Your Roadblock to Becoming Digital: A 1990s Server Room

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Digital transformation is fundamentally changing businesses of every size. Larger enterprises no longer have a unique advantage based purely on their scale. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) can utilize new applications and services that allow them to compete toe to toe against a business or organization of any size. Not only do your customers want the latest and greatest, but employees demand it as well. If your employees can’t get the digital tools they need to be successful, they’ll go where they’re available.

The focus of management and employees today is on exciting new apps and services. However, without the appropriate IT infrastructure to support them, an organization will not be able to move forward on the digital transformation journey. New apps and new devices are dependent on the servers, storage, and network gear that provide the data and back-end services.  Unfortunately for many SMBs, IT equipment is stored in a 1990s server room that may be a repurposed conference room, cubicle, or spare office that cannot provide the physical environment the IT hardware needs to support a 21st century organization.

Put more simply, a 1990s server room is an effective roadblock to becoming a modern digital company.

There are many reasons why an outdated back end hamstrings your business. First, there is the issue of reliability and availability. There is no more frustrating scenario than when downtime hits and employees can’t get their jobs done, serve customers, or interact with anyone not standing right in front of them. And if your critical servers, storage, and network hardware are stored in a room that has no backup power, insufficient cooling, or other problems, downtime is not a matter of if, but when.

Second, many of these older server rooms or wiring closets are undocumented and have grown without any discernable plan or documentation. Wiring, cooling, and power availability are unknown. As a result, if you need to add more storage to hold ever-increasing amounts of data, or need to increase network bandwidth with a new switch to support mobility, you may end up bringing everything down when you pull the wrong wire. Or you may experience outages when the new hardware overheats due to a lack of cooling. Instead of bringing up new apps fast, it becomes a time-consuming guessing game to add new hardware. Say good-bye to the agility necessary to be a digital business.

Fortunately, there are new solutions and technologies that let even the smallest firm support its digital operations with IT infrastructure that is reliable, agile, and has scalable power and cooling. New low-cost “micro data centers” solve all of the problems listed above and do it inexpensively and without the need for costly experts to design it. For the IT team at an SMB, this new approach means the difference between saying “Yes, I can!” and “I’ll need a couple of months to get new hardware installed so we can support the new app.”

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