Or Is It An Expensive Drain On Resource And Morale?
Ask yourself, which of the following are you currently utilising:
- Bare metal servers
- Virtual servers
- Private cloud
- Public cloud
- Hybrid cloud
- Multi cloud
- Serverless/cloud native
If you were to kick off a new project today, how would your teams decide which of those IT infrastructure choices to make?
Possible decision factors might be:
- Skill set
The danger is that familiarity wins, your operating expenses become a burden, system outages cost you revenue, your innovation is stifled and your customers are getting a bad deal.
It is an easy trap to fall into. For many companies their infrastructure choices have not been made for competitive advantage based on an overarching corporate strategy and the needs of the services being delivered. Instead, infrastructure has been deployed in response to procurement of essential applications required for daily operations, such as finance, HR, CRM, email etc and in house capability has been established to keep those lights on.
The growing trend of digitisation has seen those companies who were once only consumers of technology, now needing to become producers of customer facing technology. For instance it is now common place for companies to publish websites, develop mobile apps, operate ecommerce stores, deliver omni-channel experiences, offer self service customer portals and so much more.
In addition to those customer facing technologies companies are developing integration platforms to connect previously siloed applications, they are building machine learning models for tasks such as automated classification and they are pursuing many other forms of innovation either to optimise processes or to delight their customers.
In order to support the delivery of these new tools it is often the case that infrastructure in its current form, let's say on-premise virtual servers, has been extended because that is what the current skill set can support. However, this approach misses the opportunity to evolve to the optimal infrastructure for the software being delivered in order to maximise cost and efficiency, scalability, robustness and security.
An alternative approach is to start with the customer and identify the business model transformation you would like. This puts you in a strong position to identify which software you should buy and what software you need to build. When you know that you are able to make well informed choices about the infrastructure that is most compatible with your business objectives.