Top 5 reasons the Talking Heads could apply to your IT infrastructure


MusicThe top 5 reasons your IT Infrastructure may leave you asking yourself, “Well, how did I get here?” or a few other annoying questions.

In a past life, long before becoming a Marketing professional, I was a DJ, spinning and mixing records to pay my way through college (yeah, records!). During this period I became a huge Talking Heads fan. The lyrics from their critically acclaimed song, Once in a Lifetime, often interpreted as dealing with mid-life crisis, sacrifice and questionable choices, could honestly be questions posed by many IT professionals about the state of many current IT infrastructures. Let’s queue this up.

1.  “You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”

Let’s face it; traditional infrastructures have grown increasingly complex and inflexible, making it difficult, in most cases, to be responsive to the fast changing business needs of many enterprises. Datacenter sprawl, multitudes of heterogeneous hardware platforms, hypervisors, operating systems and applications—all with their own management systems—make it difficult to address changing business requirements, get accurate insight from data, or deliver new offerings or services. It simply takes too long to manually build, set up, deliver and tear down servers, storage and network devices the old fashion way. Factor in unpredictable occurrences, like a sudden spike in traffic or transactions, and You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

2.  “You may ask yourself, how do I work this?”

Highly developed and specialized skills are often required to install, provision, monitor and operate the wide variety of systems, storage, network devices and operating systems found in traditional IT infrastructures. Such complexity can hinder responsiveness, business agility and flexibility. In the event IT organizations attempt to share cross-platform responsibilities, the inevitable question arises: “How do I work this?” Or worse, as captured in another verse, “You may ask yourself, my God, what have I done?

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

3.  “Into the blue again after the money’s gone”

We know the demands placed on IT departments to deliver services faster, cheaper and better are becoming more extreme. On the other hand, IT budgets are shrinking at an even faster pace. Many enterprises are pouring bucketfuls of money into their IT infrastructures, attempting to keep up with the need to crunch numbers faster, store more and more data, connect with more networks and float more clouds. Nice in theory, however, an inefficient, poorly optimized infrastructure typically requires additional people to manage, monitor and run. And it costs money! If the money’s gone, some are left saying “Into the blue again after money’s gone, water flowing underground”…which leads to my next point.

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

4.  “Remove the water, carry the water. Remove the water from the bottom of the ocean”

We all know the intelligence of doing something just because it’s always been done a certain way, right? Yet, somehow we refuse to recognize or change the approach. And all along, we expect the results to somehow magically change. Maybe a refreshing, new approach to deploying, provisioning, managing, monitoring and orchestrating IT resources could yield better business results while improving IT productivity. It’s funny, two of our IBM C-suite studies revealed the Top 3 concerns of CEO’s and CIO’s were exactly the same: develop greater insight and intelligence and improve client intimacy, while improving skills of employees. It might be a wee bit difficult to achieve better results with the same old methodologies, processes, procedures and infrastructures. Potentially, an optimized, dynamic and simplified infrastructure could be the answer. Hmmm, “Remove the water, carry the water. Remove the water from the bottom of the ocean.” Really? Is this productive?

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

5.  “You may ask yourself, where does that highway lead to?”

Ha! Maybe, that’s the question we should be asking ourselves. How do we bridge from where our IT infrastructures are today, to where they will become simplified, responsive and adaptive? It really doesn’t have to be Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

What’s your Once in a Lifetime IT issue? I would love to hear what “You may ask yourself?

Hope you enjoyed this departure from the typical technology blog post. Thanks for reading. Come back soon! Please feel free to reach or follow me on Twitter.

Once in a Lifetime” is a song by New Wave band Talking Heads, released as the first single from their fourth studio album Remain in Light. The song was written by David Byrne, Brian Eno, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Tina Weymouth, and produced by Eno. It received critical acclaim, and was named one of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century by National Public Radio.[1]

Al Brodie is a Social Media Strategist and Senior Marketing Manager for IBM Software Defined Environment Marketing. Al’s experience includes selling to strategic  clients in the IT and Telecommunications industry. He joined IBM in 1998 as an eServer Competitive Brand Specialist selling supply chain and manufacturing solutions as a member of the Lucent client team. Previous to his current position, he was the Product Marketing Manager for the IBM Systems Director portfolio in Systems Technology Group’s Systems Software Business Unit.

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