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The Changing Business of IT

IT Strategy

Renewal is the time for IT to load up on items that are nice to have, along with the must-haves. Huge differences in lease prices can occur based on your credit, the value of the collateral and term of lease. Renewal is the obvious occasion to negotiate new terms. Having a prior conversation with IBM Global Finance is certainly worthwhile, even if only as a sanity check on the terms and conditions in your current leases.

Return to the MSP Business Model

Enter the managed service provider (MSP) model. A growing number of Power Systems* resellers are retuning their businesses to this model, providing hardware and software access, managed and bundled as-a-service offerings for companies that no longer feel compelled to run a proper data center on a daily basis.

MSPs are on the front lines of the business of IT. Both MSPs and clients like the security of having professionals managing systems, along with the added comfort of having servers located in hardened buildings, redundancy in electrical power telecom, and spare servers and storage available locally for hot-swap replacement or growth. All Power Systems sites must address these functions, but the economics of having specialized facilities and the associated personnel required work better when the costs of these facilities and skilled labor can be shared across multiple client companies.

The MSP model is likely here to stay and grow in appeal, particularly for the IBM i space. If you are considering the MSP option, just remember providing floor space and electricity for a Power* server does not mean the service is enterprise class. When choosing an MSP, reputation is obviously an important factor, but do your own due diligence. Find out if the firm is responsive, fairly priced, flexible and professional. Ask to talk with a customer that quit the MSP. Ask how often they role-swap their high availability/disaster-recovery application. Don’t forget that IBM is also in this business.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

IBM Power Systems products remain market leaders. I constantly read about the “graying” of the technical talent in the Power Systems marketplace causing labor shortages. It’s not a bad place to be in for career seekers. I’d say that the business of IT is a sweet spot right now.

Jim Young is the VP of Sales for Midrange Performance Group, providers of performance management and capacity planning software and services for IBM Power* platforms.



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The Changing Business of IT

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