Without a computer, nothing works in the business world for a long time – and that won’t change anytime soon. Investing in a modern IT infrastructure is therefore always an investment in the future of the company. You can already guess which trends will spread even more in the coming years: Above all, cloud-based systems and the integration of mobile devices should be taken into account for a modern infrastructure.
Cloud computing: more than just back-up
When you think of the cloud, the first thing that might come to mind is the practical option of backing up data. This is an integral part of cloud computing, but it only represents a fraction of the matter. Via the Internet, users are given access to different types of resources that can be flexibly adapted to current needs.
Cloud computing consists of:
- SaaS: Software as a Service, access to a wide variety of software as required as an alternative to traditional license purchases
- IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service, provides virtualized hardware as needed, from complete servers to simple data storage
- PaaS: Platform as a Service, software developers get access to fully configured, virtual systems on which applications can be developed and / or executed
The possibility of being able to outsource the entire infrastructure is particularly interesting for companies. After all, maintaining your own server and high-performance hardware is expensive, both in terms of acquisition and maintenance. Apart from its own, securely lockable room, a server ideally needs, for example, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), air conditioning, a fire alarm and possibly even an automatic extinguishing system. While this can usually be implemented without any problems in large companies, in smaller companies costs and effort are in a less favorable relation to the ultimate benefit.
Here it is easier to have the IT systems managed by an external IaaS provider. He then takes care of the maintenance and care of the hardware, keeps all components state-of-the-art and ensures that the systems function in a fail-safe manner. In your own company you only need the much cheaper workstations and a stable, as fast as possible internet connection.
As a customer, you have the option of adapting the hardware to the current needs: If the storage space becomes scarce, you book new ones, if the computing power is insufficient for current projects, you temporarily add more. In addition, these features can typically be adapted dynamically and automatically to the situation. If, for example, so many people access the server at certain times of the day that the actual performance of the machine would no longer be sufficient, a dynamic system scales up by itself and guarantees seamless operation.
According to @IDC, #CloudComputing will prevail and will grow 5 times as fast as the #ITMarket as a whole: http://t.co/tdPZQ6rjha via @crn_de
– Autotask GmbH (@AutotaskGmbH) August 25, 2015
Mobile office: Enterprise Mobility Management
Enterprise Mobility Management, EMM for short, deals with the question on many different levels:
- How can mobile devices be sensibly and securely integrated into the IT structure of a company?
For a future-oriented infrastructure, it is essential that a suitable solution to this problem is found sooner or later, because mobile work via smartphones and tablets is becoming increasingly popular. Employees should, for example, have reliable access to their business calendar or customer data from anywhere. This is not only important for customer advisors in the field: EMM gives employees significantly more flexibility in their choice of workplace when they are on the move or work from home.
Probably the greatest challenge when implementing EMM is security: If an employee has access to company-internal systems from anywhere, this may secretly open a back door for a potential attacker. So how does mobile communication become so secure that it can be used with a clear conscience? For companies without their own IT department or their own IT specialist, it is easiest to rely on an expert who is familiar with the pitfalls and possibilities of the technology and knows how to implement mobile device management.
Modern systems require a high level of specialist knowledge
Thanks to ever-advancing innovations, the IT industry has become so complex that as a layperson, at least when planning and implementing an IT structure, you should rely on an expert. In the beginning this is of course associated with costs, but in return it also guarantees a flawless setup that works safely and reliably. The maintenance and repair of the system can also be carried out by such a partner: updates, backups, necessary renewals of the heavily used hardware.
Depending on the scope of the infrastructure, the alternative would either be to take care of the hardware and software yourself, or to hire your own IT specialist for system integration, who would do these tasks with the necessary expertise and efficiency.