IT infrastructure and services are not the first things to come to mind when you think of Danone Group, the US$3.5 billion company known for its Evian water and Dannon and Stonyfield yogurt brands. But when it comes to packaging and delivering water and yogurt, IT services and the automation they provide are indispensable.
Stories by Joanne Cummings
As IT evolves to support everything from virtualized desktops to mobile and social networking, new advances promise to change the way the business side of the house gets the job done. Here's a look at some of IT departments' game-changing technologies and how they affect the everyday worker.
Virtualization stalwarts and start-ups alike are aiming for the desktop. A baker's dozen.
Considering a WAN accelerator? Kevin Dunn, director of network operations at First Command, says these three features are must-haves. Read our case study on First Command's WAN acceleration project <a href="http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/072908-first-command-case-study.html">here</a>.
First Command, a financial services firm with US$18.6 billion in managed assets and nearly 300,000 clients across the United States, saw the promise of the Internet as early as 1998. It quickly Web-enabled its core applications to support not only its own employees and individual customers, but also its far-flung network of financial advisors and their staffers.
1. Take a SWAT team approach
The scenario is typical: The lights on the network management consoles are a soothing shade of green, but a top revenue-generating application is crawling. Business users have swamped the help desk with calls and trouble tickets. Everyone there is calling the network team to figure out the problem.
US-based Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin found that moving away from tape toward continuous data protection let it cut costs and provide more reliable backup and recovery. Here are some lessons the law firm learned along the way:
Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, a US law firm, knows what competing against the big guys is like. Although it has just 135 lawyers and 400 employees overall, its client list includes such heavyweights as Citigroup, Google, HP, the Oakland Raiders football team and Sony Online Entertainment.
Tim Hays, IT director for Lextron, a wholesale distributor of animal health pharmaceuticals, found that virtualizing the company's servers provided a host of benefits, from reduced costs to improved efficiencies (see main story for more on this project). He offers these three ways to get the most bang for your virtualization buck.
Money is tight. Performance is declining. Your servers are all nearly three years old and pretty soon, their high-priced maintenance contract is about to kick in. What do you do?
Say goodbye to the tower.
Metro Health Hospital, a healthcare system serving 130,000 patients across Michigan, is already using what some consider the desktop of the future. The hospital has rolled out server-hosted virtual desktops to every employee no matter where they are or what client device they use.
A recent SIM International study finds that fewer CIOs are reporting directly to the CEO. Instead, they're answering to less strategic executives, such as the chief operating officer or chief financial officer.
In the US, Mercy Medical Center's security wish list is far from atypical and The Baltimore healthcare provider wants to make sure that users access only the services and servers they require and that its data-center servers remain secure and problem free. Nevertheless, it hasn't yet found quite the right technology combination.