workstreams that bolster organizational resiliency.

Those tasks? System uptime and cybersecurity and, naturally, cost optimization.

Companies are seeking IT leaders who can be surgical about cutting costs and other critical measures for building business resiliency during a downturn, executive recruiters recently told CIO Journal. Also, financial leaders for leading technology providers noted in earnings calls that customers are optimizing their consumption of cloud software in the face of macroeconomic headwinds.

Their common keywords and phrases? Slower growth of consumption. Economic uncertainty. Tough economic conditions. Optimize their cloud spending. New workload trends.

New workload trends. This means IT leaders are rethinking where and how their workloads are running. They are focused on workload optimization and placement, or rightsizing and reallocating applications across a variety of enterprise locations.

How IT leaders got here

Consider this new focus a correction to trends that date more than a decade ago and accelerated in recent years.

As organizations expanded their IT capabilities to meet new business demands they allocated more assets outside their datacenters, widening their technology footprints. For instance, many CIOs launched new ecommerce capabilities and built mobile applications and services.

In 2020, the pandemic spurred IT leaders to address a new IT reality. CIOs spent a lot of money on an array of on-premises and cloud technologies with which to build digital services that created socially distant bridges to stakeholders.

The sentiment was: Build it and fast, test it quickly and ship it. We’ll worry about the technical debt and other code consequences later.

From remote call centers and analytics tools to mobile payment and curbside pickup services, IT leaders built solutions to strengthen connections between their companies and the employees and customers they serve.

Collectively, these new digital services hastened an already proliferating sprawl of workloads across public and private clouds, colocation facilities and even edge environments.

Fast forward to today and businesses are grappling with these over-rotations. They’ve built an array of systems that are multicloud-by-default, which is inefficient and clunky, with data latency and performance taxes, not to mention unwieldy security profiles.

A playbook for building business value

Fortunately, IT leaders have at their disposal a playbook that enables them to optimize the placement of their workloads across a multicloud IT estate.

This multicloud-by-design approach brings management consistency to storing, protecting and securing data in multicloud environments. Delivered as-a-Service and via a pay-per-use model, this cloud-like strategy helps IT leaders provide a cloud experience, while hardening the business and reining in costs.

The multicloud-by-design strategy helps build business value in four ways:

Cost optimization. High CapEx costs are a burden. But IT teams can operate like the public cloud while retaining your assets on-premises

A pay-per-use consumption model allows IT leaders to align infrastructure costs with use. This can help reduce overprovisioning by up to 42 percent and save up to 39 percent in costs over a three-year operating period, according to IDC research commissioned by Dell.

Productivity. The talent crunch is real, but IT can reduce the reliance on reskilling by placing workloads in their optimal location, which will help mitigate risk and control costs. For instance, reducing time and effort IT staff spend on patching, monitoring and troubleshooting, among other routine tasks, is a key issue for talent-strapped IT teams. Such actions can help make infrastructure teams up to 38 percent more efficient, says IDC.

Digital resiliency.Recovering from outages and other incidents is challenging regardless of the operating model. Subscription-based offerings help reduce risks associated with unplanned downtime and costs with as much as 46 percent faster time to recovery, IDC data shows.

Business acceleration. Optimizing workload placement with pay per-use and subscription models helps shorten cycles for procuring and deploying new compute, storage or data protection capacity by as much as 60 percent faster, IDC says.

This helps business boost time to value compared with existing on-premises environments that do not leverage flexible consumption models.

The takeaway

In a tight economy, IT leaders must boost business value as they deploy their IT solutions. Yet they still struggle with unpredictable and higher than expected costs, performance and latency concerns, as well as security and data locality issues.

Sound daunting? It absolutely is. But running a more efficient IT shop shouldn’t be a moonshot.

Our Dell APEX as-a-Service suite of solutions can help IT departments exercise intelligent workload placement and provision infrastructure resources quickly. Dell APEX will also help IT teams improve interoperability across IT environments while enabling teams to focus on high value tasks. All while protecting corporate data and keeping it compliant with regulations.

Ultimately, organizations that can react nimbly to changing business requirements with resiliency are more likely to prosper. But this requires new ways of operating IT – and the right partner to help execute.

Learn more about Dell APEX here.

Sponsored by Dell Technologies.