It seems like a never ending battle. Just when you think you have the latest and greatest tech deployed in your company, a new product or service is announced! 🙁 So what is a business owner to do?
First, it is not as bad as it feels. More and more we are seeing evolutionary changes to technology… not revolutionary steps forward. If you look across the spectrum of devices, the changes over the last several years from model to model have been incremental at best and marginal at worst.
For an example let’s look at smartphones… Android and Apple smartphones add features and the major phone carriers (Verizon, AT&T) add more bloatware to their smartphones, but can you name one new “gee-whiz” feature? We get bigger, brighter screens, faster processing, and more apps. My point is that for all of the marketing hype at a new product release is designed to make you feel like your are “falling behind”, the reality is that unless your phone device is more than several years old, it’s probably doing everything you need… and at a very satisfactory level.
The same is true of many areas of technology… particularly hardware. Servers, switches, desktop, and laptops have all reached a point where for 80% of the market, the speed and capacities of equipment several years old is good enough. Virtualization of servers reduces the need for purchasing more equipment during business expansion. On the software side we haven’t seen any major improvements in daily use software (I’m thinking Microsoft Office here) for over 5 years. This is not to say that you should never upgrade hardware or software. You should keep your technology moving forward in an orderly fashion. It is to point out that just because a piece of technology is “new and shiny”, doesn’t make it an automatic must have.
So amidst all of the options, how do you future-proof your IT infrastructure? The reality is you can’t. The next “big” thing to revolutionize your business operations could unexpectedly appear next week… or next month. There is no way to predict those types of events. You can however leverage the evolutionary changes to maximum benefit. Here are five recommendations…
- Adopt a proactive plan to improve/upgrade at least one part of your IT infrastructure each year. (Don’t wait for something to break!)
- If you don’t have in-house expertise to assess, plan, design, and deploy new technologies, get help from experienced, independent professionals. (Don’t wait for something to break!)
- Plan for future growth or changing needs of your company. (Don’t wait for something to break!)
- Use internal or external resources to leverage current and new technologies to their maximum. (Don’t wait for something to break!)
- Increase your staff skill set to get full utility from your IT investment. (Don’t wait for someone to break!)
My advise on future-proofing is… relax and plan. Technology is not going to leave your business in the dust unless you fail to plan and be attentive to changes available to you.
If you would like any help exploring how future-proofing might work for your business, click here to contact me via email.