DCN April 2017 - Page 16

centre of attention TAILORING INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Martin Brown, senior director, UK, Dell EMC Commercial, examines the sectors that artificial intelligence and machine learning will impact and how back end infrastructure will need to be tailored to support this. R espondents to Dell Technologies’ 2016 Digital Transformation Index study reflected on how the speed of change is transforming the entire ecosystem of production and management. This discussion around digital transformation has been running for some time, yet many organisations are still struggling to manage the complexity of their legacy infrastructure and deliver against the vision of becoming a software driven enterprise. This makes it difficult for CIOs to deliver an environment where agile new applications can be developed to make the most of the latest opportunities that technologies 16 | April 2017 like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual and augmented reality afford. After all, if it takes you weeks or months to allocate infrastructure resources to a development team, the IT function can hardly respond to business needs in a timely manner. Why is legacy such a problem? Well, operationally it consumes time and resources. Anyone leading an infrastructure team will tell you their people spend up to 80 per cent of their time on maintenance; patching, migration, troubleshooting, dealing with resourcing bottlenecks and so on. Second, the nature of the legacy applications (often monolithic, traditional applications) is inherently complex. Even doing something as superficially straightforward as moving an application off a ‘full’ resource can take weeks or months. Finally, even if an organisation has managed to automate and deliver a more efficient way of working with legacy, it needs to adapt its processes and infrastructure for deploying resources to the teams building the next wave of applications for the business. A new threat: Digital start-ups test the boundaries For large enterprises, the greatest challenge is in delivering these new, agile services competing