Your IT infrastructure is in a real state. (What, you thought we were referring to your waistline?) Fortunately, there’s no better time than right now to resolve to fix what ails your technology backbone. So advises Adam Stern, founder and CEO of cloud server provider Infinitely Virtual.
As noted in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, published by the University of Scranton, a vow to ”lose weight” ranks as the top New Year’s resolution, followed closely by a pledge to “stay fit and healthy.” Never mind that these resolutions are personal, not organizational. According to Stern, it turns out that taking your IT infrastructure to the gym — figuratively speaking — could well be one resolution you wind up keeping… and that ends up keeping your business healthy and flourishing in 2014.
“Putting your IT implementation on a ‘fitness’ regimen is an extremely helpful metaphor, largely because it’s not just a metaphor,” Stern observes. “So consider the ‘body’ — the IT infrastructure: the servers, the storage devices, the appliances, the apps — that you have now, as the New Year dawns, and the ‘body’ you want.
“Small and midsize businesses can benefit from treating the information technology machine as a leaving, breathing organism,” he says. “In this age of virtualization, cloud computing and the BYOD phenomenon, the fitness analogy applies as never before, in part because so much of the responsibility — and the opportunity — now rests with the individual, the business owner, not some vague ‘other’ out there in IT-land. Just like a gym membership or a diet program.”
Find out what shape you’re really in. Be realistic about the body you have. Take a close look at that creaky, aging server in your office. When was the last time it was backed up? You’ve long suspected that it’s open season for viruses, malware and intruders. Is it up to running the apps you have now — and those you’ll need to install during the coming year? Resolve to move to a blazingly fast system, backed up and fully protected, in 2014. (Hint: it’s in the cloud.)
Enlist a trainer you can trust. About that IT guy you’ve been using, when does he show up, really? Is he around when you need him? Is he earning the figure at the bottom of those invoices? Resolve to lock in 24x7 tech support, via the always-on cloud.
Understand that a good defense is the best offense. You don’t necessarily need to reinvent yourself as a mixed martial artist, but your network absolutely needs to be able to defend itself.How do you determine if someone is trying to break in to your network? Who handles password administration, and what kind of logging system is in place? Who or what handles intrusion detection and prevention? (Did someone say, “Cloud server hosting”?)
Derail the rollercoaster. Yo-yo diets have their counterpart in the so-called “IT rollercoaster” — the practice of investing in hardware, software and services every three to four years, junking it all for next-gen gear, and then giving the depreciation cycle a reboot. Bloat resides in that investment, ad infinitum. Migrating to cloud computing and the realm of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) breaks that cycle, for good.
Forget about cheating. The rap on New Year’s resolutions is that they’re made to be broken. The beauty of migrating to the cloud is that once you’re on the system, you’re on the system. It’s is a commitment you don’t need or want to break. Hard part’s over.