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New Year’s Resolution: Get your IT in shape

IT is an integral part of any business and if IT is not in good shape, it may put the entire business at risk. Here are some simple IT fitness tips to help get your IT in shape in 2018.

Keep It Simple

As with any resolution, the more complicated it is, the more difficult it will be to maintain and the more likely it will be to be dropped. In IT, there is always the opportunity to over-complicate. Trying to combine too many components from different vendors can be a support and maintenance nightmare. You may or may not have the budget to hire as many storage, networking, virtualization, database, and application experts as it takes to make it work, but should you need to?

Look for solutions that make the technology easier to use and more accessible to non-experts. You may not need nearly as much expertise as you think, or better yet, you may be able to redirect that expertise toward developing better business processes and solutions instead of using it to hold together a complicated mess of components. Appliance-based or software-defined solutions can often help automate and simplify many IT tasks and components that have required high levels of expertise and TLC in the past.

Less Weight, More Reps

When it comes to pumping iron in your datacenter, you can probably do more with less. Virtualization has helped to condense IT infrastructure by running multiple server workloads on the same hardware but that was only the beginning. Even with virtualization you may be way over-provisioned because your vendor sales rep convinced you to buy big to accommodate for growth that may or may not have happened. No one wants to be under-provisioned but you also don’t want to be paying for iron you don’t need.

Look for modern infrastructure solutions like hyperconvergence that are not only efficient and easy to use, but allow you to buy just what you need and scale out as needed.

No Pain, No Gain

IT is a cost center, and the costs can be high. It can especially be painful to realize an investment in technology in the past didn’t pay out as well as expected. However, you can’t expect change or growth without being willing to cut your losses on past investments and move on to new investments that can benefit you right now.

Don’t be a victim of the sunk cost fallacy, feeling the need to hold onto bad investments until the bitter end, just because the money was already spent. It takes guts to decide to make new investments in IT but those investments can pay off big in better efficiency and productivity. Sometimes you just have to say goodbye to past investments to move forward.

Keep Moving

Momentum is key to not only getting in shape but staying in shape. You can’t quit or rest for too long. In IT, this means always keeping your finger on the latest technologies that can help your IT department and business execute. Technology is always moving forward and you can’t let yourself be left behind.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” just doesn’t belong in IT. Adopting new technologies can mean big improvements in productivity and efficiency. The startups of this year may be the tech giants of next year so don’t be afraid of new brands if they align with your technology needs.

Summary

The fitness of your IT department is essential to your business. Your IT can likely be stronger, faster, and more efficient with the right planning and commitment to invest in the right technologies. If you know your IT isn’t in the best shape it could be, make 2018 the year you get it in shape for the future.

David Paquette is Product Marketing Manager at Scale Computing, a perennial favorite among IT executives at Midmarket CIO Forum.


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