Data center professionals are always looking for new ways to make their infrastructure more efficient and the business more profitable.  Many businesses have been able to manage IT demand without too many changes to their infrastructure, but a huge growth in data and compliance is driving a need for infrastructure consolidation and optimization. This is now a challenge that many companies are facing.

Business environments today are a mixture of technologies new and old, many data sources, analytics, and security requirements. Huge data centers have inert networks and legacy applications and on the face of it, changing your infrastructure while leveraging your investments is not an easy task. It is not the impossible job it may sound.

To do this successfully though, you first of all need to audit your current IT infrastructure. Without knowing what is already in place you will have no idea if you are improving it or not. This exercise will also show you how to utilize your IT to make the rest of your business more efficient too.

What many business owners fail to realize is that the better their IT infrastructure is the better their website will run. One of the sure-fire things to put viewers off a site is if it is difficult to use. Optimization of your IT infrastructure could create a better user experience, which can mean that more viewers will turn into customers. Increased sales are worth the investment needed to improve your IT infrastructure.

Use Cloud Computing

One way to increase data efficiency is to integrate cloud computing into the infrastructure of your business. The cloud has not become so popular for no reason, and in fact, there are several advantages to using a cloud strategy.

The security of the cloud is at a level that most small and medium-sized businesses could not afford to have in-house. It adds some reliability to your business systems and data too. If a disaster happens and all your hardware is destroyed, your business could suffer greatly. However, if you have been working in the cloud, you can still access all the work that has been done and the bad effects on your business would be far less.

Companies that use the cloud experience fewer work duplications because employees can be viewing the same project at the same time, even if they are in different locations. This also leads to fewer mistakes being made.

There are several cloud deployment models and your IT team need to decide which would be the best for you. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, just like any other new technology. A layperson may not fully understand these, which is why you should discuss the matter with your IT support team.

A business will be more efficient if they use a cloud computing strategy and will be able to reduce some of their costs, which in the long run, will make them more profitable too.

Introduce Automation

Automation can free up resources within your IT infrastructure while at the same time allowing a smoother flow of services and work. Even the most complex IT systems can be made more efficient and effective if some tasks are made automatic.

You need to look at jobs that are repetitive and see how much time is spent on them. Automating these things can get your business to a point where less staff are required on that job and they can be given more productive work. There are also core functions, such as backups and updates that can all be done automatically.  Automation can also be used to speed up the loading time of your site as well as make it more reliable.

This can help to free up more time for your IT staff and let them concentrate on more important tasks.  Some people get concerned that automation will result in job losses, but research has shown that the opposite happens.  It can help the business to grow and that means they need more employees, not fewer.

Organizations that have already introduced automation soon realize the benefits, and start to automate even more to make themselves more profitable.

Build Business Relationships

Building business relationships can be a great way to optimize your IT infrastructure.  A well-designed IT sourcing strategy, for example, can help to speed up outcomes and can be vital to ensuring service delivery effectiveness. This involves an evaluation of what work needs to be done, where it will be done and who will be doing it. Answering these questions sometimes leads to the conclusion that outsourcing is the best option, and if this is done through managed services the work can be done to better quality and at a lower cost.

Structured but flexible methods can be used to create new business relationships that will assist to optimize a company’s IT infrastructure. This will result in fewer risks with regard to unplanned system failures, license violations, and uncontrolled operating expenses.

Outsourcing can involve any task within your business, and for some large companies, they never go back to employing people for some jobs, as they have built a business relationship a freelancer and outsourced work to them for a long time.

Business relationships with other companies can also be very useful as their experience can give you an insight into how they have optimized their IT infrastructure. There is also the possibility of merging some of the IT structures with other businesses. Things like a joint storage facility could save you both a lot of money.

Redesign Your Data Warehouse

A data warehouse is where data is consolidated and stored. It is usually streamlined into an organized and canonical source for reporting and analyzing.  It could have been designed a long time ago, and a redesign using more up to date technology could help a great to deal optimize your IT infrastructure.

This would also be the chance to delete any data and users that are no longer relevant. There is also the option of retaining the data but breaking it up into topic-specific data marts that you could use in the future.

Try to avoid creating high-cardinality dimensions. This is when too many records are put into fact tables and they never perform well.

Redesigning your data warehouse could streamline some of your business processes and help you to establish best practices.

Reduce Your Costs

Data storage costs can be expensive but you can help to reduce these with virtualization. This makes more efficient use of both servers and storage by combining physical devices into pools rather than having them as stand-alone.

This can help to reduce the demands on the amount of power needed to run them, but can also increase it if you use very dense racks of servers.

There is also the option of using high-density disks. As their name suggests, they are capable of holding more data than conventional storage options. They manage this by forcing more bits into a smaller space, by storing them vertically as opposed to the normal horizontal position of them.  They can also store information using three dimensions, creating a hologram that can be read by a laser. The information is very easy to retrieve if you need to and to be saved again afterward.

Higher density appears to be the next step in the evolution of storing data, with new technology presenting new options for IT managers.

From minimizing the possibility of duplicated licensing and making the most of any systems you already have in place, optimizing your IT infrastructure can help to provide the resources that your business needs to compete in today’s marketplace effectively.