Blog post courtesy of RBF member Richard Grace of Mach5 IT Solutions:
“People buy consumer-grade products. They don’t think it through, and then they’re surprised that they had credit card numbers stolen or that their database has disappeared.” – Rick Moran, formerly a VP at Cisco.
It’s a common mistake that many businesses continue to make in a misguided attempt to save money on their IT infrastructure. The reality is that they’re probably setting themselves up for a future of IT-related grief – plus the associated and unexpected costs – when their less expensive consumer-grade infrastructure is unable to cope with the business-grade demands made of it.
Typically small to medium enterprises will put together their IT infrastructure piecemeal – a bit here, a bit there, on an as needed basis. With little or no thought given to short-, medium- or long-term IT infrastructure planning. This results in a mish-mash of manufacturers and technologies, some of which may be inadvertently operating to the detriment of each other.
This fire-fighting approach of applying ad-hoc additions to the network is a technician’s nightmare when it comes to identification and resolution of the inevitable problems that occur. Instead of robust, interconnected business-grade devices and software issuing precise warnings and analytic information to help the technician, they’re more likely to be greeted by a set of blinking lights and being forced down the trial and error route of diagnostics. A time-consuming and expensive process, negating any savings made on the original purchase of the consumer-grade items.
Planning is the key to success when deciding on your IT infrastructure requirements. One of the most important elements of that is future-proofing – don’t install the infrastructure you need now, install what you’ll need as your business grows, what will be easily upgradeable and what will cope with advances in technology.
You should also consider preparing a schedule for implementing upgrades, detailing how and when you intend to replace components that have reached end-of-life or that have failed in operation. This will help avoid unnecessary and costly downtime and the expense of emergency IT support.
Relying on consumer-grade IT infrastructure in all but the most simple of business environments is almost certainly a false economy. If you’re serious about your business, get serious about your IT and insist on business-grade – it’s a decision that’ll repay you over the medium- to long-term.
Call Richard at Mach5 IT Solutions 1300 872 727 for advice on business-grade IT infrastructure and planning.