You may look at other companies that are converting to the cloud or exploiting the growing popularity of mobility and be thinking, “Hey, why should I stick with my tried and true IT when there are so many other newer and more exciting options for me to try? After all, I’m not married to my IT, am I?”
The truth is that the answer to this question is not a simple one. Yes, you probably have already invested a lot of time and money into your existing IT system and trashing it to chase after the newest, flashiest technology could be operationally foolish and financially ruinous. On the other hand, in order to provide the highest-quality products and services to your clients – and to attract new customers with higher expectations – you may need to reconsider your IT platforms and invest in new technologies.
The trick is determining which technologies are best for you and which parts of your existing IT you can hold on to and keep working toward your company’s growth.
What’s Real and What’s a Dream
Up until recently, changes in IT happened relatively slowly. But in recent years, the game has been changing faster than most companies can keep up with it. That means that if you make a substantial investment in IT infrastructure and training, it all may be obsolete more quickly than ever before.
In this type of disruptive environment, engagements are faster, but they also are fundamentally different because IT doesn’t always keep control over environment. Without the appropriate planning, migration to something like cloud technology or another rapidly changing IT structure can be disastrous and costly.
While everyone dreams that the cloud is faster, new and better, the cold, hard reality is that companies can typically benefit from shifting some of their applications to the cloud without having to push everything there before thinking it full thoroughly.
For example, let’s say you currently are doing batch processing overnight and have already scaled to capacity. In this instance, there is very little benefit to moving these applications to the cloud because you may have to pay more for scalability and flexibility you don’t actually need.
If your IT environment currently operates consistently at 85% capacity – with no projected demand increases or seasonal fluctuations – there isn’t any true motivation for moving to cloud unless you are anticipating some sort of drastic change in the future.
But if you currently have applications that can benefit from what cloud can offer –such as dynamic bursting – then it may make sense to make the move. Plus, you can move these apps over first to take full advantage of the new environment without having to shift anything else until you are ready and need it.
Before You Act, Talk to an Expert
If you keep up with the literature, practically every magazine, blog and online IT website is gushing enthusiastically about cloud and mobility. But before you jump head first into the next big thing, take the time to meet with a knowledgeable advisor who has experience with both traditional IT as well as cloud, mobility and other next generation technologies so you can get a reality check about what your company’s actual needs are.
For example, HP offers workshops called “Transformation to Cloud” where you can identify objectives, review the current portfolio, and identify only those applications that could benefit you by moving to cloud. You can then build a roadmap for those transformations so you can optimize performance with minimal impact on operations.
It’s always a good idea to get the advice from experts if you aren’t one yourself. Even though everybody is praising the cloud and pushing mobility, you can’t always be sure that it’s going to be the best move for you until you have a detailed analysis performed by somebody who knows what they are talking about. A little patience now can pay huge dividends in the future – both figuratively and literally!
Finding Success in Both Worlds
The next big thing is always going to be right around the corner. Today’s it’s the cloud and mobility. Tomorrow it will be something else. The key to long-term success is not to be always chasing after the newest shiny object, but to take a measured approach that will benefit your operation the most.
The good news is that it is possible to have the best of both worlds. You can adopt new technologies that can speed up processes and improve your company’s efficiency without having to abandon all the time, money and energy you already have invested in building your current IT platform.