Technology Common Sense Never Gets Old (Part 1)
Every 12 months, computers and the IT technologies that use them, double their capabilities. Cloud, Flash, Micro Services, Micro Segmentation, Internet of Things, Big Data, Object Storage: have all been hot buzz words for the past twelve to 24 months, and some are even outdated already (the “Internet of Things” is now the “Internet of Everything”).
So how do you decide when to adopt a net new technology, upgrade your old technology, or wait? Generally, technology decisions are the most important decisions you can make it today’s world. They may or may not catapult your business forward, but a bad decision can have immediate and devastating impacts. (Just check the Security breach headlines of late).
There is no secret trick, no magic eight ball, that will work for every business. It comes down to “How will it improve my business?”; or if the glass is half empty, “What will it cost me if don’t do this?”. (We might dive into more of that discussion in a later post).
For now, the bigger question is: “Do I have the information I need to make a good decision?”. In most cases, the answer is not what you would hope, especially if you don’t live in the IT shop.
Here are few considerations to help get you that baseline information:
Inventory: Do I know what I have? Do I really (yes really) know what my infrastructure looks like? How old it is it? Is End of Sale or End Of Support? What is under current manufacturer support? When did we last perform a true inventory?
Critical Applications: What are my truly critical business applications? Most businesses would say CRM, ERP, or something close. But what happens if your web page, e-mail, or VoIP phones are down?
Cost/Utilization: Do you really know how much your voice data circuits cost or how much they are utilized? Do you have the same information for your network, servers, virtual machines and storage? What are you paying in maintenance/support contracts?
Personnel: Where do my IT resources spend their time? Is it 90% on maintenance, or 50%?
Shadow IT (Risk): Do I understand what cloud apps are being used, and if there is data risk? The number of unauthorized cloud apps being used in the enterprise is 15 to 20 times higher than CIOs predicted, according to a 2015 Cisco report.
It’s hard to make a good decision with bad information. If you truly want technology to drive your business, taking the time to understand what you have will provide footing on which make the critical IT decisions.
Noel Barber is a veteran of the IT industry and serves as the Director of Implementation Technology at ABS. In addition to staying on top of industry trends and changes, Noel works to ensure ABS continuously brings the best Data Center, Enterprise Networking and Collaboration solutions to our clients.