Progressive businesses are always looking for ways to improve efficiency and adapt to the changes in today’s market. But innovation isn’t always easy, and new technologies often introduce additional complexities that can stifle productivity and add risk to any organisation.
Assessing your current situation and future requirements is where digital transformation begins. The overarching goal should be to align business with technology in such a way that you don’t end up wasting money on unnecessary investments. When assessing workloads, you need to think about your existing infrastructure and your employees.
Here’s an overview of the types of IT platforms available and what they’re good for:
Also known as bare-metal computing, in-house IT takes place on local hardware and operating systems (OS). This typically involves having a server machine connected to multiple workstations that make up your network. All workloads and data storage are handled locally, but it also costs a lot of money to upgrade and maintain your own hardware and software licenses.
In-house IT is falling out of favour as businesses move to the cloud, but there are still some cases where it’s viable. Many highly specialised or performance-hungry applications often aren’t a good fit for the cloud. Examples include 3D rendering work and applications that are susceptible to high latency.
Cloud computing is any kind of computing workload that is handled in a remote data centre. Cloud software, for example, runs through a web browser. Businesses have been using the cloud for decades for web-based email, but recent years have seen a surge in popularity of many other web-based apps. Many core business processes ranging from accounting to customer relationship management (CRM) now take place in the cloud.
The cloud is the perfect fit for most routine business processes because it reduces the burden on your in-house team. Cloud software is provided as a service, which means it’s always kept up to date. The more cloud-based services you use, the less hardware you need.
The biggest decision is whether to choose a public or a private cloud deployment. With the public cloud, your software and services run in major data centres operated by companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, where the underlying hardware is shared by multiple businesses and individuals.
While the public cloud is ideal for most everyday business computing workloads due to the practically limitless scalability and accessibility, it means surrendering a degree of control. If that doesn’t sound like a suitable option, renting or buying your own private cloud can give you complete control. These are typically hosted in server colocation facilities connected to the web. Many businesses choose a combination of the two in the form of a hybrid cloud.
Virtualisation technology makes it possible to define IT resources by software. Most computing workloads can be virtualised, the advantages being that it offers far greater efficiency by having a single physical machine perform multiple roles simultaneously.
Virtualisation is often used interchangeably with the cloud, but they’re not the same. You can have a fully virtualised computing infrastructure in-house or hosted in the cloud. A cloud-based virtual desktop, for example, allows employees to access all apps and data they need for work no matter where they are, making it extremely useful for enabling remote work. Since no computing workloads are handled locally, it’s also possible to run performance-intensive applications on something as simple as a low-end tablet or laptop.
Office Tek works with small- to medium-sized organisations to provide tailor-made IT solutions that enable growth and reduce costs. Call us today to find out which platform is the right fit for your business. We’ll also proactively manage your IT to ensure it’s running optimally at all times.