As it Was in the Beginning, So Shall it Ever Be….

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14Sep2010

As it Was in the Beginning, So Shall it Ever Be….

  • By Andrew Garrett
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Companies that have been around for a while tend to have IT systems, policies, and procedures that have stayed in pretty much the same form since they were first implemented.

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In a perfect world, everyone would have the spare time and funds to completely re-evaluate everything every time they go through a partial refresh, but in the real business world, that just doesn’t happen.

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Most of the time, slowly evolving your systems as a need arises isn’t a bad option. Exchange 2000 got upgraded to 2003, then 2007, and now a 2010 upgrade is being planned. Initially you installed unmanaged 100 megabit switches, a few years back you added wireless, and now you’re planning an upgrade to managed gigabit switches. This model is probably best described as “what we’ve always done, but newer”. Core software is updated on a 3 yearly cycle, at the same time as you get new hardware (not because you really need the extra performance it provides, but because the old stuff is going out of warranty soon).

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For a while, a few generations of updates, this approach works, and works fine. A classic manta in IT and business is “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”, and while that’s true enough in some cases, sticking to that religiously means you’ll miss dozens of opportunities to update your business.

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Every so often, there’s a major change in the IT landscape. Something that you could implement in your business that would mean a significant change for the better for your business. If you only look at modernising what you’ve always done, you’ll fail to capitalise on these changes.

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Odds are, that some of your competitors won’t. They’ll evolve their technology, adopt appropriate new technologies as it’s suitable to do so, and in doing so, will lower their costs, and become more flexible, more agile, and perhaps even better at doing what you both do.

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If you’re lucky, you’ll be left scrabbling to catch up, desperately dragging yourself out of the technological dark ages as your competitors run rings around you.

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If you’re not lucky, they’ll eat your lunch, and leave you to die.

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This isn’t something you need to be constantly on top of. Every few years, you probably carry out a refresh of some of your servers. Before starting that process, it can be a good move to step back, evaluate what the state of the play is with current technologies, and decide if you want to do what you’ve always done, only a bit better, using more modern applications, or if you want to make a change for the better.

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Or, you can talk to us, help us to understand your business, so we can help you make the best decision possible.

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