Implementing new, innovative technology enables organizations to offer a better customer experience, increase productivity, and streamline business processes. On the other hand, neglecting your IT infrastructure can leave your business in the dust as your competitors reap the rewards of a thorough and well-managed digital transformation.
Today, the need for innovation is even more pressing. Thanks to the global pandemic, businesses are scrambling to increase resilience and ensure their employees, operational processes, and networks are ready for what comes next. A recent survey conducted by McKinsey revealed that 90 percent of executives believe the crisis will fundamentally change the way they do business over the next five years, and 85 percent expect customers’ needs and expectations to change – but only 21 percent feel they have the resources to face the challenges of a post-crisis world.
The solution: ramping up your IT infrastructure and being even more urgent about digital transformation. According to a Cisco study that looked at small to medium-sized businesses in the Asia-Pacific region, it’s the SMBs that have focused on innovation that are best placed to adapt. Sixty-nine percent of SMBs in the region are accelerating their digitalization goals.
As innovation is key to remaining competitive and, for many organizations, survival, this puts a huge burden on IT leaders, especially the CIO. Chief information officers will have to step up to the plate to ensure their organization’s IT infrastructure is prepared for the future. Here’s a look at the critical factors CIOs should consider when it comes to upgrading IT.
Should your organization take a cloud-first approach to IT? For most businesses, the answer is yes. Both SMBs and enterprises have a lot to gain from cloud computing, including reduced risk of downtime, lower IT costs, and enhanced flexibility.
To prep for the cloud without stumbling, there are a few things IT decision-makers should factor into the equation:
- Cloud migration requires a holistic strategy. Rather than taking a piecemeal approach to cloud projects, look at the bigger picture. Assess all your current cloud needs and risks. Then plan out what may be valuable to your business so you can implement a full cloud strategy and choose the best vendors for your needs from the outset.
- Integration is everything. This may mean it’s better not to keep some of your on-premise systems. Holding on to legacy systems and trying to combine them with cloud applications may lead to integration issues.
- Revisit your plan regularly. Whether you opt for a public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure, managing the cloud requires a hands-on approach, especially for enterprises. An experienced team should be on top of managing your IT infrastructure. It’s also wise to evaluate your needs and risks to make sure your IT is ready to handle your current needs.
Cyberthreats are always evolving. If you have vulnerabilities because of outdated applications that aren’t updated regularly, or old hardware, your business is at risk. As a CIO, it’s vital to ensure your IT infrastructure is protected with up-to-date hardware, updated software, and the most effective cybersecurity best practices, including multi-factor authentication, robust data backup and recovery, and data encryption.
IT leaders today need to factor remote work into any infrastructure update plans. The reality is, many employers have stated they plan on allowing at least part of their workforce to continue operating under a remote work model even beyond the pandemic. Remote work offers vast benefits when well-executed, including cost-savings, greater flexibility, and increased productivity.
Make sure your IT infrastructure is set up for a remote workforce. Focus on mobile technology, building robust cloud workflows, and ensuring airtight end-point security.
Managing next-generation IT
Technological tools keep improving, and the challenges IT managers face continue growing. As a result, digitization for businesses will always be an ongoing process – there will always be more to invest in, update, and optimize. For help managing your company’s IT infrastructure, consider partnering with a managed services provider who can ensure your organization is always making decisions that will add business value.
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