Top Three Ways to De-Risk Your IT Infrastructure

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Click to learn more about author Ken Steinhardt.

Enterprise organizations continue to operate in unchartered territory of uncertainty, accelerated digital transformation, and precarious human intervention into IT systems – all exacerbated by the ongoing COVID pandemic. These factors significantly increase risk for enterprises and make capacity planning, performance planning, and core maintenance uncomfortably unpredictable. The incentive to find ways to “de-risk” the IT infrastructure is causing IT leaders to consider new strategies that better connect business unpredictability with what IT knows they have or will soon need. 

For many companies, budgets for 2021 are in flux because of uncertainty, as they try to navigate the difficult decision-making based on assumptions about future business and how fast a recovery from the COVID pandemic could take place in the second half of the year (or later). Responsive to the budget challenges, IT departments are clearly seeking to minimize expenses and no longer just do things the same way they have been done for years simply out of inertia. Changes in the storage layer of your IT infrastructure may offer significant value and cost-savings potential.

Strategy #1: Consolidate and Automate

The first strategy to consider is to reduce IT costs through consolidation and automation, both of which increase operational efficiencies. You can obtain immediate cost savings and put yourself in an advantageous position for better IT cost management in the long term, thereby lowering risk. One way to ease the transition to automation, while consolidating, is to move from an expensive media-driven architecture to a software-optimized architecture. The latter is resolving issues, especially in storage, that traditional approaches are limited in their ability to deliver. Furthermore, it is pragmatic to de-risk by reducing the number of human touches of IT infrastructure. The primary cause of failures is human error. Automation solves it, while helping boost high availability.        

Strategy #2: Pay for Only What You Use

The second strategy to consider is to minimize up-front investments in storage by adopting a flexible consumption model that ensures you pay for only what you use. So, if the demand for data capacity grows rapidly in a short period of time, you have the capacity on demand, but you are not paying for the unused capacity when it’s not needed. It’s clear that, as an IT leader, you need to be able to scale up when projects require it, but the key to de-risking is being able to scale down appropriately. You can reduce high operational costs with a private cloud when the project is not operating at its peak. Make sure that there are no compromises in performance or availability, and no hidden costs or future balloon pricing.  

Strategy #3: Combine the Agility of the Cloud with the Strength of On-Premises Storage

Having cloud capabilities in the public cloud is expensive. You can keep throwing money at the public cloud and its economic premium because you may think it’s fast and easy. However, you lose control of performance and how productive it is. With an on-premises implementation that has cloud functionality and flexibility, you maintain better control, are able to manage guaranteed availability, and can determine the level of protection to put into data. While doing this, you save money with an agile, more cost-effective private cloud. You can have the benefits of both, without getting locked in.  

These three strategies are relevant in a post-COVID world, as they are derived from a budget-conscious mindset, yet without sacrificing enterprise-class performance, availability, or scalability in the process. IT teams do not need to compromise going forward. You can still achieve short-term savings with a private cloud, while avoiding the future cost proliferation of the public cloud. 

Just because it is simpler today to turn an on-premises storage implementation into a driver for consolidation, automation, flexibility, and cost savings doesn’t mean you are getting less. It is more indicative of a smarter risk management approach to IT infrastructure than in the past. De-risking your IT infrastructure proactively now, on your own terms, is better than having it thrust on you later when the risk will be so much higher because you didn’t de-risk when you had the chance to do it in 2021. A window of opportunity has opened to reduce risk, but it’s a short window. Which strategy will you choose?     

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