The Changing Role of the Data Center


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The shift to a Human Centric Intelligent Society means taking a fresh approach to innovation. The question is, how can organizations harness technology to create new value and continually reinvent themselves?
The purpose of this whitepaper is to explore how a new
approach to the Data Center can answer this question by
enabling organizations to drive innovation in a new era ofhuman centric ICT.

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The Changing Role of the Data Center

  1. 1. Innovation in the New Era of ICT The Changing Role of the Data Center Our lives are changing. Interactions have moved from the real world to a digital landscape. The rise of this digital world has been rapid and shows no signs of slowing. Today, over 30 trillion webpages exist, more than a billion people share their lives via Facebook1 and smartphones are generating thousands of mobile data interactions every second. Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center Page 1 of 8 Contents Introduction 02 The Goal 03 Why we need a new approach 04 The changing role of the Data Center 05 Introducing the Business-Centric Data Center 07 Conclusion 08 Based on Intel® Technology
  2. 2. A human centric paradigm Characteristics Traditional paradigm Human Centic paradigm Efficiency Processes, static Information Past Own lead by organizations High innovation cost Closed innovation Creativity Autonomy, dynamic Knowledge Present (real-time) & future Share Lead by individuals Low innovation cost Open innovation Role of ICT Improvement of productivity Cost reduction Empowerment of people Improvement of value Innovation of business model Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center Introduction Connectivity on this scale is bringing people, information, processes, infrastructure and ICT together like never before. It is generating massive amounts of information that in turn hold the key to new knowledge and the potential for economic growth. Meanwhile, complex social challenges are taking place on a global scale. Rising populations, scarcity of resources and our ability to prepare for natural disasters require new ways of thinking. Against the backdrop of this hyper-connected and fundamentally changing world, Fujitsu announced its latest Technology and Services Vision in April 2014. It set out the notion of a Human Centric Intelligent Society – a world in which people’s lives are enriched by ICT and innovation is everywhere, delivering new business and social value. A human centric paradigm The shift to a Human Centric Intelligent Society means taking a fresh approach to innovation. The question is, how can organizations harness technology to create new value and continually reinvent themselves? The purpose of this whitepaper is to explore how a new approach to the Data Center can answer this question by enabling organizations to drive innovation in a new era of human centric ICT. Page 2 of 8 1 Top 10 Strategic technology Trends for 2014, Gartner
  3. 3. The Human Centric Intelligent Society A future scenario A traffic accident has happened in a busy city during rush hour. A young cyclist is badly injured. He urgently needs emergency treatment. Fortunately, he lives in a Human Centric Intelligent Society. The motion sensor in his wearable device detected the impact. It provides his exact location and sends his changing heart rate and blood pressure to a human centric ICT system, which raises the alarm. Before any passer- by could telephone for help, the control center is made aware of the emergency and they dispatch an ambulance. The paramedics arrive and stabilize the young man. But there is not much time to save him: what is the quickest way to reach medical treatment? The system recognizes traffic is gridlocked around the nearest hospital, but the data show the next alternative has a shortage of medical staff. There’s a further alternative: a hospital free from traffic and with staff available immediately. The system plots the best route through the traffic, estimating the cyclist will get access to emergency treatment 7 minutes faster. This ‘future scenario’ is in a healthcare context but the principle applies equally to any other area of human activity. Crucially, a Human Centric Intelligent Society has two key characteristics. One is that intelligent ICT is embedded into every aspect of business and society. However, just making the world a smarter place is not enough. The second characteristic is that the creativity of people is harnessed and directed towards positive social outcomes and greater sustainability through innovation. Extract from Fujitsu Technology & Service Vision 2014 – read more at Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center Page 3 of 8 The Goal: Human Centric Innovation The world economy is dependent on cycles of innovation – evidenced by the growth associated with the proliferation of steam power, the railways, electrical engineering, the automobile, and Information Technology among others at key stages over the last two hundred years. At an enterprise level, organizations must continually reinvent what they do to just to keep up, let alone take the lead. According to a PwC survey of 1,700 board level executives around the world2 , leading innovators (organizations) have grown at a rate of 16% higher than the least innovative. For almost half of the executives PwC interviewed innovation is a ‘competitive necessity’. In fact, 93% of respondents indicated that organic growth through innovation will drive the greater proportion of their revenue growth. The report’s authors concluded: “Innovation is becoming a competitive necessity for companies and it should be delivering significantly increased revenue growth. If it’s not, then executives need to be asking themselves what they could do to improve their innovation process.” Innovation is already taking on different characteristics. Gartner’s Nexus of Forces and IDC’s 3rd Platform of ICT have raised awareness of what organizations must do to stay ahead in the era of human centric ICT. Gartner identifies four converging forces – mobile, Big Data, cloud and social - as the drivers of change. 3 Mobility is creating new opportunities in client environments and end user experiences. Cloud has become the style and delivery method of choice – enabling individuals or business lines to develop their own ways to innovate. Meanwhile, the exponential growth of data and the rapid rise of social media continue. This Nexus of Forces sits neatly on IDC’s 3rd Platform of ICT4 , which represents the “transition from systems to services, from IT agility to business agility and from information to innovation”. It is the next stage in the shift away from mainframe computing (the 1st platform) and personal computing (the 2nd platform). According to IDC: “The ICT industry is in the midst of a once every 20-25 years shift to a new technology platform for growth and innovation. We call it the 3rd Platform, built on mobile devices and apps, cloud services, mobile broadband networks, Big Data analytics and social technologies. By 2020… at least 80% of the industry’s growth will be driven by these 3rd platform technologies, an explosion of new solutions built on the new platform, along with rapidly expanding consumption of all of the above in emerging markets.” 5 2 Breakthrough innovation and growth, PwC, 2013 3 Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014, Gartner, 2013 4 Buyer Technology Guide, IDC, 2014 5 Competing on the 3rd Platform: Opportunities at the Intersection of Mobile, Cloud, Social and Big Data, IDC, 2013
  4. 4. Forrester research supports this focus on innovation. Of the companies it surveyed and looking to invest in ICT, six out of ten aimed to increase spend on innovation rather than just ongoing operations and maintenance.6 Together with what Gartner describes as the ‘Internet of Everything’ (things, people, places and information), these big trends driving business and social change are creating what Fujitsu calls Human Centric Innovation. This is fast and accessible. It is open and collaborative. It is led by individuals rather than organizations. Importantly, it is changing the way we look at the Data Center. The focus shifted to business process transformation. These traditional hardware- and then software-defined data models were successful in their own way. They enhanced productivity, enabled connectivity and led to cost reductions. But on their own, neither of these approaches is fit-for-purpose when it comes to dealing with the business challenges and the demand for innovation of today. Human centric ICT has gained the power to proactively help us make the best decisions. However, organizations need to find the best way to leverage ICT so they can deal with data and then turn it to their advantage. Consider the ICT needs of a large retail business. Mobilization, rapid scalability and real-time order management are critical. It is not enough to just work quicker. Data services need to predict supply and demand, and should inform decisions about stock location. In finance, ever-changing regulations, the demand for improved transaction speed, and security of data are all key business issues. A network-centric approach will not solve these problems alone. And governments must develop digital strategies for openness while still maintaining confidentiality, e-procurement and data- driven citizen services. They require information to move out of silos so that it can proactively drive decisions about housing, transport and safety. Furthermore, the convergence of the trends identified by Gartner and IDC has led to an explosion of data. According to Forrester, between 2010 and 2012, enterprise data stores grew by 60%. Research shows that this is set to continue, with data capacities expected to grow by 800% over the next five years.7 As Forrester suggests, there is also the combination of the need for competitive advantage; rising employee and customer expectations; the costs of downtime; accountability to business owners; and expansion into global markets that are adding to the pressure on Data Centers.8 As we move further away from the computer and network- centric eras and into the human centric era of ICT, the Data Center has taken on the most significant role of all: the basis for Human Centric Innovation. Why We Need A New Approach ICT has always evolved with the times, and it must do so again. Originally, the sole aim was to enhance productivity. The mainframe era was all about working faster, and because this was dependent on ICT, whole organizations were built around the computer. Businesses became computer-centric and IT providers - the vendors - led the way enterprises were organized. The subsequent development of the client-server model and the Internet moved things forward. Suddenly, there were more providers to choose from, and although IT departments maintained central control, technology spread out to create a flexible, network-centric environment. Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center Page 4 of 8 Growth and Transformation through ICT A future scenario Today’s most successful businesses share the characteristic of weaving ICT into the very core of their products and services. Take financial services. In the old days, customers could only consume these by visiting a bank. Then technology was introduced enabling us to bank online, without having to set foot in a branch. These days something different is happening. New digital entrants have brought radical and innovative business models into the sector, changing the nature of the industry. Paypal and Kickstarter, for instance, have changed the way payments are made and investment is raised. Yet financial services are not unique in this regard. Zipcar has re-imagined how we hire cars; Airbnb has done the same for travel accommodation. For these companies, ICT is the core part of how they create value for their customers. Extract from Fujitsu Technology & Service Vision 2014 – read more at 6 Forrsights Budgets And Priorities Tracker Survey, Q4 2012, Q4 2013, Forrester 7 Ten Trends and Technologies to [sic] Impacting IT over the Next Five Years, Gartner, 2013 8 Beyond Software Defined Data Centers, Forrester, 2013
  5. 5. Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center Page 5 of 8 The Changing Role of the Data Center IDC’s concept of the 3rd platform of ICT focuses on business lines taking the front seat when it comes to technology initiatives. According to its survey of functional executives, the business is now responsible for funding 61% of technology projects.9 As such, the link between technology and business results is now inseparable and business executives are driving ICT projects to meet their demand for innovation. These executives now expect ICT to do more. It is no longer enough to simply focus on agility or saving money. They want ICT to drive enterprise growth, provide operational results, optimize cost structures and reduce risk – all at the same time. Inevitably, this leads to competing forces at work within the Data Center. On the one hand, there is the need to modernize the ICT estate to make systems cheaper and more agile. Guided by CIOs and their teams, this modernization process affects all elements of the Data Center – from facilities through to the way that systems are managed or automated and the actual technology, solutions and services deployed. At each stage decisions must be taken about whether these elements remain in-house or are delivered as a managed service, outsourced, sent to the cloud or possibly even a combination of these. Yet on the other hand, there is the business-led demand for innovative new applications and systems that are more responsive. The argument is that by delivering new ways of working the organization can keep one step ahead. In this regard, business lines cannot afford to wait for traditional ICT deployments, especially when many ICT environments are not in a fit state to support innovation. That is why, increasingly, business units are taking matters into their own hands by deploying cloud services. These competing forces call for a fundamental change in the way that organizations and ICT suppliers approach the Data Center. Instead of focusing on what the technology can achieve, the focus should shift to what the organization can achieve. What is required is a business-centric approach to the Data Center – one that supports the CIO in achieving both modernization and innovation simultaneously. To do this, storage resources for production, analytics, backup and archiving now must be aligned with the ongoing service levels required by business lines. Whether it is virtualization driving the demand for networked storage or Big Data pushing the need for larger storage solutions, there are many factors to consider. In most organizations, competing workloads all operating from the same infrastructure mean storage must be more robust than ever before. At the same time, effective risk management is necessary to ensure data is available at the right times to suit business needs – particularly for Finance, Legal and Compliance. As the importance of applications and data continues to grow, computing capabilities must be aligned to business priorities. With processed data expected to increase by a factor of four10 and virtualization a key element in 71% of Data Centers11 by 2016, computing resources must be more reliable, more secure and more powerful than ever before. Being able to simplify a combination of industry-standard x86 servers and mission-critical x86 or UNIX servers as well as potential legacy mainframe servers, for example, while also protecting the organization’s investments into the future is now a key requirement within the Data Center. By combining servers, storage, network components, or even middleware and applications within pre-integrated and tested systems, organizations can realize significant additional benefits. Such integration eliminates the risk of incompatibility between components; accelerates deployment; shortens time to production; improves resource utilization; increases operational efficiency; and, ultimately, optimizes overall costs. What is more, IT departments no longer have to waste time understanding how components interact, which means they can shift resources to strategic activities that enable innovation. Furthermore, today’s business leaders are more tech savvy than ever before and they know that effective use of ICT is key to success. Many of the newest applications and trends - such as mobility, big data and social - are underpinned by cloud computing, giving them a completely new way to provision ICT. Increasingly these executives are adopting systems directly, with or without the support of the IT department. This is one of the factors leading CIOs to put their faith firmly in the cloud. A Gartner study published in October 2013 shows that while just over a quarter (28%) of CIOs expect to source all critical applications and operations via the cloud by 2016, that number will almost double to 55% by 2020.12 9 IDC Business Technology Study, May 2013 10 11 Forecast Analysis: Data Centers, Worldwide, 2010-2016, 4Q12 Update, Forrester, 2012 12
  6. 6. Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center Page 6 of 8 Moreover, transforming and modernizing the Data Center to provide a cost effective and agile ICT environment can take time. But this is time that business lines cannot afford. That is why there has been increased interest in outsourcing and Managed Services, whereby the ICT vendor takes on the responsibility for transforming and operating the services in the Data Center so the organization can focus on higher value strategic and innovation activities. Looking further ahead, over the next decade organizations that are able to leverage Big Data, and interpret it intelligently, will have the competitive edge. This will give rise to new business models, built on the large-scale and real-time analysis of vast quantities of data. While Big Data inevitably means more storage resources, these are getting cheaper all the time. The key will be in understanding how the data can be used and where the value lies. Organizations that are able to utilize proprietary information alongside the wealth of information generated by third parties in the Human Centric Intelligent Society will be best placed to exploit Big Data as a source of innovation and growth. By recognizing the importance of Big Data and engaging a provider that can offer the requisite components (from tools to algorithms, servers and storage, for example), organizations can start to determine the true worth of Big Data and identify what is required in the Data Center to extract its value. For the Data Center to become a force for innovation it must also become easier to manage. Using sophisticated software and adding intelligence to the way infrastructure is automatically deployed, monitored, and how data is managed, will free up valuable IT resources. And for organizations that want to go one step further and engage a third party provider then remote infrastructure management, managed hosting, or Data Center co-location are all viable options for reducing the burden on in-house teams so they are better able to support innovation across the enterprise. As the volume, velocity, variety and value of data continue to rise, the Data Center has to be able to respond. This means organizations must be given the freedom to select those elements of the Data Center that will address their existing and future business requirements. Critical to success in our new human centric world - characterized by the mega technology trends of mobile, Big Data and social and all underpinned by cloud – will be the ability to innovate and exploit ICT quickly and cost effectively while leveraging the skills and knowledge within business units and the IT department. To make this a reality what is needed is a business-centric approach to the Data Center that reflects these new requirements. Formula 1: Pole position for Big Data Motor racing is at the leading edge of technological innovation. The margins between winning and losing can be measured in split seconds. Formula 1 (F1) teams would not be able to compete without real-time insight. They gain this through telemetry data supplied by hundreds of sensors on the cars. In a single race weekend these sensors can generate a billion points of data. None of this would be possible without a Data Center geared to the demands of F1 racing. The teams have invested millions of dollars in high-speed networks and vast amounts of computing resources. The car can be racing anywhere, but the data arrives instantly at a team’s headquarters – which may be on the other side of the world. Strategic responses to situations in the race are generated in milliseconds, faster and more accurately than human team members would be capable of. In the words of Geoff McGrath, managing director of the Applied Technologies Division at F1 team McLaren, this gives the team access to “prescriptive intelligence” – the ability to anticipate the future and suggest winning moves. While this is primarily about delivering competitive advantage, much of the data is made available to the public (e.g. via television) and feeds back into the ecosystems of suppliers - driving innovation in the sport and, indeed, the entire automotive industry.
  7. 7. Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center Page 7 of 8 Introducing the Business-Centric Data Center It is clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to the Data Center cannot work. Different organizations will need to support very different requirements and, therefore, very different Data Center infrastructure. They will also have different views on the way they manage their Data Center systems and the role of external service providers. The human centric era of ICT demands that organizations exercise their right to choose the technologies, solutions and services that will help meet their specific business needs. The demand for organizations to both innovate and modernize their ICT quickly led Fujitsu to develop a completely new way of approaching the Data Center. Powered by Fujitsu and Intel technologies, our approach to the Business-Centric Data Center helps organizations rapidly introduce new products and services, enter new markets, and deploy new systems and services while at the same time optimizing ICT costs. Instead of the more traditional approach in which ICT was often defined by vendors, Fujitsu engagements around the Business-Centric Data Center focus on creating an ICT environment tailored to individual business needs. Crucially, they are about supporting innovation and transforming the Data Center environment to deliver agility and improved efficiency while offering the freedom to choose the technologies, integrated solutions and Data Center services that best meet the organization’s specific requirements. The outcome being that they can quickly achieve the business results they require. Utilizing Fujitsu storage solutions, enterprises can reduce the costs of storing growing data volumes by aligning storage resources with business requirements. By utilizing Fujitsu server solutions, they can also deliver greater reliability and the power to process and analyze data faster and more efficiently than ever before. Fujitsu’s end-to-end Data Center Solutions strip away complexity in building, deploying and managing systems. Meanwhile, Fujitsu’s range of Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Data Center Services provides the agility, control, speed and cost efficiency as well as the potential to transform the organization’s provision of technology to its end users. With the emergence of these new services comes the need to integrate cloud infrastructure with traditional, on-premise ICT systems to ensure the whole Data Center can be managed in line with organizational priorities and compliance obligations. As the adoption of cloud increases, especially public cloud services, the challenge comes when applying the governance and operational controls that have come to be expected without constraining business units in adopting the services they need. To overcome the issue, the Fujitsu Cloud Integration Platform provides the ‘single pane of glass’ that is required to seamlessly manage and integrate existing ICT systems with cloud services in a simple, consistent and compliant way. With the combination of each of these technologies, solutions and services within the Business-Centric Data Center return-on-investment can be seen right across the board. Improved insight – proactively delivered to the end user – aids strategic developments. Critical decisions can be made faster and with a deeper understanding of the business scenario. And secure, simple-to-manage systems, made cost-effective and aligned with business goals, cut down the time previously needed to control a more complex Data Center. But the most significant impact is in the rise of innovation – driven by an approach that aligns the Data Center to business priorities and reduces the burden on IT departments so they can free up more resources to create new business solutions. Transforming Farming by Exploiting ICT Established in July 2009, Aeon Agri Create is a farming subsidiary of the Aeon Group, which includes one of Japan’s leading supermarket chains. The workforce of Aeon Agri Create was initially made up of people whose professional background was in other types of work within the Aeon Group. The company applies ICT to develop and share farming expertise so that people without much farming experience can deliver good results. This “ICT farming” enterprise has been created in partnership with Fujitsu. Aeon’s farms use Fujitsu’s Akisai cloud computing service as the basis for daily farm operation and monitoring. Workers use tablets, smartphones or other mobile devices to gather data on farming operations, checking pesticide or fertilizer use while also keeping track of operational costs. At its head office, Aeon integrates the farming plans, crop yield forecasts, field observations, harvest data and other farm- related information into its accounting database. In this way, Aeon head office ensures that the information from all of Aeon’s farms is reflected in each set of quarterly financial results. The application of ICT to farming by Aeon to deliver reliable supplies of fresh vegetables to Aeon Group stores has also helped develop its brand within the agricultural sector. Aeon is taking a proactive stance towards sharing the advanced expertise it has forged in farming to support more widespread adoption of ICT-based farming methods. This is helping to re-energize Japan’s agricultural sector as more people are encouraged to take up farming and more efficient farm management methods are developed. Extract from Fujitsu Technology & Service Vision 2014 case studies – read more at
  8. 8. Taking the First Step To take advantage of this opportunity for innovation, organizations first need to take the time to understand the state of their current Data Center environment and what they want to do with it. This can take the form of an internal evaluation or an external assessment service that would identify what needs to change, what can stay the same and what the likely impact will be on the whole organization. At Board level, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers and Chief Innovation Officers need to look at their existing Data Center strategy and consider what they can do to actively support enterprise growth and innovation within core business functions.Understanding the improvements that are required for better visibility and total optimization of cost structures is essential in delivering return-on-investment. What is more, it is the role of senior executives to ensure that new ICT deployments reduce risk and meet business demands for security and data protection, especially new cloud services. Meanwhile, Data Center Directors can begin the process by looking at the key characteristics of the current Data Center. To what degree is it consolidated? How are technologies, solutions and services delivered? Is there any room for more flexibility? Examining how ICT management, governance and organization could be improved is an essential step towards developing a Data Center that is truly business-centric. By looking for new ways to reduce ICT administration and enhancing the use of information across the organization, Data Center Directors will play a critical role in developing a Business-Centric Data Center. Working together with business executives, these are the people who can ensure the organization benefits from ICT infrastructure that is tailored to innovation. Not just now but into the future. Conclusion At every level, business growth demands innovation. In this paper we have seen how a shift to the Human Centric Intelligent Society requires a different approach to the Data Center. Not just as a way to deal with the growing volume of data and the need for new systems but as a way to address the competing challenges of enabling the business to innovate while allowing the IT department to modernize existing ICT systems. We have also seen how applying a business-centric approach to Data Center technologies, solutions and services can achieve the alignment the business needs to leverage ICT successfully. With ongoing pressures to be more innovative and to make best use of technologies such as cloud, mobility, social and Big Data, now is the time for organizations to assess how well equipped their Data Center strategies are for exploiting the opportunities presented by these mega technology trends. Data availability, the speed of analytics, security and rapid scalability are all sources of innovation. And as global data volumes turn from Petabytes into Exabytes, organizations must ask whether their storage resources are aligned with business demands for rapid access. With insight critical to rapid business decision-making, the question to ask is whether the computing infrastructure is ready for faster business processes. In a human centric world of hyper-connectivity, what can be done in the Data Center to guarantee the protection of valuable and confidential information – especially when considering recent examples of data safety violations? And with constantly shifting business priorities, how can CIOs, CTOs and Data Center Directors offer ICT flexibility while delivering the quality of service the business needs? Fujitsu can help you answer these questions. - Whether your organization requires world-class storage and server technologies; less complexity; Data Center transformation; a way to reduce the burden on your IT team; or a means to adopt and integrate new cloud services, Fujitsu is ready to give organizations of any size, in any sector, everything they need to meet the requirements of the Human Centric Intelligent Society opportunities head-on. © Copyright 2014 Fujitsu. Fujitsu, the Fujitsu logo and Fujitsu brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fujitsu ­Limited in Japan and other countries. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners, the use of which by third parties for their own purposes may infringe the rights of such owners. Technical data are subject to modification and delivery subject to availability. Any liability that the data and illustrations are complete, actual or correct is excluded. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Contact FUJITSU Address: Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH Mies-van-der-Rohe-Straße 8 80807 München, Germany Phone: +49 (89) 62060-0 Website: 2014-05-23 [CE] [EN] Page 8 of 8 Whitepaper FUJITSU Business-Centric Data Center