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Issue of October 2004 

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Track 3: Infrastructure management

Infrastructure management and the adaptive enterprise

Providing guaranteed service levels, is the biggest challenge of IT organizations. Adopting models such as ITSM (IT Service Management) and the adaptive enterprise is the solution

TODAY'S organisations deploy enterprise networks surpassing geographical boundaries. IT infrastructure has to provide services to the organisation and also to customers, partners and suppliers. While this has enabled the business in ways never seen before, it has also brought into the picture several complex issues that need to be resolved to get the best out of the existing IT infrastructure. The third conference track will examine these in detail.

The service call

Today's enterprise networks no longer connect offices just across a city or a country. This has created infrastructure management issues on an unprecedented scale. IT teams are expected to manage the entire network with a focus on getting the most at minimal costs. Issues like management of users, assets, change and security have also got more complex. However, the biggest issue that today's IT teams face is that of managing user expectations.

In the modern enterprise, users expect near-zero downtime. Most organisations are heavily-dependent on enterprise applications, and even the slightest downtime can result in productivity losses.

Today's IT departments are more of 'service providers' than the traditional 'tech support team' of yesteryear. Users expect guaranteed service levels from these providers. This has led enterprises to adopt models such as ITSM (IT Service Management) and adaptive enterprise.

More than technology

The increased demands have helped IT teams realise that infrastructure management requires more than just network management tools. Standard practices like the ITSM model are being increasing adopted by Indian enterprises to streamline infrastructure management. ITSM is the alignment of IT with business objectives to assure certain levels of performance and availability of business-critical IT services; it also acts as the key link in moving from a traditional infrastructure set-up to an adaptive one. The model basically consists of service support and service delivery.

Using ITSM model in the right manner ensures provision and management of effective IT services. It enables CIOs to set appropriate expectations across the enterprise about the type and quality of IT services that users receive while ensuring alignment between IT and business.

Adapting the enterprise

Adaptive enterprise infrastructure management is the latest trend in infrastructure management. Basically, the adaptive management concept is an integration of people, processes and technology to run IT as a business and automate the dynamic link between business and IT.

In order to evolve into an adaptive enterprise, CIOs need to look at their enterprise's processes, applications and infrastructure to find new ways to simplify, standardise, modularise and integrate. Having an adaptive enterprise model helps organisations reduce and manage costs, and react quickly to changing business needs. It also helps optimise and streamline existing infrastructure.

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