When to modernize and what it could mean for your business!
Consider the following two scenarios:
An angry customer is on the phone, and he is unhappy about the consistent delays, the repetitive manual tasks and the glitchy processes he has to endure. He makes it known that he has other options.
Your business team is trying to pull up a sales deck (due for customer presentation in 30 minutes) only to find out that the sales drive is missing. He later finds out that the company's file server crashed last night.
If something of sorts of the above has happened to you, it's time for an update!
Having worked with industries of varying demands and workloads for the last 3 decades, we've compiled indicators of performance used to signal outdated infrastructure. In this article, we'll walk you through them and highlight their impacts on your business and IT environment.
1. Frequent Firefighting
Ask yourself "How much of my day is spent putting out fires that don't seem to stop". If it's anywhere close to 20% or higher than that spent on mission-critical applications, you're working in the wrong direction. Good news is that you're not alone, countless organizations struggle to keep up with the demands and needs of their application and business teams. Be it procuring servers, storage etc. to implementation and ensuring high performance/availability, IT leaders of today have a lot on their plate. This becomes exponentially difficult when a skilled resource you've trained leaves suddenly. Bad news is that you are left with an aging infrastructure, shortage of skill-sets and the complexity of maintaining and evolving a future ready IT environment.
How can SBA Help!
- Read: Data Center & Cloud
How Modernization helps
One of the first steps of Modernization is moving unpredictable workloads to the cloud while retaining the option of mission critical on-prem workloads. Apart from scalability and cost-effectiveness, a hybrid cloud brings far greater control, simplicity and freedom to innovate. Migrating my workloads to the cloud, isn't that difficult? Change doesn't have to be necessarily painful. SBA can help you navigate uncertainty and risk, offering flexibility and choice at every layer in the stack. We keep it simple, so you can focus on what matters most: Your Business
With the advance of HCI along with leading automation and ML capabilities, several time-consuming activities like manual upgrades, updates, security checks and audits can be automated to ensure you spend your time and resources on application services rather than infrastructure management.
Modernize your Data Center, test drive with HCI
Read: Nutanix HCI
2. The Money Pit
Sure, on-prem infrastructure might give you a sense of security and control but is it worth the high upfront capex and the variable hidden costs that follow. And let's not forget the headache of balancing act when it comes to purchase. IT managers have to forecast technology trends, the rate of their growth and several other factors before pulling the trigger.
Does this decision make sense long term?
What's the TCO, ROI?
What's my backup?
These questions become even more relevant with hidden expenses that are hidden to the naked eye at the point of purchase.
Apart from the initial outflow of fixed and upfront costs, reasons for high costs in legacy IT environment include hardware failure, licensing costs, Hosting costs, support and skilling costs, data onboarding/migration costs and the increasing costs of legacy applications.
Add to it a huge "scale up" bill for organizations projecting high growth. The monolithic architecture of Legacy applications and environments makes them far less scalable and exponentially more difficult and expensive (than modern environments) for teams to continue scaling up.
How modernization helps?
Modernization essentially converts your consumption model from CAPEX model to an Opex one. This is huge as a major chunk of investment outflow is converted to negligible upfront costs and a manageable operating expenditure that depends entirely on your usage. This way you accomplish two things.
- You pay as you go
- You pay less when your services aren't used.
With increasing application mobility abilities offered by cloud vendors, teams of all sizes possess the ability to migrate their variable workloads to and from the cloud seamlessly.
It's festival season and you want to ensure scalability and high performance, great-move your workloads to the cloud.
The opposite is also true: you can move services you aren't using back to your on prem data center
Note: Depending on the needs of a business, in some instances cloud is cheaper and in other instances on-prem is ideal. There is no definitive answer to which environment is cheaper, However, the majority of organizations will find that cloud computing will cost them less than on-premise infrastructure.
On prem or Cloud?Read: On-Prem Data Center vs Cloud: Which suits your organization?
Reasons to choose cloud:
- No upfront Hardware or software license costs
- No hardware replacements
- Pay for what you use
- Cost of power and electricity
- Cost of IT maintenance
Despite the drawbacks of cloud that it cloud provider may experience outage and that service costs can add up quickly, most cloud providers today provide cost governance and DR solutions to ensure high availability.
Incase you believe cloud is prone to security lapse but would like to convert your consumption model, SBA offers datacenter as a service-managed services to operate an IT environment at manageable recurring billing.
Read: Case Study: SBA Info Built, Own & Operate a Datacenter with DR using SMART RACK System for a Leading PSU into Power Equipment Manufacturing
3. Security Incidents and Vulnerabilities
You'd think large enterprises are more prone to attacks and I don't blame you. Deep pockets mean larger pay-outs and greater number of assets equals greater vulnerabilities. Well, you have to think again. According to the most recent Acronis Cyberthreats Report, SMBs face an existential threat, as small business cyberattacks can be particularly damaging due to "increases in attack automation and supply-chain attacks against their IT service providers." Thanks to a variety of attacks that include ransomware, data leaks, spambots and much more, more than 60% of SMB's end up victim. Attacks that involve sending malicious links or content through email can be stopped with adequate email security but threats like phishing scams are almost impossible to detect. No matter the sophistication of the security system, no one is 100% secure.
Why are SMB's exposed?
SMB's and enterprises are common in that they possess similar digital infrastructure and have access to key information and confidential data worth a lot of money. Also, Hacker's don't have to necessarily customize attacks respective to their posture. All it takes is a simple copy paste of malicious code and viola!, An assault launch with minimal efforts. This is why assaults on SMB's are dangerous- advanced attacks duplicated for faster penetration.
Is there anything I can do as an IT Manager?
Sure, In many cases incidents occur due to human error so you can train your employees to avoid scams and phishing links, ensure strong passwords are used etc. Using updated Antivirus, MFA and Next generation firewall and conducting periodic security assessments will add a second layer of defense but common logic goes-you can never be too secure.
How modernization helps?
Moving workloads to the cloud will surely bring up security questions within your team. However, an experienced cloud migration officer will make it worth it when he performs exhaustive audits and checks to identify security vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities, which would be subsequently eliminated or fixed during the migration process. Cloud Servers are encrypted and hosted in warehouses with limited physical access to ensure secure uninterrupted operations. Surprise is even the organizations with the most sensitive and critical data, like the CIA, choose to run their servers on the cloud. We don't advise cloud as a cure it all but for most workloads, it pays to migrate. Find out if you're secure and ready.
Disability in servicing users
It may be great sign for an enterprise if IT needs to scale up- to accommodate incoming employees, revenue growth etc but Whatever the reason, IT teams are expected to roll out applications rapidly. Even with distributed SaaS driven environments, It's difficult to service the needs of application and business teams so you might understand the roadblocks created by legacy applications, platforms and environments.
If your applications have suddenly slowed or stagnated, your infrastructure might be the issue. Either your network is unable to provide the bandwith your SaaS application needs or your compute/storage components need a level up. Many Organizations make the mistake of simply adding more storage or compute to their legacy infrastructure.
However, vertical scaling is expensive and time-consuming. With Legacy applications and platforms, all you can do is replace the old processor to get a faster one- which comes with own set of challenges like Time delay in procuring, recoding complexities etc.
How Modernization Helps
With automatic horizontal scaling, cloud is revolutionizing "demand based consumption" and flexible "plug and play" business services . This achieves 2 things,
- you don't have to worry about scaling as more storage, compute, disk instances are added whenever you need it
- you don't have to pay for Infra components that you don't require at the moment eliminating large capex outlay
Even if your application becomes viral/ you have to service a sudden shoot-up of application/user demand, you don't have to worry as cloud capabilities allow it to scale instantly to service dynamic increasing workloads.
Remote working challenges
If the 2020 pandemic brought anything to light it' the challenges of teams to operate remotely. Application lags, buffering sales presentations, collaboration problems etc. it's a growing list that can be attributed to legacy outdated infrastructure.
The solution is Modern IT architectures- provide in-depth remote working support and collaboration solutions. Application teams are free to develop and test, run demanding workloads without worrying about network or performance issues and are no longer forced to work in large teams.
To summarize, legacy outdated infrastructure cannot keep up the pace of modern day application demands, aren't flexible and are prone to failure that'll cost you dear. We've shared key limitations and shown how modernization can help in delivering application services that are reliable, secure and scalable.
If you'd like to learn more and are interested in modernizing your data center, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick consultation.