Is your company’s technology “painted on” or is it “baked in”?
When a company neglects to consider technology as a strategic part of the business, tech decisions are generally made to address short-term needs. It doesn’t necessarily indicate that management is technophobic, but it does tend to create an environment where the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure isn’t optimally positioned for the benefit of the business.
Contrast this to a philosophy where technology was integral to the business planning from day one. Decisions were made based upon how technology can support the entire business process, and the IT infrastructure is actively supporting the business, in an ongoing fashion.
How can a business switch from the “painted on” to the “baked in” model? Here are 5 tips to accomplish this:
Many companies don’t have a clear picture of their current IT Infrastructure, making it very difficult to plan for improvements, or shift to a proactive management model. So, the first step towards that model is a thorough assessment of the company’s current network, with clear and accurate documentation.
Compare the results of the assessment with your company’s ideal network infrastructure and determine where the gaps lie, and close those gaps. This can be a truly daunting task, and is a significant IT project initiative. But it is key to making the transition to a high-value IT environment.
Once the assessment and remediation are done, it’s important to not get behind again. Implementing procedures and tools to monitor the network’s “health” on an ongoing basis is very important in achieving that goal. These tools can also generate alerts to IT personnel when “trouble” thresholds are reached AND generate reports to gather trending data on the network.
The reports mentioned above are where management and IT truly come together. On a regular basis, IT and management meet, and the IT staff can interpret the results and what it indicates for the need for current and future actions to maintain the IT Infrastructure.
Once again, IT and management act in concert on this step. Strategically, this goes beyond just maintaining the status quo. With the information and insights gains from the monitoring and reports, how can this knowledge be applied to help the company achieve its short and long term growth goals?
It can be difficult for a company to commit time away from their day-to-day operations to go through these steps. The process can take several months, or longer. But the benefits are long-lasting and the results are controlled and/or reduced costs, greater operational efficiency, and agility – all vital for a company’s future in a competitive marketplace.
An IT Consulting company like Clare Computer Solutions can help a company with any and all of these steps, ensuring a smooth transition to a proactive IT paradigm, and make sure the processes are maintained and modernized as new technologies emerge. Contact them today to get started – and transform your company!
The post Aligning Tech and Business – Keep the House in Harmony appeared first on IT Consulting & Planning Blog | San Ramon, All East Bay.
In the past decade or so, technology advances enabled business to incorporate sophisticated technology tools into their IT infrastructure. These new tools provided a lot of benefits, but they also have led to some serious “server sprawl”.
It seems like every new piece of software a business would like to adopt requires its own server, so over the years, even small businesses found themselves with 3 or 4 servers, separate machines humming away, using power and air conditioning, day in and day out.
For medium sized enterprises, the issue is even more acute. Just the sheer room required to house extensive “server farms” made their server rooms resemble the mainframe computer rooms from the 1970’s!
Ironically, it is a concept from the mainframe era that is providing relief for server sprawl: Virtualization.
Back in the days when computer hardware was VERY expensive, applications were often run in virtualized environments on the host mainframe. It was a way of optimizing usage of the host computer and providing logically segregated environments for individual applications – each with its required operating system, memory and CPU requirements and I/O.
The pendulum has swung back – in the past few years virtualization has become a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. A single host server can have several virtual servers running on it – so multiple servers can share a single physical footprint in the server room.
Virtualization provides some very tangible benefits in the modern IT infrastructure:
Decreased hardware and infrastructure costs
Fewer discrete servers means less power is required, less air conditioning, less space and lower hardware costs overall. Yes, a single host server will cost more than the average server, but not having to buy a separate machine for every other server ends up with significant cost savings.
Greater agility for deployment
When your business needs a new server, a new virtual machine can be created on the host server in a matter of minutes. And there’s no need to purchase new hardware. This gives more flexibility in trying out new applications, because the capital investment in hardware is not an issue.
Greater agility for disaster recovery
If creating a new virtual machine for a new application is easy, the same applies to a new virtual machine to replace a crashed server, providing a backed up image is available.
Greater flexibility in operating systems
Since each virtual machine can have its own OS, legacy applications that aren’t ready for the latest operating systems can co-exist on the same host machine as applications written for the latest OS versions.
As the individual servers in server farms “age out” and need to be replaced, virtualization provides an excellent way to modernize your company’s IT Infrastructure even as you add the benefits list here.
Clare Computer Solutions has helped dozens of companies take advantage of the benefits of virtualization. Contact us today to get started!
The post Virtualization: An Old Idea is New Again appeared first on IT Consulting & Planning Blog | San Ramon, All East Bay.
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