Organisations don’t really care how their IT system works, they just want it to deliver what they expect it to. In response, I see this “I just want it to work” demand being factored into IT service offerings.
For example, Node4 is a Gold partner and specialist vendor for NetApp. One of the most interesting things about NetApp’s products is that they effectively operate as a ‘black box’. The admin is minimal, and the hardware is ‘bullet proof’ – in the sense that if something goes wrong with the box it can quickly and easily be restored on another bit of identical kit. It just works.
It’s an appealing offering – indeed we offer our own services based on these capabilities, like our Replicated Disaster Recovery. But when I take a step back I am struck with a thought: isn’t this what the future of all IT infrastructure should look like?
Without wishing to diminish the importance of IT for a moment, for most businesses the nuts and bolts of their infrastructure is boring. Managing the hardware can be complicated, tedious and time-consuming as far as businesses are concerned. The real value of IT to businesses today is in the applications and services enabled by the infrastructure.
And I can see their point. If I was an SME would I want my IT staff constantly fire fighting IT niggles? Or would I want them focused on developing applications and services that will really deliver value to the business? It’s a no-brainer isn’t it?
Enabling our customers to focus on the right things is a big part of how we see our role here at Node4. We want to help our customers optimise their business performance, not just their IT. We want to deliver infrastructure that is seamless that leaves our customers to focus on what they do best.
Of course we can talk about the technology until the cows come home, but ultimately what we as a vendor should be delivering is effectively ‘plug-and-play’ functionality for our customers – solutions that ‘just work’.
Head of Sales South