In today’s digital-first world, powerful, optimised IT infrastructure is critical to delivering the top customer experience that today’s consumers demand.
Today’s pace of technological change, alongside accelerated digital transformation, has significantly added to infrastructure complexity and lack of visibility. Most organisations have a range of silos of technology and pockets of development scattered about, and don’t really understand how it all fits together.
Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge and visibility leads to IT sprawl, which in turn, means underutilised compute, unchecked storage growth, and level upon level of virtual systems which impede operations, slow systems down, and expose the organisation to security risks.
To prevent this, organisations need to optimise their infrastructure, as sprawl introduces unnecessary costs and complexity, as well as additional management requirements, which are a major hindrance in any competitive business environment.
According to Chris Larkins, Business Unit Manager for Enterprise at South Africa’s leading ICT distributor, Tarsus Distribution, the significant evolution we have seen in terms of remote and hybrid workforces, has exacerbated the problem, and created confusion around the infrastructure organisations have, where it is, and what it does.
For Larkins, the place to start, is understanding the problem that needs to be solved, and working from there. “You can’t manage what you don’t know you have, so first identify the areas where you have obvious challenges, as resolving these will give you an instant win, and enable you to move on to the next step.”
“However, to address these pain points effectively, you will need to have in-depth conversations with the various areas of the business, to find out what these challenges are and what is the best way to resolve them. At this point, having a channel partner with a deep understanding of both the vendors’ offerings and business’s understanding and knowledge of these, can be of tremendous benefit.”
Larkins says, “A vendor such as Dell has a value proposition that is all-encompassing, as it is able to critically view all aspects of the infrastructure, from device to data centre, to connectivity, and everything in between.”
“No infrastructure optimisation can happen without a thorough analysis of the business to discover what you currently have, where you need to be, and what is needed to meet that goal. Also, remember that there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, as each business will have its own, unique requirements. Rather, there needs to be a dialogue that is a work in progress, developing and adapting as new issues arise.”
“At Tarsus Distribution, we are firm believers in having in-depth conversations that evolve alongside the process,” adds Larkins. “Our end goal is to guarantee that each customer fully understands what they can and should be doing, what their industry counterparts are up to, and what needs to happen to ensure their infrastructure is optimised in an iterative fashion.”
According to him, the benefits of optimisation handled in this way are many. For starters, it helps the business internally, allowing it to be infinitely more flexible and agile. It also helps the company implement new revenue models and ensure that its data and systems are more secure.
“From the customer-facing view, optimised infrastructure enables the business to transform into a data-led business, employing analytics and AI to deliver deeper, more targeted benefits to customers, and also to quicken the speed of delivery of these,” he says.
“We have worked with organisations in every industry as they moved from an on-premise to a cloud or hybrid cloud environment. These moves are always driven by varying data sets and workloads, so a discussion around optimisation is key to unlocking the flexibility and choice needed to implement the environment that is most suitable for the customer’s specific needs. For example, certain data is highly sensitive and proprietary and needs to be stored on premise, while other data which is generated at the edge, for example, needs to be managed in a different way.”
One element of the infrastructure that particularly benefits from optimisation is storage, due to the sheer quantities of data generated via a slew of sources. With an increasing amount of information being generated, and more ways in which to store and use it being discovered, optimisation becomes key if the business hopes to gain actionable insights from this data and use it to stay ahead of the competition.
“Not only is Dell able to offer everything a customer needs from a data centre infrastructure perspective, but it is also able to guarantee that everything is built on open standards, which means there is no vendor lock in, and the customer can work with a wide range of solutions, of their choice, and then gain the skills and support they need to begin the process,” Larkins explains.
Tarsus Distribution does not only provide the full Dell suite, but more importantly it is able to place its experts with the reseller’s team, as they have the deep knowledge and expertise needed to meet the relevant requirements and help not only all the way through to the deployment stage, but with after sales support too.
“In this way, the end-customer benefits from the uptime and usage out of their environment from day one, and also gets an excellent return on their investment.”
Tarsus Distribution, says Larkins, sets itself apart from other distributors because it invests heavily in the skills and capabilities needed in today’s digital world, specifically when it comes to pre-sales and business development stacks.
“In this way, we have the confidence to put our people in front of our partners or their customers and rest assured that they have the knowledge and industry experience to ask the right questions and implement solutions that meet the customer’s specific needs from the ground up,” he adds.
Tarsus Distribution is always ready, willing and able to have these in-depth conversations to ensure that our expertise can be leveraged, and we can assume the role of trusted advisor.
“It’s not about the product for us, it’s about having the knowledge and understanding of the customer’s unique pain points, in order to help them reach their goals when it comes to growth, flexibility and delivery, via the effective optimisation of their critical infrastructure,” Larkins ends.