Your IT infrastructure might be working perfectly in the present moment, but is it likely to remain functional and efficient in the future, even as technologies evolve?
This is the premise behind “future proofing” your IT operations. The basic idea is that you structure your IT department and improve it so that it can persist indefinitely into the future without the need for total teardowns and overhauls.
Obviously, there’s no way to completely future proof your IT department, since you’ll need to continually incorporate new, better technologies – but you can make things easier on yourself in the future by focusing on IT resilience.
How do you do it?
The Value of Future Proofing Your IT Operations
Future proofing can be both time and cost intensive, so why should you make the investment?
These are some of the most important benefits of future proofing your IT operations:
- Reduced costs. No matter what, your IT department is going to undergo changes in the future. You’ll need to change some of your processes, incorporate new systems, and make way for new technologies. These changes are going to be much easier to manage if your IT operations are already future proofed; you’ll spend far less money than you would otherwise.
- Reduced strain. It’s not just about the money either; future proofing your IT operations means reduced strain for everyone involved, including the employees and leaders within your IT department as well as employees throughout your organization. There’s going to be significantly less attrition and much faster transitions.
- Faster adoption of new technologies. Speaking of fast transitions, having a future proofed IT department means you’ll be able to incorporate new technologies much faster and with more agility. This can give you a competitive edge over your rivals and keep your business running smoothly even as it undergoes massive transformations.
How to Future Proof Your IT Operations
So how exactly do you future proof your operations?
- Get rid of departmental silos. First, consider getting rid of departmental silos that might stand in your way. Oftentimes, IT operations struggle with miscommunications and misaligned goals between different departments within your organization. It’s important to breakdown these barriers and make sure all departments have a shared vision and a common motivation to pursue future proof technology.
- Establish a single source of truth (SSOT). In the IT world, a single source of truth (SSOT) is a single, undisputed location where all your most accurate, up-to-date data lives. In distributed IT systems, it’s easy for contradictory information to arise; having a single source of truth to anchor all your distributed forms of information will easily resolve all these disputes and streamline your efficiency.
- Improve data visibility and accessibility. Data is at the heart of your IT operations, so it’s important to improve data visibility and accessibility as much as possible. With greater transparency, and more intuitive ways to access the data you need when you need it, you’ll be in a much better position to update your systems when you need to.
- Build in support for automation and AI. It’s also important to build in support for automation and artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Already, these kinds of technologies are radically transforming our IT departments and work environments, reducing manual effort, saving time and money, and improving consistency at the same time. These technologies are only going to become more powerful and more important in the future, so it’s indispensable for your IT operations to have room for them.
- Migrate to the cloud. Part of your digital transformation necessarily includes migration to the cloud. Having a local server and wired connections still does have some advantages, but if you want to be competitive in the modern era and beyond, you’re eventually going to need to migrate to the cloud. Cloud-based infrastructure is much more scalable and adaptable, and it’s usually cheaper and more efficient as well.
- Instill an agile mentality. Future proofing your IT department goes beyond changing your physical systems; it also requires you to instill an agile mentality in your leaders and employees. Your IT department will be much more agile and flexible if the people within that department understand the importance of ongoing adaptation.
- Improve education and training. As an extra step in this regard, provide more thorough training and education to your employees – and add new training modules when necessary.
Future proofing your IT department isn’t a one-time strategy. It’s something that requires a continuous approach. It’s on you to keep your IT department as flexible and agile as possible, while building an infrastructure that can be easily updated no matter what’s in store for you in the coming years and decades. Nobody can predict the future, so nobody knows what technologies are in the pipeline, but we can confidently assert that some systems are much easier to adapt than others.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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