ITModernization Requires a Broad Focus

IT Modernization Requires a Broad Focus

Rapid changes in technology have made modernization a top spending priority for organizations of all sizes. In a recent Vanson Bourne survey, 94 percent of organizations report that they are actively modernizing, with most focused-on cloud migration and application updates.

In the same survey, however, 95 percent of respondents say modernization has introduced unexpected challenges and barriers. Part of the problem may be that their modernization efforts are too narrow in scope.

Technology permeates virtually every aspect of modern business. As such, efforts to enhance IT through one-off projects often produce unsatisfactory results. Effective modernization requires an organization-wide approach to updating or replacing legacy technologies in order to support modern business processes.

In addition to cloud migration and application updates, a broad-based modernization effort should also address these key areas:

Infrastructure modernization. Traditional three-tier infrastructure designs lack the scalability and flexibility to handle modern workloads. A software-defined data center (SDDC) enables accelerated delivery of IT resources. In an SDDC, all data center infrastructure is fully virtualized, enabling new levels of standardization and consolidation. Physical equipment can be rightsized for power and cooling requirements, with servers and other hardware ramped up or down according to demand.

Network modernization. Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solutions drive modernization by virtualizing network hardware and making it programmable through software. SD-WAN simplifies multisite connectivity by virtualizing network services, allowing network functions to be centrally deployed and managed from a single device. With point-to-point connectivity and automatic failover to multiple transport types, SD-WAN helps ensure that remote employees always have reliable access to the data and applications they need.

Device modernization. Many remote workers use personal smartphones, laptops and desktop computers for work. Very often, these are consumer-grade devices with limitations in computing power, memory and processor speed that make it nearly impossible to run increasingly complex business applications. Updating to new business-grade devices can improve efficiency and productivity. According to an Intel study, remote workers with devices featuring 10th-generation CPUs achieve 40 percent better application performance, 36 percent improvements in productivity and 44 percent faster analytics.

Communications modernization. Older phone systems lack the advanced communication and collaboration features available in newer unified communication (UC) platforms, which means employees aren’t as efficient or productive as they might be. Hosted and cloud-based UC solutions enable feature-rich communication and collaboration capabilities. Office and mobile phones, text messaging, email, video, and other communication channels are tightly integrated and managed through a single interface.

Security modernization. Cybercrime is growing at an alarming rate, and threats have become increasingly stealthy and sophisticated. To address these threats, all organizations should consider implementing a zero-trust environment in which every person or device accessing network resources is considered a threat until they are verified and validated. Zero trust is not a technology per se but a strategy combining multifactor authentication, device validation, privilege limitations and other controls.

Backup modernization. Cloud backup should be incorporated into any modernization strategy. It makes it simple to restore data in the event of a server crash or some other disaster. The cloud also allows companies to create an immutable backup copy that is completely isolated from local systems to be sure it can’t be compromised.

Comprehensive modernization efforts will help you reduce the costs and risks associated with maintaining legacy hardware and software resources while also laying the foundation for an array of new solutions, systems and processes that support your long-term business strategy. It is a significant undertaking, however.

A reliable and knowledgeable managed services provider such as SSD can be a valuable partner in these efforts. Give us a call to discuss what we can do to help you modernize your IT environment.