How to Improve Your IT Infrastructure by Making Smart Technology Investments
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home just how important IT infrastructure is to the success of modern organizations. The pandemic also negatively impacted business for many organizations, leading them to tighten their IT budgets. In order to make critical improvements to their IT infrastructures, those companies will now have to make smart technology investments using what little budget they have.
A Better IT Infrastructure Can Stimulate Necessary Growth
In recent years, businesses have come to understand the benefits of initiating and keeping the entire business cycle – from customer engagement to product sourcing and manufacturing – in the digital realm. As a result, digital business projects are among the primary drivers of revenue growth today.
Digital business projects are thus vital for companies looking to get back in growth mode following a year or more of decreased revenues as a result of the pandemic. Such projects typically require companies to seek out ways to improve their IT infrastructures.
How to Improve Your IT Infrastructure Through SaaS, Intelligent Management Systems and Cybersecurity
When looking to understand and improve your IT infrastructure and IT operations, there are three areas you should focus on investing in: software as a service (SaaS), Intelligent Management Systems and cybersecurity.
Improving IT Infrastructure Through SaaS
Software as a service (SaaS) is becoming more popular and the growing availability of SaaS-based products is encouraging new adoption and spending in areas such as:
- Financial management systems
- Practice management systems (legal, accounting, etc.)
- Human capital management
- Data analytics and reporting applications
The inevitable progression from big data to analytics algorithms and machine learning to artificial intelligence will continue unabated. However, while organizations are eager to shift more of their technology spending toward innovative efforts that deliver greater returns, the complexity of digitization and limited technology budgets remain significant barriers for many.However, the growing availability of SaaS-based products – at price points that make them easy to try – are enabling organizations to smash through those barriers and take advantage of huge productivity gains.
Improving IT Infrastructure Through Intelligent Management Systems
The same trends are also pointing to opportunities for the proliferation of intelligent management systems.
While the world may be getting closer to the day when cloud deployments will account for the majority of IT infrastructure spend, many organizations will require that their assets, which maintain customer data, remain in-house.
This means that private cloud and traditional hardware-centric enterprise data centers are not going away, and the deployment of intelligent management systems provides reliable ROI. The ability of these systems to provide proactive network analysis and automated control provides a high degree of reliability and efficiency.
Today’s intelligent management systems are scalable and flexible enough – some are even SaaS-based – to grow with your organization and adapt to shifting challenges. The increasing use of machine learning will yield tremendous benefits as it is truly a force multiplier – dramatically increasing the effectiveness of your CIO’s team.
Cybersecurity IT Infrastructure Improvements
When looking to improve the network infrastructure of an organization, another area of spending that should be seriously considered is cybersecurity.
Even though security exploits frequently consume the headlines of technology blogs and news outlets, CIOs still find it difficult to adequately fund cybersecurity initiatives.
But cybersecurity is like an insurance policy. In addition to obvious brand degradation, companies that are attacked frequently incur legal fees, hours of overtime remediating issues and difficulty making other deadlines. It’s a nightmare for any organization.
A successful cybersecurity program improves IT infrastructure by disseminating knowledge about threats to appropriate parties and implementing controls that reduce, if not mitigate, cyber risks to the business. Reliable cybersecurity programs depend on a concerted effort by the entire organization to assimilate security activities into their business processes.
Unfortunately, building or maintaining a mature cybersecurity program also requires investing resources throughout the organization that supports security initiatives.
With the inherent risk of an exploit so high – coupled with the numerous complexities of a cybersecurity program – you might think that organizations are adequately funding these initiatives. But that’s just not the case.
Cybersecurity is a commitment that is very hard to implement in many companies. That, combined with the necessity of ongoing training, system monitoring, analysis and other required resources make cybersecurity an expensive issue that many C-level managers try to avoid. This can only be viewed as shortsighted.
Ask the Right Questions
To determine where to best invest your dollars to improve your IT infrastructure, you need to understand how new technologies work and where they are going in the future. You need to know how your organization – and your competitors’ organizations – might use them. Questions to ask include:
- Is this technology investment relevant to how I serve my customers?
- Is it going to make my decision-making better?
- Is it going to move the revenue needle for my organization?
When you look at proposals for new technology initiatives, make sure that you understand what the full cost will be over the long haul. But more importantly, consider whether the technology is in alignment with your long-term strategy.