Looking Ahead Through Smart IT Strategies
Your IT system serves as the nerve center of your organization in a number of respects, from sheltering critical client and business data to distributing that data among your employees. But even as you’re working to make your current setup suits your present needs, you must also turn your thoughts to the future. Can you create an IT system ready for tomorrow’s needs and demands? Here are some smart future-proofing strategies to help you do just that.
Preserving Your Data
Any organization, of any size, lives or dies by its data. Employee records, financial statements, customer information, inventory numbers and other critical pieces of data allow your business to function normally — while the loss of that data can shut down your productivity or even force you to close your doors forever. Preserving and safeguarding your data should therefore assume a top spot on your future-proofing priority list. Some steps in the right direction include:
- Regular backups – Comprehensive daily data backup procedures allow you to bring your business back up to speed even if your principal data storage system falls prey to theft or destruction. You can automate your backups or even outsource them to a managed services provider. However you do it, make absolutely sure that each backup went through completely and successfully.
- Reliable media – No matter which form of media you use to back up your data (disc, tape, drive, etc.), keep in mind that they all wear out, degrade or fail sooner or later. Schedule periodic data transfers onto new/different/multiple media as extra insurance against this threat.
- Remote storage – Keeping a copy of your data on a remote or cloud-based server protects it from catastrophes that might wipe out your headquarters or branch office. You can choose different types of remote server options, from hosted-server applications to cloud-based services, to suit your particular requirements.
Investing in Future-Friendly Hardware
How long will your current hardware keep up with the ever-changing demands of your industry or clientele? You may despair that even today’s most sophisticated machines will seem hopelessly outdated in a short period of time — but that depends, to some extent, on how user-upgradable they are.
Look for components that feature lots of expandability options, such as input ports and the ability to take on large amounts of extra memory. Choose durable, well-built, well-ventilated machines, even if they cost more than cheaper machines offering similar performance. Replace clunky point-to-point cabling with modern, modular structured cabling systems. Last but not least, make sure you’ve invested in the proper climate control for your IT closets or racks.
Planning for Growth
Thinking ahead means thinking about the future, not just of your IT system, but of your organization as a whole. If you plan to grow and expand in years to come, you’ll want to design or redesign your IT operations so they can scale up to those ambitions. To accomplish this goal, think about issues such as:
- Outsourced IT services – Consider engaging an outsourced IT services provider like Manawa that can work alongside your existing crew. Choose a provider that offers scalable levels of service so you won’t have to jump from one provider to another as you grow.
- Remote computing – Cloud-based collaborative work platforms and software suites allow your workforce to grow almost infinitely — while your IT facility stays “lean and mean.” Think about setting your employees up with telecommuting and mobile app options for getting their work done from anywhere in the world.
The future can be full of surprises even when you’ve made every effort to see and plan ahead. But your company’s future will look a lot brighter once you’ve set up the proper IT future-proofing strategies to keep your technologies running — and there’s no time like the present to get started.