Daily IT tasks holding back Canadian datacentres – Canadian Government Executive

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March 10, 2016

Daily IT tasks holding back Canadian datacentres

As many as 45 per cent of Canadian organizations are falling behind on SDDC (software-defined datacentre), automation, orchestration and private clouds, says IDC analyst.

Nearly half of Canadian organizations are falling behind on implementation of datacentre upgrades, according to a recent report from analyst firm IDC Canada.

“Daily tasks, such a troubleshooting, and maintenance work are taking up the time of IT staff and taking the focus away from innovation,” said David Senf, program vice-president for the infrastructure solutions group at IDC Canada.

Senf was one of the analysts who spoke Wednesday at the CGE Leadership Series, Next Gen Datacentre (Converged+) in Toronto. The conference was produced by the Canadian Government Executive in collaboration with Softchoice and Dell. Olav Hanrath, vice-president of global cloud and distributed computing at RBC Royal Bank; Dave Miller, CEO of IT management platform firm Uzado; and Peter Maddison, director of platform services at Loyalty One, were the panelists in the event and answered questions from the attendees.

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“We have our CapEx in order, but with OpEx, we still have some improvements to carry out,” Senf told a group of IT professionals who attended the event. “Organizations now need to focus on the operational side to expand automation and operational capabilities.”

He and fellow IDC Canada analyst, Tony Olvet, group vice-president of research, presented the findings of a recent IDC Canada study of the datacentre operations of hundreds of Canadian organizations across the country.

“As many as 45 per cent of Canadian organizations are falling behind on SDDC (software-defined datacentre), automation, orchestration and private clouds,” Senf said. IT organizations, he said, are also behind on DevOps (a practice that emphasizes collaboration and communication of both software developers and IT professionals while automating software delivery and infrastructure changes).

The IDC study found that in 2015, IT staff spent more time “keeping the lights on” that working on new projects. As many as 49 per cent of respondents time was taken up by daily administrative chores such as conducting patches and upgrades.

Olvet spoke on how companies are employing mobile technology, analytics, and social media and adopting new approaches to selling, purchasing products and delivery services.

“For instance, coffee shop chain Starbuck’s implementation of mobile payment now accounts for 20 per cent of its sales,” said Olvet. “The Weather Network is tying weather to retail and the supply chain, using predictive analytics to help businesses”

Imagine what it means for a department store to be able to stock up early on rain gear if they know in advance that inclement weather is in the forecast, he went on to say.

Infrastructure changes also enable government agencies to improve the way they interact with and serve citizens. Olvet cited the example of Britain’s Gov.UK, a public sector information Web site launched in 2013 which was planned to replace the individual web sites of hundreds of government departments.

Gov.UK is still behind of its target, but Olvet said, such a program can serve as a blueprint for other government seeking to “make it easier for citizens to make payments, access services, track applications, and accelerate the government’s move to the cloud.”

About this author

Nestor Arellano

Nestor is a Toronto-based journalist who specializes in writing about technology and business. He is the editor of Vanguard Magazine and the associate editor of IT in Canada and a regular contributor to CGE.

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