Convergence is a buzzword like a cat with nine lives. It’s been around the block and back.

With industry leaders like Dell, IBM, HP and Microsoft now offering converged solutions, “convergence” is back in the IT limelight, and the term now describes a new trend in simplifying infrastructure to boost efficiency and reduce budgets. Various incarnations of convergence are unified by one constant - disruptive innovation - and this time around is no different.

Looking at the convergence drivers today, we see that for years, storage vendors kept their storage arrays in walled gardens and convinced customers that storage was too complex and too difficult for the average IT pro to handle. Certainly, making storage complex ensured that storage giants kept raking in the dough while holding customers captive to high prices and proprietary equipment.

Today, new technologies like server-based flash memory platforms make it possible to deliver performance where applications need it, rather than building complex solutions anchored to proprietary appliances. This shift drives the new convergence, as the old walls between servers, storage and applications start to crumble.

Innovative companies see that they can save big by using traditional storage to hold data through time, and add performance to the applications that fuel revenue. Intelligent memory platforms can deliver sophisticated features within an open server that yesterday’s storage mainframes needed a whole array to provide, providing more simplicity for IT teams tasked with managing everything from infrastructure to applications.

Along with convergence comes new opportunities for IT professionals to expand their skill sets. Application specialists demand new memory solutions in servers to drive the performance for competitive markets.

Server experts need storage memory to boost the applications driving their businesses. Storage pros look towards the server as application experts to add persistent memory and store crucial data close to the processing. Different professionals bring unique perspectives to the table, and together ensure new systems meet organisational needs.

At the start of this next convergence wave, predicting timelines are tricky. However, with budgets still under pressure and businesses needing to do more with fewer resources, convergence in terms of simplifying infrastructure helps companies maintain leadership positions. Let’s see how long it takes for this round of convergence to become the new normal before the term comes back for another round of innovation.