Everything’s changed—and that should go for your IT infrastructure

I’m willing to bet no one reading this blog is so focused on the future they’ve forgotten how tough the economy has been on business in the not-so-distant past. Four years ago a lot of previously healthy companies began downsizing in terms of people and production when it was the last thing they wanted to do. If you were lucky enough to avoid cutting salaries, chances are you went along with everyone else and slammed the brakes on spending.

Today businesses are recovering but that doesn’t happen without cost. People and processes have changed—and will keep adapting—to survive in the new economy. Meanwhile IT infrastructures, with an average lifespan of five to six years, are painfully out of date. There’s no blame for that except time and circumstances. Many IT managers deserve kudos and more for keeping systems up and running when their budgets were cut to the core.

But technology didn’t stop advancing during the prolonged downturn, and changes continue to come fast and furious. The question for businesses now is, do you have knowledgeable resources—a team with the training and education—who can mastermind a plan that will bring your systems up to date and in line with your business goals?

Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter what you knew, it matters what you know. The market has invalidated a lot of what has made up traditional infrastructure. Certain technology components have become commodities, like Microsoft Exchange for email, and companies have moved from a capital expenses model to an operating expenses model. Running email in house not only costs more, but is like having crank windows in a car—less function and performance. To avoid compromising your business, you need to understand what’s changed with regard to technology. Then you need a plan to implement those commoditized components that are key to controlling and moving beyond recovery to greater profitability and growth.

We’re seeing business growth today among those companies that have weathered deep changes and have made themselves over. However painful, what’s changed has been deliberate and intentional. To gain the understanding you need about technology and to create a purposeful plan for implementation, go to a managed services provider whose business is to know not only what the latest is, but what’s next. Align your IT infrastructure with your new business because your old business is long gone.

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