This year’s Insights survey revealed that aging or mismatched IT infrastructure is becoming an increasing source of frustration for those businesses trying to achieve a flexible and efficient means of business. This is especially the case for SMEs, where moving away from legacy infrastructure involves time, money, and skill that is not always available.
Making small business IT infrastructures more efficient means maximising system usage to get optimal performance, across every layer of your ICT environment: servers, storage, networking, applications, and even processes. Thankfully, Vita Enterprise Solutions has highlighted 5 ways of optimising your IT infrastructure to help increase the productivity and success of your company.
5 Ways to get the Most from Your IT Infrastructure
1. Simplify Data Centres
One of the easiest ways to improve IT operations is to simplify your data centre, whether in-house or outsourced. As a business, you should frequently assess how often each of your servers and applications are used and decide whether they are required, or if, when you have the time and money, you are able to move workloads to a virtualised one. Virtualisation is where the technology, like servers, hardware platforms, operating systems and networks, is entirely virtual rather than an actual physical version. Read how virtualisation was one of our top predictions for 2016.
Network infrastructures begin with cabling, even for wireless. While reorganising the cable network and reducing the use of unnecessary cables is an often overlooked aspect of IT remodelling, it is not one without benefits. With your cable network at full efficiency, you prevent cables being mishandled or broken, leading to reduced maintenance costs, and free up your floor space for more useful equipment. At the very least, by eliminating any redundancies within your data centre and streamlining your computing processes, your business will save on both space and maintenance costs, while also eliminating the energy you would’ve used to run unused applications.
2. Reduce Software Costs
Efficiency can be improved and costs cut by auditing the software bought by the company and identifying and eradicating unused or under-used software within your IT infrastructure. Ensuring the company has an IT asset lifecycle management process that is continually enforced will enable you to keep software costs at a bare minimum while maintaining licensing compliance. A few things to consider:
- Purchase minimum functionality software for the majority of users
- Allocate premium component software only to the users that need it
- Track upgrade rights and utilise them during any system upgrades
- Scrutinize maintenance agreements and don’t renew those that aren’t beneficial
Software can easily chew through a large amount of any budget. Knowing exactly the volume required for your individual company can often prove cheaper on your IT Infrastructure.
3. Utilize Work Automation Software
While decluttering your data centre and software, it might be worthwhile considering using, or reviewing your use of, work automation software. Automated software can help test and maintain your IT infrastructure by allowing you to schedule certain maintenance tasks to be performed in batches. In doing so, IT staff is able to be devoted to more useful activities and improve your IT department. Some of the top things to consider when optimising automation software are:
- Decide what test cases to automate
- Determine your test schedule and stick to it
- Select the right automated testing tools
- Create automated tests resistant to changes in your IT infrastructure
Although it seems counter intuitive to buy new software as a means of simplifying, many programs can help you run more efficiently by automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
4. Have a Long Term Plan
It may not be viable for you to instantly change your IT infrastructure, but you can gradually shift towards a better solution for your business over the long term. Moving from legacy infrastructure, to hybrid, to a virtual, cloud-based system can take time, especially for small businesses. Creating plans, setting goals to achieve them, and implementing them over quarterly or yearly periods is by far the best way to get the most from your IT Infrastructure moving forward. This plan should incorporate the needs of your technology and equipment, such as updating, upgrading, reviewing and auditing to ensure you avoid unexpected disruptions.