Technology, Converged Infrastructure

Getting a New Outlook on Support - Fewer Headaches, Less Stress

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If you're like me, every year you read through the Top 10 CIO priorities and IT prediction lists that are created like clockwork every December and January. Funny thing though, you never see “Improve technical support service levels” on any of them. I’ve ransacked my memory and looked back through my archives but I just can't find it.

Thinking back to the 2012 lists, John Dodge had a great blog about his Top Six Top 10 tech predictions, but as he amusingly points out, these tend to focus on the usual suspects: “Cloud, Big Data, tablets and mobile… yawwwn.” But nothing on support. Apparently CIOs think support – the stuff that keeps everything else going – is even more yawn-worthy. And that’s a pity, for at least two reasons:


1) The CIO’s drive to strategic relevance. As we’re constantly being reminded by the tech press, CIOs are ambitious for a seat at the strategy table. It’s hard to do that when you constantly have to keep one eye on the threat of business-bruising downtime; when problem management, incident management and general firefighting are soaking up large amounts of the organization’s time.

2) Increasing levels of complexity in the IT infrastructure. In today’s Always On, 24/7 data center technologies like cloud computing, mobility, virtualization and consolidation have produced great efficiencies but at the cost of additional support and maintenance challenges. While in an ideal world, technology improvements and technical support would advance in tandem, in reality support often tends to lag somewhat. Perhaps because it lacks the high profile of those celebrity technologies that always make the Top 10 lists.

For many IT leaders, now could be the right time to take a good look at enterprise support service options. Make sure you choose a vendor that builds innovation into its support services just as it does into its technology offerings. Look for vendors with support architected for multivendor, converged and cloud environments. And don’t settle for old school, traditional, reactive IT support. You want a model that helps you address problems before they occur.

If you’re interested in HP’s take, a good place to start is this blog by EJ Bodnar introducing a just-announced service portfolio. EJ is director of worldwide portfolio marketing, HP Technology Services, and he does a good job of covering the new offerings. The news release has more detail as well.


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