Portrait or landscape: What’s the orientation of your IT department?


Is your IT department integrated and agile, able to respond rapidly to business demands, or do hand off’s between technology areas slow delivery times and limit responsiveness?

Portrait or landscape

I noticed this analogy in a colleague’s presentation recently, comparing the organization of IT departments to the shape of photographs. Sure beats talking about IT silos, a phrase that makes me wince at the negative associations. It’s never a good thing when you are talking to the IT department about change.

Portrait vs. Landscape

Working in IT technical sales for many years, I have worked with many organizations, and the separation of IT departments into technology silos has always baffled me. The span of organizational control, skills and people management means that it is understandable development. This is the portrait view of the IT department with IT disciplines placed side-by-side and hand-offs in between.

This logic from a business perspective seems questionable, when the inefficiency of hand-offs between departments impacts the ability to run the business. The IT industry itself probably has to take the most blame, as configuring an entire application stack from SAN storage, FC switches, server BIOS, network adapters, OS install and application install and configuration takes a lot of different skill sets.

Integrated systems, based on converged infrastructure, with integrated networking, storage, compute and management tools seek to address this complexity and simplify the deployment and management of IT infrastructure. IBM PureFlex, part of the IBM PureSystems family, brings IBM Power, x86 compute, IBM Storwise V7000 storage and integrated networking all together in a single chassis with integrated management using the Flex System Manager (FSM).

The PureFlex management interface brings all the capabilities required to deploy and configure IT hardware onto a single pane of glass. This approach requires a different approach to management. This is the landscape view, with management integrated across the technology silos, delivering a seamless service capability.

Earlier this year IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to determine the best IT organization to support integrated systems. It is no surprise that the landscape-orientated organization is the optimal shape to improve agility and reduce management cost. Read for yourself.

Is your IT organization in the right shape to support integrated systems?

Steve Strutt is CTO of Cloud Computing in UK and Ireland. Steve has a broad IT background which includes, consulting, systems architecture and technical sales of IBM hardware and software solutions. With over 27 years in IBM, he is always looking at how new developments can solve business challenges, and works with clients to bring the breadth of IBM skills and technology to enable business growth. His wide interests include technology, engineering and sustainability both at work and beyond.

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