In the results from last year’s 451 Research “Voice of the Enterprise” annual survey, the current enterprise IT infrastructure skills shortage was very apparent. In their survey, 82% of respondents rated the difficulty in recruiting for infrastructure-based roles as either “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult”. The reasons are varied but primarily it’s the simple lack of skills (69%), lack of candidates in their region (48%) and/or high salary requirements (43%).

 

The consequences for many enterprises are significant. It goes without saying that infrastructure-based roles are foundational for driving innovation and business outcomes. I’m not a fan of the term “digital transformation”, but when we talk about the adoption of innovative technologies to redefine how companies deliver and extract value, it often starts with using technology for the purposeful transformation of activities, processes, competencies and models. This is true whether we are talking about on-premises, off-premises (public cloud, co-location, etc.) or hybrid deployments while the specific skill sets may be different.

 

It’s not just transformation priorities that are at risk. The highest IT priorities are centered on data management and are core to the organization. This includes managing rapid data growth, data security, data analytics, cost reduction and cloud integration.

 

The IT skills shortage is real and pressure from technology enhancements continues to evolve at a rapid pace. This has forced IT organizations to economize their resources, both human and infrastructure. A common refrain from IT leaders is to “do more with less” and it’s forcing their teams to integrate these foundational technologies to be simpler and more agile.

 

It’s also changing the skill set of their teams. We’ve all seen the rise of the IT generalist who possesses general technical knowledge and soft skills which allows them to be adaptable in a wide array of work environments and technologies. It also offsets the skills shortage and gives organizations more flexibility in how they deploy, manage and maintain IT infrastructure and data management.

 

For IT vendors, the solutions that are being developed and integrated need to complement the IT skillset and priorities for IT in a way that is simple and easy to manage while delivering immediate value. These data management solutions should also be the basis of a holistic data vision regardless of the location of the data or the applications that depend on it.

 

For NetApp, the foundation for that data vision is ONTAP, the industry’s leading data management software according to IDC. Whether used by an IT generalist or storage expert, ONTAP provides a simple interface to securely manage data resources regardless of where it resides – with immediate business value.

 

New versions of ONTAP are released every 6 months to assure that the latest innovations and capabilities are delivered on a predictable schedule so your environment is always optimized and protected with the features of the latest release. The latest version, ONTAP 9.6, delivers a simplified management dashboard, over-the-wire encryption and support for automated data tiering for Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud, in addition to Microsoft Azure, AWS, and IBM Cloud Storage.

 

To summarize, ONTAP delivers a smart, powerful and trusted data management platform that simplifies your IT demands:

Smart: Simplify Operations and Reduce Costs

  • Minimize capex and opex with leading storage efficiency.
  • Provision storage in minutes for Oracle, SAP, Microsoft SQL, VMware, and other business apps.
  • Tier data to the cloud. Automatically.

Powerful: Respond to Changing Business Requirements

  • Accelerate critical workloads with industry-leading performance.
  • Scale capacity and performance without disruption.
  • Deploy enterprise applications on NetApp storage systems, commodity servers, or in the cloud.

Trusted: Protect and Secure Your Data Across the Hybrid Cloud

  • Guard against data loss and accelerate recovery with integrated data protection.
  • Eliminate business disruptions due to failures, maintenance, and site disasters.
  • Protect your sensitive company and customer information with built-in data security.

If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to check out ONTAP for yourself and take a free test drive.

Greg Knieriemen

Greg Knieriemen is a NetApp Chief Technologist. He helps develop and drive the vision and application of NetApp products and solutions. Previously, Greg worked for Hitachi and was the founder of the Speaking in Tech Podcast. Greg has over 15 years of experience using, deploying and marketing enterprise IT solutions.