Many readers contacted me after reading my last article entitled ‘SME’s are you ready to ‘Eat that Frog?’ In that article, I highlighted the urgency to address issues pertaining to your IT infrastructure.
Almost everyone who wrote back to me expressed the wish to upgrade their IT infrastructure. They felt that the economy is steadily improving and new business flowing in. Therefore, they felt, their systems need to be improved rapidly. I am sure you will agree with them.
Two of the most frequently asked questions are -
- What are the main components of a good IT infrastructure?
- How do I design a good infrastructure right for my business, which will last for the next 3 to 5 years?
I am happy to share my reply with you too. But before I do that, let me share a case study where we tried our best to avoid a lot of pain for a prospect but did not succeed.
The IT manager of this particular company refused to believe us when we told him that they will need over 30Mbps bandwidth to run 400 virtual PCs over the Internet. He kept on arguing that 2Mbps of bandwidth from Indonesia to Singapore will be sufficient for the task. We advised him that it is wiser to setup a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in a data centre in Indonesia and he refused. We had to walk away from this deal that would have fetched CommGate over $300K revenues in a single cheque!
Finally, the prospect engaged an alternative IT vendor and 2-months into the implementation, the project failed its User Acceptance Testing! Today everyone is frustrated and the “blame game” is on.
The answer to the above questions actually lies in planning and visualising your business in the short and long-range. Consider these few pointers that will save you a lot of pain.
- It’s a good idea to brainstorm with key decision makers in your organization and project your business needs for now and the next 12-month, 24-month, 36-month intervals;
- If you have expansion plans, it makes a great sense to start researching as to what software and systems you will need to take care of systemizing the operations for the expansion;
- Visualize your operations across all locations and offices. Find out how much data and Internet bandwidth are used currently and with the growth, how much more will be consumed between the offices;
- Do you know your numbers? It is great to understand and precisely define your current needs with the statistics of current IT usage (bandwidth, storage, backup, total number of users, maximum downtime allowed per month etc.) This will provide an excellent base on which you can build realistic projections for future needs;
- You must learn to admit and face your current IT and business challenges. Once you do that, then it is easy and quick to identify what are your top pain points with regards to your current IT infrastructure. What remedies, strategies could you deploy to tackle it?
- Contact an IT vendor(s) who understand(s) the typical pain points of SMEs. Identify a professional IT partner and simply outsource the IT consulting requirements. It makes sense to get the professionals to develop a workable plan than doing it yourself.
- Have you optimised your capacity? Please calculate the total amount of servers, networks and Internet bandwidth needed when all users are online, using all the business apps, email, web browsing, VoiP, etc. There is no point in cutting corners when you are dealing with IT infrastructure.
- Technology is changing rapidly. Smart companies no longer run their IT the way they used to. Get a professional to advice you on what are the differences, challenges and benefits of deploying private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud solutions.
- For example, hybrid cloud is proving to be a revolutionary concept and most acceptable cloud solution for SMEs. It provides the best value for money and accessibility – even if your Internet is down, file sharing and business data is still available in the office network. Hybrid cloud is a combination of having a smaller server and IT infrastructure in the office with remote backup and business apps in the cloud.
- If you feel that you need a private cloud, I proposed using virtualized server hardware or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The benefits are that IaaS are elastic – which means you can easily and rapidly add CPUs, RAM, Storage, and Bandwidth with highly available configurations and pay only a small monthly fee that is cheaper than buying your own servers and hosting it in a data-centre.
- Smart companies get professionals to manage their IT infrastructure and Cloud at a fixed monthly fee, which works out much lower than hiring your own IT staff or buying servers and doing co-location.
At CommGate we invest time and effort, create a methodology on sizing up servers and network requirements before we propose any system with at least 60% utilization for your network sizing. We do thorough sizing and calculations and make sure that that all data we provide is in confirmation with the product principal, when the project is sizable.
If you are thinking of expanding your infrastructure we would like to assist you in achieving your objectives quickly and accurately without any pain!
At CommGate, we build long-lasting relationships with our customers by developing a deep understanding of their business, market and customers. Having understood the typical pain points of SME’s we have built a hybrid cloud offering called SimplyIT which satisfies most of your IT requirements. What’s more, SimplyIT solutions are flexible and customisable and can scale with your business growth.
Call me today, for a 1-Hour Consultation and diagnosis of your IT challenges. It will be my pleasure to share my knowledge and insights to help your business grow and prosper.