Companies rely on their technology to run operations, address customer demands, and store valuable data resources. Inefficient technology can result in degraded performance and damage to an organization’s reputation and financial health. Obsolete technical solutions can result in expensive data leaks that put sensitive and high-value data at risk.
Over time, a company’s technology can become outdated. This can happen for any of the following reasons.
- Complacency has set in because the existing technology solutions are sufficient, though not optimal, to achieve business objectives.
- Budget constraints may have made it impossible to invest in new technology solutions.
- No in-house resources are available who are capable of implementing and using new technology effectively.
- Emerging business opportunities require new technology and have made components of the current environment obsolete.
Eventually, a company will have to modernize its technology to compete with market rivals. Failure to do so will result in the loss of customers and may put the company at a competitive disadvantage. Keeping its technology fresh is essential for modern organizations.
It can be challenging to determine the best way to modernize enterprise technology. Following are some best practices that can be used to help modernize your company’s information technology so it can compete and thrive in the modern, data-driven business landscape.
Assess the current environment
Before you can begin to modernize your environment, you need to understand what you have and where there might be weaknesses or room for improvement. Organizations should embark on a complete assessment of their computing environment.
In many cases, it makes sense to engage a third party to perform this assessment. A new set of eyes may be more likely to uncover weaknesses in the environment than the IT team who has been supporting it. The results of the assessment provide the foundational information needed to effectively modernize your technology.
Align technology investment with business objectives
Simply spending money to upgrade systems or introduce new functionality to the environment may seem like a good idea, but will often result in wasted funds and irrelevant technology. Unless the IT budget is limitless, hard decisions need to be made regarding the direction technology investment should take. Spending must reflect short and long-term business objectives.
Short-term objectives can include a desire to increase the productivity of specific teams that can be addressed with a new software solution. A long-term objective might be to sunset a group of physical servers in favor of a virtualized testing environment. Decision-makers should be flexible in how the technology to meet these objectives is obtained.
Consider cloud solutions
In many situations, the cloud offers companies a streamlined and cost-efficient method of modernizing part or all of an existing computing environment. Organizations can opt to start with a software as a service (SaaS) solution offered by a cloud service provider (CSP) rather than attempting to implement a similar tool on-premises. Larger migrations can deploy the platform (PaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud models.
If an organization already has a cloud presence, it may be easier to make further investments and use the platform to modernize their technology. Companies that will be making an initial foray into the cloud need to get over their resistance to change. They should recognize the potential for technological modernization while at the same time eliminating obsolete, costly, or underperforming on-premises systems.
Prioritize investment based on operational requirements
After assessing the current environment, considering how technology affects business objectives, and investigating possible cloud solutions, an organization is in a position to prioritize investments to reflect current requirements. Budgets need to be reviewed realistically to determine if all objectives can be met or if only a subset can be addressed at this time.
Typically, an organization will have to prioritize spending based on issues such as operational requirements. While long-term objectives need to be considered, addressing the problems that impact daily operations needs to take precedence. As issues are resolved with new technology, progress toward long-term goals can be made incrementally.
Prioritizing the areas in which a company’s technology can be modernized enables management to compile an ordered list of desired products and solutions and a timeframe for their implementation. This list will reflect the optimal way an organization’s technology budget should be spent.
Conduct thorough research
Once the company has determined its priorities and is ready to commit to technology modernization, it’s time to select specific products and services. This can include taking steps such as comparing the complexity and cost of data loss prevention software solutions before choosing a vendor. If the cloud is an option, the offerings of major and minor providers should be considered before making a choice. Performing research now will result in more effective and modern technology that fits your budget and business objectives.
Provide training and education
Modernizing technology may entail introducing new solutions that are unfamiliar to the teams who will use and support them. Training and education should be offered to bring everyone up to speed and ensure that the technology is used effectively. If making a major shift to the cloud, it may make sense to go with a third-party managed solution that provides the necessary technical resources to support the environment.
Start with an Infrastructure Discovery and Assessment Exercise
VAST can conduct a thorough infrastructure discovery and assessment exercise of your current environment that will identify all current components and provide insights on where technology investment will be most effective. An assessment by VAST provides multiple deliverables including:
- A complete picture of your infrastructure from which to base decisions on technology modernization;
- Cloud-fit profiling to determine if your workloads can thrive in the cloud;
- Performance and metric data that can highlight technology solutions that should be modernized;
- Identifying workloads that can be directly moved to the cloud and determining the right cloud delivery model;
- Reporting on all software installed in the environment;
- A financial analysis that compares the TCO of public cloud and private infrastructure.
The information gained through an assessment exercise is essential to making the right choices in modernizing a company’s technology. Get in touch with VAST and learn how easy it is to understand your environment and start optimizing it with new technology.