Par Stéphane Hascoët, CEO de Jiliti
In a context of accelerating digital transformation, the IT maintenance industry is spearheading a revolution. To help businesses innovate, maintainers have become service providers.
Streamline IT infrastructure
A next-generation maintainer must provide services that go well beyond mere installation and hardware maintenance. Their skills must extend to the upper layers of server, storage and network infrastructures. They must be able to take responsibility for the installation of an entire private Cloud infrastructure based on a company’s specifications, with a service contract that includes equipment maintenance, but also operation of infrastructures, software maintenance and various added-value services such as DRP and backups over a period of 5 to 7 years by integrating the development of platforms.
Businesses are no longer looking for an IT maintainer, but a partner who can deliver all infrastructure management-related services, both ‘legacy’ and Cloud: private Cloud, hybrid Cloud, Cloud hosted by a third party and eventually public Cloud. It is now essential to offload all physical or virtualized infrastructure management tasks from the CIO. It can be said that the job of maintainer has become that of manager of all layers of IT, up to the virtualization of infrastructure.
Maintainers must manage the complexity of contracts and the variety of stakeholders.
As part of this end-to-end services approach, the maintainer must provide the company with a managed service that will to some extent manage the complexity, the number of maintenance contracts for each part of the information system and the number of stakeholders who may be required to work on this infrastructure at some point, including the manufacturers themselves.
This approach gives the CIO a single point of contact who manages all IT assets regardless of variety and complexity, whether the resources are provided by the company’s on-site infrastructure, a public Cloud services provider or a data center operator. The maintainer must be able to manage this variety horizontally with various stakeholders, but also vertically by adding value beyond hardware maintenance with OS management, storage arrays for all the add-on software embedded in network equipment and layers of virtualization and hyperconvergence. The recent disastrous data center crashes show the pressing need to guarantee clients comprehensive infrastructure management that incorporates the sustainability and integrity of systems.
A single contract covering all stakeholders who may be required to work on the various technical components simplifies the day-to-day work of the operating teams and allows businesses to save 10 to 20% and sometimes up to 30% off the total cost.
Skills for every stage of the life cycle of infrastructure
Traditional maintainers must now focus on services and uses. Maintainers can no longer concern themselves only with the maintenance of hardware facilities, but must play a role throughout the life cycle of infrastructure. Businesses want a turnkey service, including manufacturer maintenance, as well as warranty extensions and keeping hardware operational for as long as the CIO needs it.
A maintainer must also be able to manage systems that are no longer supported by their manufacturers, sometimes for over 15 years! These systems, which may be considered obsolete, make up only a handful of machines, but are often critical to the company’s business. However, the small number of machines does not always justify maintaining in-house skills on technologies now considered obsolete. Then there are new technologies and the profound transformation of IT resource management with the switch to the Cloud. The infrastructure manager must be able to protect all these components, regardless of the technological choices made by the client. Infrastructure services must take all this into account by combining commitment, sustainability and price.
Migrating businesses to the Cloud automatically reduces the volume of infrastructure to be maintained, but not the IT resources that go towards the public Cloud. Maintainers can no longer settle for offering services limited to basic equipment maintenance, but must create added value on infrastructure management. The future of maintainers is to offer these high added-value services on all infrastructure, from legacy to Cloud, combining all services to ensure availability and sustainability