Managing your IT infrastructure is an integral part of business success and sustainability, especially now that more and more business processes are handled in the online world. Whether you have migrated to the cloud or if you are still running an on-site IT infrastructure, you need to always look for ways to minimize costs and manual labour while maximizing productivity, uptime and data availability, as well as the overall efficiency of your IT department. Improving efficiency is not just about performance or cost reduction, of course, as you need to combine several solutions to make your IT department as cost-effective as possible.
By EMMA WORDEN
This will prove invaluable in keeping your business afloat in the new normal and during the COVID-19 pandemic, as there is a need to conserve financial resources as much as possible in order to stabilize your brand. What’s more, by elevating the efficiency of your IT department, you will be able to set the groundwork for long-term success in the digital world. Here are five ways to increase the overall efficiency of your IT department in 2021.
Automate as much as you can
First things first, understand that automation plays a big role in IT management and efficiency nowadays, regardless if you’re on the cloud or not. You goal should be to automate as many IT processes as you can over time in order to reduce manual labor while increasing productivity and efficiency. Of course, one of the key benefits of automation is cost reduction, as it allows you to optimize payroll expenses and save money on extraneous manual work.
If you’re looking for a way to automate your infrastructure, then you should consider investing in IaC (infrastructure as code), a system that codifies everything in your infrastructure to automate IT management. Infrastructure as code automates workflow so that you can scale and provision your infrastructure quickly. This allows you to leverage the power of your cloud infrastructure and spend less time on manual upkeep. Unlike traditional environments, IaC allows you to drive the innovation process forward through automation, as your IT staff will be able to devote their time and expertise to achieving higher business goals.
Leverage DevOps for higher operational efficiency
Another way to elevate the overall efficiency of your IT department but also your entire organization is to invest in a comprehensive DevOps solution. In a nutshell, DevOps is a system of best practices, tools, and operational methods that companies use to bridge the gap between operations and the various departments. When DevOps practices are implemented, the result is higher efficiency and productivity through automation, incremental progress and continuous testing, accountability and transparency, communication and collaboration, and more.
Of course, implementing a DevOps solution requires the skills and expertise of a dedicated team of professionals, so bringing in external experts would be a wise decision. These operations experts can identify inefficiencies in your IT department and set new parameters and solutions in place to enhance productivity and output while reducing operational costs for your entire organization.
Upgrade to a hyper-converged infrastructure
By far one of the biggest issues with traditional infrastructures is that there is simply too much hardware in place that makes the infrastructure difficult to scale and optimize, consumes vast amounts of resources, and requires the continuous work of an entire team of IT professionals. This is why switching to the innovative hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is one of the financially soundest decisions you can make for your business and IT department.
Some of the leading hyperconvergence vendors on the market offer HCI infrastructures that consolidate legacy hardware systems, boost overall efficiency, and cut the total cost of ownership (TCO) dramatically. The best hyper-converged infrastructures can reduce your power consumption, cooling, and space requirements as much as 90%, making your IT department a source of revenue for your business.
Improve resource utilization through server virtualization
Virtualization is another way to get rid of cumbersome hardware and create cloud instances for various applications. In other words, by migrating to the cloud and using virtualization to combine multiple workloads on fewer servers and hosts, you can drastically reduce your IT department’s and operational costs along with the space needed to run your infrastructure.
Virtualization allows you to improve savings significantly and improve the scalability and flexibility of your IT infrastructure, leading to higher efficiency and output. However, to make the most of this process and migrate to the cloud effectively, you need to plan your transition so that all applications are kept intact, and in order to ensure their availability at all times.
Capitalize on predictive analytics
A big problem many IT departments face has to do with their reactive approach to problem solving and efficiency issues. Rather than acting preemptively to build a more efficiency infrastructure, IT experts will often have no choice but to try and correct performance issues as they occur. Needless to say, this is not the best way to ensure efficiency of your IT department.
In order to adopt a more proactive approach to IT management and success in the long run, you should implement predictive analytics into your IT strategy. Predictive analytics is used to automate the reporting process and extract vital performance data in order to create accurate forecasts, identify causes of inefficiencies, and suggest ways to elevate your IT department and infrastructure.
Consider consolidating your servers
Lastly, even though your IT infrastructure requirements might be great, that doesn’t mean that you need to have numerous hosts and operating systems scattered across a multitude of hardware solutions. It’s simple not efficient to run such a decentralized infrastructure, and doing so can but significant strain on your IT staff, increase manual labor and the risk of human error, and inflate your running costs. By consolidating your workload and servers, you can alleviate the pressure off your IT staff while creating a more streamlined infrastructure that will reduce costs and upkeep.
IT costs can be too high for companies that are trying to stay afloat in the new normal, which is why improving efficiency and reducing financial expenditure should be one of your priorities. Use these tips to take your IT department to the next level and achieve higher operational efficiency in 2021.
Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends. Follow Emma on Twitter.