The C-suite and IT inherently speak different languages and it’s been this way since the beginning of time. The C-suite is focused on the big, high-level picture of the business needs/goals while IT tends to be focused on the facts, narrowed in on the granular details. When it comes to the data center, what’s making this age old push and pull relationship even more complicated is IT’s inability to effectively translate the efficiency in the infrastructure into a C-suite friendly, digestible report, which demonstrates the impact of data center operations and how initiatives within the data center are strategically contributing to the company’s bottom line.

Ultimately, the goal is for IT to help C-suite better understand the importance of investing in data center infrastructure which will allow for better budget allocation, company-wide buy in and implementation of new technology. The answer? Creating a more comprehensive way to report, or from the other side, interpret, the data center’s data, analytics and results would dramatically help IT and the C-suite, respectively understand and communicate more efficiently.

Between the two, who should own the data center and why?

From a day-to-day perspective IT is responsible for keeping the lights on in the data center, but at the end of the day, both business units heavily rely on one another. The C-suite makes the decisions that will ultimately impact how IT does its job and how it runs the data center. It’s true that IT is on the ground level and is often seen as in the weeds and the C-suite doesn’t necessarily need all the minor details, but leveraging IT’s knowledge base to pull out the best insights at the right time is crucial and directly impacts both parties in running the data center more efficiently.

What’s different today that makes this relationship more important than ever before? (new technologies, demands, etc.)?

New advancements in technology solutions, like DCIM, that make it easier for IT to communicate in the C-suite’s language have changed how reporting and ROI in the data center is interpreted. The C-suite is always budget constrained, balancing strategic priorities and investments with the biggest payoff – which directly impact IT from a monetary perspective. Allocating IT’s budget historically has been an expense to keep operations running as normal, but it rarely gets viewed as an ROI proposition. New solutions, which generate efficiencies, can help demonstrate the ROI to investments in the data center and can significantly shift how the C-suite views the business unit.

How can the c-suite and IT learn to play nice in the sandbox to meet the demands to today’s complex enterprise environments? (Is it even possible?) 

It’s not only possible, but it’s essential for the C-suite and IT to learn to play nice and operate as a unit. Using the current tools available to help speak each other’s language will enable each party to understand the impact and needs of the other group. While it’s definitely a generalization, IT is typically not great at selling itself as they tend to fact-driven individuals and focus on meeting or exceeding the requirements set out by the C-suite. Various tools and solutions available today can help illustrate and articulate what value IT brings, which will go a long way in changing the C-suite’s perception.