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Hitting the Infrastructure Restart Button
If you could start over from scratch, what would you do differently?
Okay, in the real world no one actually gets to hit the restart button, but if you could, what would you do differently? As the Chief Technology Officer at Synergy IT Solutions, I think about that a lot. Especially because I am regularly talking with IT leaders who are challenged by the unwieldy physical infrastructure they have amassed over time. I can literally feel their sense of uncertainty about what it would take to transition all that infrastructure to the cloud. The fact is, I know what I would do if I were starting from scratch today. I would adopt vertical cloud solutions with thin clients for end users to ensure all my valuable data is self-contained, but how do you transition from an infrastructure that has evolved to include both on premise hardware and cloud-based solutions to a fully integrated cloud environment?
I know it may sound oversimplified but taking stock of your current infrastructure is a great place to start. Here are 5 questions you could ask yourself to get started,
- What line of business applications are you running today, and what are they running on?
- What are your current security concerns and what compliance regulations are you subject to?
- How would you rate your level of resilience in the face of unexpected events?
- Can employees easily access the information they need, and what are their pain points.
- What does it take to provision and deploy new users and solutions companywide?
These answers will help you understand what is working well, and what may be outdated or potentially hindering the overall performance of your system. It will also help you understand where you are on your journey to the cloud. As this article from CIO magazine emphasizes, moving from a complex infrastructure of legacy systems and cloud services to cloud native technologies is not necessarily an all-or nothing proposition. Instead, understanding your end goal can help you develop a cloud migration strategy to get there.
Once you have developed your strategy and have a roadmap, it is time to ensure you have alignment within your team and more importantly, you gain executive buy-in. With that in mind, it is extremely important to align your strategy with the overall goals of your company. Equally as important is to demonstrate the Return on Investment (ROI) of technology and remember that ROI isn’t ONLY about bottom-line results. Also focus on things like attracting the best and brightest workers by implementing best in class solutions to embrace flexible work environments.
Once you’ve gained that buy-in and have your roadmap in place, it is time for implementation. Unfortunately, this is where we most frequently see things fall apart. Even with the best laid plans, the priorities of today outweigh the strategies of tomorrow. With the current daily barrage of cybersecurity threats, increased tech support needs from a hybrid workforce, and the accelerated pace of technology evolution, finding the time to focus on implementing your plan can be a challenge.
As an admitted tech geek and trusted IT advisor, I spend a lot of my time putting myself in the shoes of industry IT leaders. When I think about what it takes to juggle today’s priorities and tomorrow’s goals, I can’t help but feel your frustration. However, when I put my IT advisor hat on, I can’t help but wonder why leaders aren’t leveraging highly skilled outside resources to take some of the pressure off your over-burdened, under-resourced internal IT team.