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The 12-fold path to IT bliss

To chart the way ahead, sometimes you have to step back and take stock of the really big picture

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Next are the top six technologies or technology trends. Note that big data isn't here because I see business intelligence as an application for IT to deploy rather than a technology that will have a transformative effect on IT. And though I have the private cloud in mind, I've avoided that nomenclature and concentrated instead on its automation technologies.

Virtualize to the max: Accelerate the move away from dedicated hardware to pooled server and network resources where workloads can be scaled on the fly.

Embrace automation: Install chargeback systems, deploy automated server provisioning, and push the envelope of advanced virtualization management to reduce admin overhead.

Establish self-service: Give developers -- and in some cases business stakeholders -- the tools they need to set up their own environments or run their own workloads.

Converge infrastructure: For maximum agility running virtualized workloads, incrementally add high-bandwidth switches, servers, and storage in a flat, programmable network architecture.

Build on SOA: Rather than create applications from scratch, provision and expose best-of-breed services as shared building blocks for rapid app dev and more efficient application management.

Manage identity: Establish identity-based access control that works across internal applications as well as public cloud services and, where possible, mobile devices and applications.

The good news for IT is that the building blocks for greater efficiency and agility exist in the form of new automation technologies, such as those associated with the private cloud. And the incredibly low cost of high-powered servers, networking equipment, and storage can help you convert moderate capital investment into dramatically lower operating costs.

But nobody would bite off all 12 of these bullet points at once. I'm just painting the big picture. The main point of this exercise is to get feedback from you -- which areas you'd like InfoWorld to cover more, which points you see as overhyped or unnecessary, and so on. Feel free to email me or leave your comments below.

This article, "The 12-fold path to IT bliss," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

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