July 21, 2021

Article
3 min

3 Considerations for Your IT Modernization Strategy

These key roadmap details will help you plan for and overcome common challenges to technology upgrade initiatives.

Rajiv Jain

In the past, one of the biggest hurdles that IT leaders faced was obtaining executive buy-in for major technology investments. Thankfully, that’s much less of a challenge than it used to be. Today, most CEOs understand that digital transformation is essential to business strategy, especially when it comes to acceleration and differentiation. 

But IT modernization is still a significant endeavor that faces plenty of challenges. Identifying these potential hurdles early on can give teams a boost in leaping over them and increase the likelihood of better outcomes.

1. Make Sure IT Solutions Drive the Desired Business Strategy

Recognizing that technology solutions and strategy must align with business objectives is one thing — figuring out how to make it happen is another. With so many choices on the market today, many leaders struggle to assess trends, future-proof their technologies and craft the best plan for a specific business.

Understanding and evaluating options is one of the most common reasons to engage an expert partner. When we work with customers, we make recommendations and facilitate decision-making, but we also serve as a sounding board and provide insight on industry peers. IT modernization can be costly and time-consuming. You can set yourself up for success by making solid decisions up front.

2. Ease Potential Friction Between New and Old Infrastructure

In years past, most organizations worked with only a few technology vendors, making compatibility much less of a concern. But that’s no longer the norm in many IT shops.

One way to address this issue is to ensure that your staff members understand your products and have strong vendor relationships so they can discuss compatibility before adding new tools to the mix. It’s also useful to plan for more frequent refreshes. The less legacy infrastructure you have, the simpler it will be to integrate new components.

3. Build the Right Skills and Culture to Support Automation

Automation is a major underpinning of IT modernization. The growing complexity of infrastructure, together with the shift to a DevOps mindset, is pushing many organizations toward agile, software-defined environments. The legacy approach, with network engineers, storage managers and everyone else running their own scripts, has become siloed and prone to error. 

Now, the move is to automate — think infrastructure as code and putting all that code into a central repository. Managing through software offers many advantages, but it requires a formal, rigorous approach. The more you can create that, the more you’ll minimize mistakes and address some of those compatibility challenges. 

Along the way, it helps to recognize that automation and software-defined infrastructure require a significant shift in mindset. They introduce new skill sets and new ways of thinking. To ease the transition, the same breakdown of silos that brought about DevOps needs to happen on the infrastructure side.

Making investments today that will pay off down the road is always a challenge. That’s why we offer workshops — one focused on strategy and one that provides hardware recommendations — that bring stakeholders together to address key considerations and formulate a plan. 

With the right partners on board and a well-planned strategy, IT modernization initiatives can make digital transformation a reality. Be sure to contact your CDW account manager to get more information on how to set up a workshop.

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