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Business transformation through improved technology infrastructure

Business transformation through improved technology infrastructure

According to estimates from studies and surveys performed by IT industry analysts, US businesses lose on average between $84,000 and $108,000 for every hour of IT system downtime.* And despite advances in infrastructure development, many IT organisations still face database, hardware and software downtime. These can last for anything between a few minutes and a few days, potentially resulting in total business shutdown, which can prove disastrous.

 

At Enhanced, we follow a distinct process to ensure IT infrastructuredoes not fail your business. But how do we do it? Well, we belive it's important to look at the situation from both a business and an infrastructure perspective. Here are the main considerations:

 The business perspective

1. The first stage is to understand how the business operates. This means analysing a number of important variables, such as: Do the majority of staff work in the office, or remotely? Are they all based at one site, or spread over multiple sites? What hours do they work? Are there distinct shift patterns?

2. The next step is a thorough audit of existing applications. These include project management software, CRM solutions, email applications, finance packages and core business applications.

3. The last stage is a comprehensive understanding of how the applications are used by the business. It is important to take into account: Which applications are working well? Do systems integrate? Do some have specific performance/environmental requirements?

Having reviewed the existing applications, we then begin to look at what underlying infrastructure is required to meet  business goals.

The infrastructure perspective 

1. It’s important to understand what ‘good’ looks like. For example, what level of performance is the customer used to, and what performance is required from the new infrastructure? This can be broken down by exploring how long average processes take. Importantly, we've found this can be very different for different industries. 

2. We also look at what efficiencies would benefit the customer. For example, an email archive process can ensure all emails are searchable, secure and readily available. Another option would be to move email to office 365, hosted in cloud to remove dependency on the server. Indeed the use of virtualisation can help ensure high availability for your on-premise infrastructure, which leads to improved availability for your core business applications.

3. The part that IT now plays in business operations is crucial. After all, the outage of a key system for even an hour can end up costing a heavy financial price. It is therefore critical to design a system that meets the businesses requirement for uptime. By talking to customers we’ve found this differs greatly across the businesses spectrum, which means a bespoke solution is essential. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be expensive. In fact, improving uptime may be as simple as removing a single point of failure like a single internet connection or firewall.  

To discover more about how we approach this process, please read the case study below about how retail design and build company J M Scully has kept up with developments in IT. Alternatively, if you’d like to talk to one of the team about improving your technology infrastructure, contact us today on 01202 308000

Read case study

Author: James Cripps, 1 June 2016
* http://www.evolven.com/blog/downtime-outages-and-failures-understanding-their-true-costs.html

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