We are all trying to get the most out of our IT investments, but the IT industry has developed some bad habits when it comes to spending, especially on IT infrastructure. In honor of Halloween, here are 5 terrifying IT habits that can wreak havoc with your datacenter budget.
1 – Holding on Too Long
Like a sturdy house or a reliable car, it makes sense to hold onto some purchases in life long after they are paid off, but that way of thinking doesn’t compute in IT. Technology changes so quickly that equipment and even software can become a liability more quickly than you can plan for. It can be better to think of technology solutions as perishable rather than durable goods that can go bad even before their expiration dates
It is important to stay abreast of new IT technologies and constantly look at the benefits of adopting emerging solutions. Older solutions will lead to inefficiencies and higher costs compared to competitors who have implemented faster, more efficient systems. IT is not just supposed to be a cost center, but an investment center that drives business forward with better technology. Holding on to older technologies may cost you much more by holding you back than continuing to invest in technologies that will propel you past the competition.
2- Buying only Big Brands
There is something to be said for buying from trusted brands to deliver solid solutions, but IT is also an innovation industry that is fueled by startups and entrepreneurs. The big brands are often nothing more than startups who traded innovation for a focus on profits, leveraging their brand name recognition to raise prices and lock in customers to lengthy contracts and high maintenance and support fees.
These big brands often only innovate by acquiring smaller innovative companies and affixing their name and logo on the packaging along with a higher price tag. Instead just being a consumer to the big brands, you should pay attention to the startups. You’ll get newer, more innovative technologies with startups and better deals because these companies don’t charge you for the brand name, just for the merits of the solution.
3 – Dividing IT into Technology Silos
Maybe somewhere along the line it made some sense to divide IT up based on technology components like storage, servers, networking, virtualization, and disaster recovery to name a few. Unfortunately, this division can prevent IT professionals from seeing the big picture of how these varying components are supposed to work together for the maximum benefit to the business. Without the whole IT department focusing on the whole IT vision, none of the individual technology silos is going to operating efficiently.
Look for opportunities to simplify technologies to avoid over-specialization by IT professionals. The final end-game for IT involves combining all of the varying technologies into solutions that make business more efficient and more profitable. Complexity and isolated silos can make that end-game much harder to achieve and end up costing far too much.
4 – Having Too Many Vendors
As with technology silos, having too many different vendors can over-complicate IT and increase costs. Each vendor represents a different management interface, a different set of documentation, a different contact for support, and different training and certification. Different vendors also means different versions and different maintenance and patch schedules which can cause incompatibilities and instability in the overall solution.
Although it is important to keep your options open for new vendor technologies that can help your business, each component in IT does not have to be from a different vendor. If you can combine some technologies (servers, storage, virtualization, etc) into single vendor solutions, you can simplify training, management, and support in order to lower costs.
5 – Over-Provisioning
For a long-time, vendors have tried to convince us to buy more than we need to plan for future growth. In IT, though, it is very difficult to determine technology needs 3-5 years down the line. Prices and technology change frequently and in 2-3 years, you’ll likely be able to get new and better technologies for less than what you are purchasing now. Over-provisioning now to fulfill your needs 3-5 years from now is likely a bad investment.
Look for solutions that can scale up or scale out easily so you can buy just what you need, when you need it. Make sure that in the future, you can scale with faster and bigger capacity as needed, not just more of the same. You’ll want to be able to take advantage of future technology when it becomes available.
IT constantly poses new challenges to do more with less. Don’t let bad IT industry habits developed over the last few decades turn your IT department into a horror show. New hyperconverged infrastructure technologies like HC3 from Scale Computing allow you to break these bad IT habits and do more with less, radically simplifying IT. Make the decision to start investing in technology that changes the way we think about and manage IT for a better, more efficient IT future.
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