Information Technology (IT) underpins the vital functions of every business, regardless of industry and sector. Each one is unique in shape and form, despite providing similar products and professional services (e.g. healthcare, accountancy, law, and marketing). Every business differs because each has their own unique values, working culture and industry needs, similar to human DNA. Therefore it is important that a business’s IT setup perfectly fits these requirements.
As every business changes, so does IT, but a faster pace. To understand this, imagine your IT infrastructure as a tailored suit that once fitted, but has since aged and shrunk, and comparing it to an IT setup consisting of legacy and outdated hardware and software. The result is that your infrastructure is providing less of what is required, meaning your business performance is affected. This means you will need to invest and update in new technology to address these performance issues (e.g. lack of sufficient data storage capacity).
The major difficulty with tailoring IT to a business is identifying the solution that fits. This is because tailoring is a complex, time consuming and financially expensive process, which asks many important questions. I have included some examples below.
- What is realistic, financially feasible and affordable for you?
- What are you are looking for your business to achieve, by adopting a new solution (e.g. reduced power consumption, lower printing costs, better security, and efficient use of disk storage)?
- What is your business’s working environment and values?
- What are your policies, procedures and processes?
- What legacy systems (existing hardware/software) do you currently have, and what essential services do they provide?
- What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of various solutions available?
In conclusion, devising a solution is not simply about purchasing the best and most expensive products. The objective is to identify the right solution, through working and collaborating with IT service providers and third party suppliers (Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Varonis). This is done by combining and sharing knowledge, understanding and technical expertise, to develop a combination of different technologies specifically tailored to your business’s requirements, in order to deliver added value.