Your IT infrastructure is the foundation of your business, covering your datacentres, communication networks, IT security and applications. It holds your digital capabilities, your ability to innovate and your overall business strategy.
The value of getting it right is simple: if your infrastructure cannot cope with high volumes of customers or regularly harms the productivity of your people, you could be losing money. It also has the potential to damage business growth and your competitive edge.
Cloud-first might be the trend you’ve heard of, but it might not be the best route for your business. Cost, security, and compliance will impact where you can store your data. In fact, the IDC forecasts that by the end of 2022, over 90% of enterprises worldwide will be relying on a mix of on-premises/dedicated private clouds, multiple public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs1.
With the help of a strategic partner, you need to examine every aspect of your infrastructure and ascertain the best approach on a case by case basis.
Here are 4 key considerations for business leaders who want to modernise their IT infrastructure. By keeping these in mind, you can create an infrastructure strategy that meets your current needs and accommodates business growth and transformation well into the future.
1. Engage your key stakeholders
IT infrastructure is not just a problem for IT to solve. It is a challenge for your entire organisation. Most cloud initiatives fail due to poor communication and misunderstood goals; it is important to have a clear strategy with complete alignment up, down and across your entire organisation.
Getting the right people in the room to begin the conversation will ensure any outcome meets the 360° needs of the business. The common stakeholders will be the people in your business who want to run processes better, faster and more efficiently. And the decision-makers with the budgeting and buying power.
2. Determine business drivers
Your key drivers will be unique to your organisation. They could be competition and market challenges, shifting customer dynamics or business growth plans. While it’s important to understand how you will use new technology today, it is critical to take the future into account and build a plan that anticipates growth or new business models.
We’re seeing many organisations who want to rethink their infrastructure to accelerate hybrid working and make operational process improvements. More internal drivers could be a lack of cost control and data visibility or concerns over data privacy.
Once you have prioritised your list of drivers, you need to map them against your global business objectives to make sure you’re aligned with your ambitions. Input at this stage from a strategic partner will give you the insights to assist your decision making.
3. Assess current system
To understand what you need to fix, you need to understand what’s potentially broken. Collecting end-user accounts is important, listen out for users who are experiencing downtime and systems running badly or slowly. Gather feedback on how easy it is for your people to remote work, access important files or carry out critical workflows.
Explore how stakeholders would like to run processes more efficiently, or make better use of data through reporting and forecasting. These conversations will reveal where your system and service are lacking. Talk to your customers and analyse sentiment. It is important to note if you’re losing sales due to malfunctioning user features or fractured communication. A strategic partner can help with this important feedback process.
Your IT leader should also be able to share any data on cyber breaches and data loss, that will demonstrate where urgent attention is needed. Whether breaches happen due to misconfiguration, poor setup, end-users adding non-approved apps or sharing data with third parties, having infrastructure that can alert and restrict delivers resilience, peace of mind and security.
4. Define what success would look like
Defining how you will measure success can help you focus your efforts and ensure KPIs are integral to your strategy. KPIs shouldn’t be an afterthought once a project has been completed. Aim to measure KPIs in line with your business objectives like sales growth, revenue and productivity. Numbers like website visits and projects completed can be vanity metrics.
Ricoh Cloud & Infrastructure Services
As a strategic Cloud & Infrastructure partner, Ricoh can work with you to help you define the right approach between on-premises, private cloud and public cloud. We can also help you identify any networking implications that need to be considered. We work closely with your team to understand your business and IT strategy, your existing infrastructure and your operational goals.
Working end-to-end, we discover, implement, manage and advance your entire IT infrastructure, enabling a global experience with local delivery. Meaning you can access extensive technical expertise without having to hire additional internal resources, providing total cover to meet your needs today and in the future. Discover more about our solutions.
If you’re serious about growth and digital transformation speak to one of our experts today about modernising your infrastructure. Contact our team to find out more.