Most film fans will know about the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray is forced to live the same day, over and over again. It’s become so iconic, that ‘Groundhog Day’ has now become an expression for something that is monotonous: the same old, same old.
In this sense, it is easy to believe that it has become Groundhog Day in the world of IT – but is this always a bad thing?
Six different IT experts give their thoughts and opinions on whether a Groundhog Day attitude in the IT industry comes with its benefits – or not.
Should we shake off the comforts of Groundhog Day?
The idea of Groundhog Day can be quite reassuring – getting into a routine and sticking to it. However, this isn’t always a good thing, especially when it comes to running a successful business.
“Everywhere we turn there are digital transformation projects popping up and people being given the shiny new title of Digital Transformation Officer. But let’s get one thing straight, what these businesses are attempting to do isn’t about digital first and foremost. It’s actually about transforming their business model, but adopting digital techniques to do so,” says Robert Mellor, GM mainland Europe, Middle East & Africa, WhereScape.
“Rather than setting up a digital transformation team that sits on the edge of the business and hopes it comes up with something clever; set up a transformation team that sits at the heart of the business and is empowered to drive the right strategy and look at ways of providing new areas of value by reinventing the way departments operate.”
For IT professionals, overcoming some of their Groundhog Day moments can be achieved through autonomous operation and automation.
“Rather than manually tuning storage and shuffling virtual machines, they can lean on storage that assigns every virtual machine its own lane and works autonomously,” states Chuck Dubuque, VP product marketing at Tintri.
“They can use automation to manage policies and cut steps out of frequently repeated tasks, freeing them to concentrate on more critical activities and escape the Groundhog Day cycle.”
Can Groundhog Day improve your business?
It’s not just professionals that get stuck in this risky rut. The software that businesses use can be improved upon by the idea of getting out of a routine.
“IT managers live in a perpetual Groundhog Day: they keep trying to solve the storage capacity problem with legacy systems,” explains Jon Toor, CMO of Cloudian.
“The problem is, exponential data growth isn’t going away, so their capacity problem is right back tomorrow. You can’t spend your way out of this. You have to innovate. Object storage delivers the benefits of cloud storage right in your data centre, so you can fix the capacity problem once and for all, without sacrificing cost, security or system performance.”
But it’s not all bad news. In come cases, such as data recovery, constant replication and monotony can actually be a good thing, particularly when it comes to saving your business’ data.
“For the IT industry, the monotonous dilemma that Bill Murray’s character finds himself in is similar to upholding manual, complex systems that guarantee critical systems and data are continually functioning to avoid business interruptions,” Peter Godden, VP of EMEA at Zerto clarifies.
“Nevertheless, Murray’s character’s longing to halt the dull repetition led him to search for new ways to get meaning from his experiences. In a similar way, IT departments are always searching for new ways to automate critical functions, for example their disaster recovery infrastructure, so that they are able to concentrate on true innovation. This, in turn, adds value by empowering their businesses and organisations with the skills and services they need.”
In this instance, having the continual data replication in the background allows IT professionals to stop worrying about a sudden data loss, enabling them to think of new ideas and focus on other aspects of their businesses.
However, just because most days might seem like Groundhog day in the IT corner, it’s easy to relax and forget that sometimes the unpredictable really does happen.
As Hubert Da Costa, VP EMEA of Cradlepoint points out, “whether it is a security breach, natural disaster or power outage, when a business critical application relies on a connection to the Internet, IT teams need to be prepared to cope with the unexpected”.
“No network can deliver 100% uptime. IT teams should be asking themselves how they can protect their business from loss and disruption when the inevitable happens. What’s the back-up plan while the problem is being fixed? IT teams need to be prepared for whatever tomorrow might look like, because at some point their business will lose connectivity. And if they don’t have a back-up plan, tomorrow might look pretty bleak.”
GDPR – everyone’s favourite Groundhog Day
With GDPR ever looming closer, it is hard to escape the constant mention of it – for many businesses, the run up to GDPR going live will feel like Groundhog Day.
Though some companies are taking a leaf from Bill Murray’s book and using this opportunity to improve their procedures when it comes to data protection – many are not.
“The legislation – due to come into effect in May 2018 – will break this cycle of procrastination and force businesses to comply, or face crippling fines if they don’t,” believes Nigel Tozer, solutions marketing director, EMEA, Commvault.
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“GDPR is a far reaching regulation and will require considerable forward planning in order to prepare. A key example of this is the need for businesses to employ a ‘breach notification procedure’. In order to satisfy this requirement, businesses must know exactly where their data is – and where it should be – at any given time.”
With all this in mind, it is clear to see how taking a Groundhog Day attitude to the world of IT can have both its pros and cons. Breaking out of a familiar rut can, overall, help to improve your business, but there are some things, such as data protection, that are put in place for a reason.
On this Groundhog Day, businesses should take a look at themselves and see if there is a way they break out of the comfort of their long held habits.