IT Is in the Midst of a Fundamental Shift

Part of Shezad Merchant’s job is to understand where IT will be in the next 2-3 years. In an interview with CIO Insight’s Pat Burket, the versatile CTO of Gigamon discloses his IT industry insights. Since he also works with standards organizations and with his own company on internal strategy and industry alignment, he has a unique perspective on the current evolution of IT:

Whereas traditionally IT was viewed as a cost and productivity function designed to support the employee base, in today’s digital, online and on-demand world, IT has become more critical to delivering value and impacting business outcomes. Companies are moving critical business functions such as order processing, support, billing and customer communication among others to an online model; marketing increasingly is leveraging digital, social media and other online assets, and there’s a growing use of cloud and SaaS-based application delivery models, meaning IT is being increasingly driven by business needs, business demands and business requirements.

Visibility in the Network

The key driver of the shift in IT is network complexity, says Shezad. The migration of applications to the hybrid cloud model is spurring a demand to monitor, manage, and secure IT infrastructure in the network. In a word, what is required is visibility, something that network traffic monitoring adequately provides. But the influx of new traffic monitoring tools is crowding similar network points and facing challenges from rising volume traffic and encryption. Therefore, to ensure continual customer experience management, IT pros have turned to a solution known as “visibility fabric,” a scalable, simplified, and cost-effective traffic delivery model that offers decryption tools and that centralizes visibility in the form of CIO and administrator dashboards.

Managing the Transition

Again, visibility is what is driving the need for IT to rethink its relationship with the business, in addition to its current security model. Related trends (possibly sub-trends) that are stimulating transition include:

  • Cloud
  • Mobility
  • Consumerization

The “next generation” business infrastructure relies on how well experts and technologists are able to manage the transition toward driving productivity and enabling operational efficiencies.

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