How small and midsize data centers can benefit from unified communications

In small and midsize organizations, IT staff often wears many hats. This
means that the same administrator who provisions the servers for a new
environment also has to configure the required networking resources, as well
as carve out storage volumes and configure the hypervisor.

Furthermore, the same jack-of-all-trades employee might be responsible for compliance,
patch management and security of the new environment, while at the
same time ensuring application availability and performance. To make
matters more challenging, we often find significantly less automation in
small and midsize data centers, making provisioning and
management of application environments a manual task. As a result, a
lot of time and money is spent on “keeping the lights on,” while IT staff
is faced with configuration drift and inconsistent provisioning practices
that can lead to security vulnerabilities, SLA violations, and general
inefficiency in terms of operational expense (OPEX). With each server,
network, and storage hardware refresh, there is a new layer of operational
complexity, leading to a more heterogeneous environment, with many
technology islands and proprietary management tools. This complexity,
combined with a lack of integration and automation leads to decreased
operational agility.

If the IT department is not able to respond to these challenges, business
units are quick to find their own solutions by renting resources from
public cloud providers. This rise of “shadow IT” comes with numerous,
often serious, side effects in terms of security, compliance, resiliency,
cost and performance. To address all of these challenges,
small organizations must simplify their IT infrastructure
and centralize operations management. Ultimately, IT
budgeting is a zero-sum game, where each dollar spent
on “keeping the lights on” is no longer available to create
capabilities to better compete in the marketplace.

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