Almost daily, business headlines describe how powerful, inexorable waves of information technology roll through our world transforming how we process, communicate, store, secure, and use data.
The waves’ impacts are far-reaching. Seemingly suddenly, existing business models (think Barnes & Noble, Sears, Tower Records, Blockbuster, etc.) go obsolete, rendered that way by those who deploy leading-edge data center, networking, and cloud technologies to provide products and services, often with bright new features, via new channels and new modes of engagement – and mutate customer expectations along the way.
Turning IT’s focus to your business strategy
To ride technology’s waves rather than slip beneath them, enterprises large and small are shifting IT staff focus from operational support and maintenance to the organization’s business strategies and innovation goals.
When you make this shift, several challenges rapidly move front and center, notably: dealing with legacy environments, ensuring resilience, reducing technology complexity, and effectively integrating functionalities.
Cloud services can help, particularly around issues of legacy systems, resilience, and, at least initially, technology complexity. Indeed, some companies have committed so completely to cloud services that they no longer see a need to operate in-house data centers.
Always-evolving IT infrastructure = integration challenges
But integration challenges tend to persist, since your IT infrastructure – whether it’s in the cloud, on-premises, or some hybrid – must keep evolving so your company’s business strategies and innovations can efficiently respond to and even anticipate changing customer expectations.
Sometimes, the IT integration challenges you face can be future-facing and dramatic, such as determining ways to prepare your business for how the 50 billion “connected devices” expected to populate the world in just three years will influence your customers’ demands.
Other times, your IT integration challenges may seem downright mundane – but nonetheless critical to your company’s ability to thrive. Even elementary problems with how well your computing, networking, and storage resources work together to process, share, and store your data and applications can quickly do inestimable damage to your business.
Customizing IT infrastructure integration
What’s more, just about every IT integration challenge is in some way unique to the enterprise environment in which it occurs. And often the most effective integration solution has been adapted to that environment, customized by experts in the (leading-edge) technologies used.
Which presents another challenge: finding a trustworthy technology partner with
- The experience to help you understand the gaps between the current state of your IT infrastructure and your business strategies and innovation goals – and then present a range of options about how to close those gaps; and
- The depth and breadth of expertise , resources , and customer commitment needed to ensure that your IT infrastructure runs as smoothly as possible now while also providing pathways to future technologies and protocols.
In my next post, I’ll review what to look for in an IT infrastructure integration technology partner and what you should know before engaging one.