Software Defined EverythingThere’s been a lot of buzz around the idea of Software Defined Everything, and it’s considered the next “big thing” in IT. Is your organization ready for the promises of a software-defined world? If not, what do you need to consider to be prepared?

What is Software Defined Everything? It’s an overarching term that includes software-defined networking, (SDN) storage, (SDS) and data centers (SDDC). It is also called Software Defined Infrastructure or SDx (Software-Defined Anything). With the infrastructure virtualized and automated, SDE greatly speeds up IT management and makes it easier to scale up and down, (so buying services by the sip from cloud providers becomes easier in turn). The hope is that by separating the software from the bare metal, the underlying hardware will be less expensive and interchangeable while the software becomes more capable and faster-evolving.

Let’s dive a little deeper into what virtualizing all that hardware really means. The teams responsible for each component of infrastructure (storage, compute and network) will need to work together more, with the end goal of creating the ultimate user experience (link to user centric computing post). The idea of merging once-separate departments with their own goals, priorities and budgets is easy to picture but hard to execute. There will surely be politics and policies to consider when bringing departments together, and those will take time to figure out. The amount of effort required to do this successfully ranges from a lot to ridiculously large, depending on the size of your organization.

An infrastructure that meets the demand for personalization, agility, scale, and customization requires improvements in not only the software, but also deployment, integration, security and orchestration between the software and hardware. Does your organization have the tools and strategies in place to implement those improvements?

Don’t forget, it’s not just the technology that will revolutionize the industry. With that new technology comes a new way of thinking, and that’s what will be most challenging for businesses. It’s much easier to learn a new-fangled app than wrangle a group of people together and expect them all to agree.

The sooner you decide upon your strategy to meet the technological advances SDE will bring, the better. Even if SDE isn’t fully fleshed out yet, you’re behind the eight ball if you aren’t talking about the technology now. SDE is still a work in progress, but as cloud, data center and network providers jockey for position and determine the best strategy for their sectors, CIOs are watching.