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Technology Is No Band-Aid For Poor Planning

by on April 11, 2012

As companies continue to rebound from the depths of recession and replenish their reserves, IT managers that have been forced to do more with less in recent years are finally getting the go ahead to splash some cash and make a few critical improvements to their infrastructure. However, just because you have the kind of coin required to buy a new set of servers or lighten the load with managed services doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Before making any IT investment, companies must be sure that they’re doing it for the right reason. Instead of making purchases simply because you feel “you’re do” or “everyone else is doing it.” Savvy executives know that new tools are only as good as the people and plans driving them, and technology is no band-aid for weak fundamentals.

For companies looking to get the most out of their IT investments, the process should start with an honest analysis of current capabilities and future needs before looking at the technologies and vendors that might offer a cost-effective solution.

Let’s look at disaster recovery preparedness as an example:

Current capabilities

For most companies, tape and vault management plans are still at the core of data backup operations. Some more advanced firms may have also integrated disk-based and virtual utilities as well. Whatever the case, you must ask the tough questions and make an honest assessment of your current position. Can you reliably store and backup all critical information? How fast can you locate a tape and restore data following a hurricane? Are your plans going to stand up to next year’s challenges?

Future needs

After diligently completing this assessment, companies will have a better idea of what they got right and where there is room for improvement. Maybe everything is working like clockwork and that private cloud you were thinking of building is just a waste of time. Conversely, compliance concerns or capacity forecasting could be keeping you up at night. This insight must then be formed into concrete goals and objectives moving forward.

Taking the next step

Now that you have a clear destination in mind, choosing that correct path won’t be so overwhelming. To make sure you aren’t overlooking obvious answers or avoiding difficult questions, companies need to honestly assess if they have exhausted all of their internal wisdom and resources before purchasing new technologies or establishing new partnerships.

Maybe a serviceable backup system is being scapegoated, and employee awareness is what’s really holding back compliance efforts. Conversely, a company may learn that a vendor is offering the exact combination of cost-effective tools needed to complete their media management equation.

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