What questions should one ask a CIO to gain an understanding of the objectives and constraints when attempting to consolidate?
That is going to depend to a great degree on how the data of the business impacts or correlates with the business itself. Here is a list of what may be important to the CIO when considering a consolidation effort for an enterprise:
1. How will the success of a consolidation solution be measured?
What are the main reasons they want to consolidate the infrastructure/data?
What are the expected results?
Do you see any risks to your business?
Are you looking for an opportunity to grow, to gain an edge on the competitors?
Could you increase revenues or bottom line profits by being faster to market?
Does this new solution help to better position your company in the market?
What are the major challenges your company is facing today?
How are these challenges related to your new data consolidation solution?
How much time do you have for this process?
What would it mean to your company to be late?
2. How is the data consolidation solution going to improve existing relationships with your customers, vendors and partners?
How can a consolidated infrastructure strengthen the service you provide to customers?
Does he or she favor certain suppliers or are they open to considering other vendors?
What is the estimated potential business cost of system downtime?
3. Are you trying to solve globalization issues or, are you expanding outside your current market? Was there an acquisition that resulted in another data center with a whole new set of technology and management issues?
How broad reaching are the mission critical applications?
How many people from what geographies need to access the application?
Is the company expanding its international presence?
How do you adjust your offering to different market needs?
How do you deal with the different business pace in international markets?
4. Seven areas of consideration: Servers, storage, applications, network, database, backup and disaster recovery.
What does the existing environment look like today?
What current resources do you plan to use for your application?
What other servers and storage systems are elsewhere in the company?
What are the mission critical databases/applications?
What, moving forward, will be the primary OS/platforms supported?
What kind of network infrastructure is in place? What services does it provide? (i.e., is there a utility segment for backups and is it able to keep up with the backup?
Is interoperability important? (Are they managing multiple vendors' storage solutions?)
Are open systems important (i.e., Oracle changed their infrastructure to Linux)?
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