Building and maintaining today’s enterprise computing platforms is a lot more challenging than it was in the past. The competitive and fast moving nature of business requires a corporate network capable of meeting a company’s ever changing needs and requirements. Today’s business climate is driven by many forces which are constantly disrupting traditional IT culture.
The digital transformation movement is aiding in disruption. All companies want to share data and information with their clients and employees in a useful and meaningful way. Many companies are leveraging social media, mobile solutions, Big Data analytics and collaboration systems — often called the SMAC stack — to undergo this transformation. These technologies all require an agile and scalable IT platform. Additionally, shadow IT is constantly pushing IT to provide solutions with the threat of going around IT if they do not act swiftly.
For IT, these drivers pose difficult challenges as it is now commonplace for a fast moving business to throw out so many requests that they leave IT in their wake — unless the in-house IT pros can strategize and construct a computing platform built for growth and flexibility. In this slideshow, RKON has identified five factors organizations need to focus on when building high-growth IT.
Building IT Platform Growth and Flexibility
Click through or five factors organizations need to consider when strategizing and constructing a computing platform built for growth and flexibility, as identified by RKON.
A Noisy Platform Doesn’t Scale
The computing environment must be able to scale up quickly based on the plethora of business requests. In order to scale effectively and efficiently, businesses need to have a quiet, stable computing platform. A noisy platform cannot scale because when the amount of noise, computing platform issues or instabilities increase, the amplification of these issues can cause a roadblock which can ultimately lead to unacceptable downtime and outages. To create a quiet, stable platform, companies must:
- Build a stable network driven by clear processes and procedures.
- Address the problem correctly on its first occurrence.
- Establish a systematic and well-documented change control process, which will greatly reduce human error and increase network uptime.
Embrace the Cloud Where Applicable
Leveraging the cloud provides a platform upon which you can quickly scale up or down efficiently and economically as the business requires. Scaling in the cloud is much easier than the traditional method of requesting quotes and waiting for delivery. With the cloud, servers and storage can be provisioned in minutes.
Other great cloud solutions include the delivery model of software as a service. SaaS has proliferated over the last few years and is now gaining traction as features and cost have gained parity with their desktop counterparts. With no deployments or upgrade labor necessary, IT departments drastically reduce their software support time, giving them more time to spend on strategic initiatives.
Say Yes As Much As Possible
IT is perceived as a group that always says “no” and as a result makes it harder for the business to achieve its goals. This perception can alienate IT from the business as well as diminish its role at the C-level table. The best way to erase this perception and demonstrate the value of IT to the business is by saying “yes” when the business needs IT services. To accomplish this:
- IT must have a game plan for taking on any request thrown at them.
- IT must provide a flexible, scalable and dynamic infrastructure.
- IT should remain open minded and leverage the appropriate resources for each need, whether internal, external, public cloud, private cloud or SaaS.
- IT must focus on how to achieve the business need in a cost effective, efficient and expedient manner .
So keep calm and focus on saying yes.
Speed of Execution Trumps Control
When it comes to a business project, speed to execution is more important than who controls the solution. For decades, IT has designed, implemented and managed the majority of solutions for its users. With the emergence of the cloud and cloud-based services, where the solution resides and who controls it must be secondary to speed.
Today’s businesses are in constant competition and speed to implement is often the difference between success and failure. If a solution can be implemented in the cloud more quickly than it can be internally, with similar cost, then it should be considered. IT cannot place their need to control and manage a solution internally above the ability to quickly have a solution provisioned externally. Using a strategic mindset, IT pros must understand that the main objective is to meet the business needs in the best manner possible.
Reduce the Cost of Keeping the Lights On
It takes constant investment to keep a computing platform stable and ready for growth. Industry standards tell us that 80 percent or more of the IT budget goes towards maintenance costs, which does not leave much money for investing in new technologies or services. IT must find creative, more effective ways to handle these maintenance costs and tasks in order to increase the budget for growth.
- Evaluate leveraging IaaS for server hosting, storage and backup; IaaS can lower operation cost for servers by 20 to 25 percent.
- Implement a cost-effective SaaS solution to lower the company software budget as well as the lower the cost of the services required to deploy, support and upgrade these software suites.