Charles Black, CEO
Charles Black

Member Article

When is it best to change IT systems?

Charles Black, CEO of Nasstar plc, a cloud computing services provider, addresses the question: when is it best to change IT systems?

It’s not easy deciding when to make fundamental changes to your firm’s IT systems.

The decision is even harder if computer technology isn’t something you particularly enjoy, leaving you feeling at the mercy of smooth talking salesmen.

And of course there’s going to be an impact on your business. Throwing out the old IT system and bringing in a new one involves the cost of purchase of new hardware and software, and perhaps some disruption to business. It may also require retraining your users, some of whom won’t want to change!

Your decision may be even tougher because you’ve recently added some new PCs or laptops to your system, spending time and money setting these up properly.

Like an ageing family car that’s just had a new exhaust and tyres to get it through the MOT, you just don’t know if you’re going to soon splash out for yet more repairs or whether this latest investment will last you several more years.

Of course, running a hotchpotch of old and new machines, many of which might well be running different version of the same software packages, won’t maximise workplace efficiency.

Indeed, it is certain to be costly, necessitating regular visits from your IT support engineers, who don’t come cheap, and you are probably putting up with regular system outages.

But given nothing lasts forever, when should you review your IT systems?

One of the best times for a change of systems is when faced with a major new software release. Perhaps a new version of Windows will be on the market soon, a new releasethat all your users will have to get used to anyway.

Another good time for a review is when moving offices. You will probably want to throw out as much of the old hardware at this point and move in with some brand new equipment.

Or perhaps you are acquiring a business and will need to integrate a large number of PCs on onto your IT system. This is a very good time for a thorough IT review.

One less obvious time is when changing IT directors. IT Directors can become wedded to the systems they have chosen and might be less inclined to consider alternatives.

During a growth spurt when you know that you’ll be recruiting new staff is also a good time to review. At this stage it may well be easier to put all staff, old and new, on a new IT platform, particularly if you are considering a ‘cloud’ computing solution.

The benefits of moving your IT systems to the cloud – which runs all your software applications and hardware on a external host’s servers – means you can roll out any software changes simultaneously.

Also the cloud solution frees you from worrying about backing up key files, or having a separate disaster data recovery service. By its very nature, the cloud takes care of these tasks.

But best of all, using a cloud solution means you will never again face the dilemma of when to upgrade.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Charles Black .

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