Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 67 - Page 39

CIO OPINION
Distributed IT poses basic questions for CIOs
Question 1 : How many server rooms , wiring closets and Edge sites do you have ? In other words , exactly how much ‘ distributed IT ’ do you own ?
It might be surprising , but most CIOs can ’ t answer this question definitively . This question sounds simple but with the proliferation of new installations and the legacy of old , answering is not easy for the savviest , most up-to-date CIO . It seems intuitively obvious : most CIOs would benefit from gaining greater insight into their physical infrastructure systems . Where are they located ? Are they cybersecure ? Are they in need of maintenance ? Knowing the answer to these questions is the first step in starting to ensure that sprawling IT infrastructure is resilient and cybersecure .
Question 2 : Who last accessed your IT rack and is the physical environment appropriate for equipment that is now considered mission-critical ?
The large number of server room and wiring closet locations represents a potential attack surface for physical intrusion – perhaps not as significant as a full-blown cyberattack but a vulnerability nonetheless and one that must be taken into consideration . In many distributed IT locations , it is unlikely there is local , knowledgeable staff . For the CIO , the challenge is to implement systems that enable the same best practices in data centres as in these remote locations .
Question 3 : How much energy is your IT consuming ?
Sustainability of IT has begun to come to the forefront in recent years . Harvard Business Review reports that 99 % of large company CEOs agree that sustainability issues are important to the success of their businesses and these concerns will extend , at some point , to the IT infrastructure .
Most CIOs in the future will be asked a simple question : what is the carbon footprint of your IT and what are you doing to reduce it ? Having visibility into the energy consumption of your entire IT infrastructure is rising in importance .
Software is key to drive reliability , security and sustainability
These three questions are directed at CIOs but that doesn ’ t mean CIOs have to answer them alone , nor should they be expected to do so . Resources and experts are available . Developments in Data Center Infrastructure Management software ( DCIM ) have made it easier to manage remote IT sites and
Most CIOs have resiliency of the systems at the top of their agendas and it ’ s fair to say that cybersecurity is a strong second .
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