New technologies are released at faster and faster rates. They enable businesses to accelerate their processes, systems, and operations. Unfortunately, deploying and implementing new technology into a company's daily practices is anything but quick.
To an extent, technology deployment can't happen overnight. If the technology is customer facing, a slow introduction is crucial to avoid confusion and frustration. The technology used in the back office by the company's employees has the same limitations. The workforce needs training on how to use it.
Then there are the protocols that these technologies need to follow to communicate with other technologies and operate effectively. If deployment is rushed, these protocols can end up slipping through the cracks and causing more severe problems down the line.
However, technology deployment does not need to be as slow as it often is. The following provides a few tips on how to speed up your technology upgrades in a smart way that takes both people and protocols into consideration.
1. Cloud ComputingWith the rapid release of new technologies, companies need to be in a state of continual readiness. On-premises IT infrastructure, unfortunately, hinders this. This type of infrastructure requires a company to attend to significantly more factors, such as hardware maintenance and software license installation and management.
With cloud computing, on the other hand, upgrading IT infrastructure can be handled almost instantaneously. Additionally, new apps can be deployed in a test cloud environment, and the cloud service provider manages all security updates. Moreover, because the cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining the server, the protocol will always remain stable, leaving one less concern for the IT department during technology upgrades. In short, cloud computing enables businesses to focus on upgrading their technology practices without having to worry about their IT infrastructure.
2. Two-Speed ArchitectureTwo-speed architecture is a technology deployment model that organisations around the globe are beginning to use, but need to be cautious about still. This model divides technology deployment into two groups. Some of the technology that needs an upgrade is fast-tracked, while others are approached more slowly and methodically.
The division of these upgrades is based on many factors and requires IT and business leaders to collaborate. Upgrades that could create compliance issues and where protocol adherence is complex are carried out more slowly. Upgrades that impact the customer experience and help to create a competitive advantage should be prioritised.
By separating upgrades into a two-speed architecture, IT no longer has to balance the heavy load of deploying multiple technology upgrades at the same time. They can concentrate on the upgrades that have been shortlisted and slowly hack away at the other upgrades. In the end, this will create fewer system failures, regulatory lapses, and protocol mishaps.
However, there are some traps in the bimodal model that organisations need to be wary of. The model should not serve to 'fix a problem,' as in the problem of outdated systems, but rather as a way to move forward at a feasible pace. Companies should not treat it as an add-on to their current IT situation, where the mainframe gets relegated to the backburner. Every aspect of digitisation within the organisation must be on a forward track, which means legacy systems and the mainframe are upgraded to support the demand of the most innovative new digital practices.
3. Off-The-Shelf ServicesMany organisations prefer their own bespoke technology upgrades. They can develop exactly what is needed and customise it to their processes and systems. Unfortunately, this can create significant delays in deployment. First and foremost, the development of these technologies alone can tack on countless months to deployment. Second, technology has never been tested in the real world, only in a test environment. If there are problems when the technology is deployed, it can send the business into a tailspin. For larger organisations, bespoke technology can work, and it can work well, but for small and medium-sized companies it is too big of a risk.
A much faster option is to use off-the-shelf technologies. This alternative has become particularly popular with IoT technology upgrades. These products come with pre-built generic functionality in their service terminals. Additionally, they are often built with ease and speed of deployment in mind. In the end, this technology provides guaranteed protection of protocols. It has already been tested by the developers and in real-world scenarios. It can be quickly deployed while remaining 100% reliable.
4. Change ManagementIt is important to note that speeding up technology upgrade deployment is not solely dependent on IT infrastructure or technology policies. It is also significantly impacted by how well a business and its workforce prepare.
Before any upgrade, whether minor or significant, organisations need to create a change management plan. They should have an individual or a committee that is responsible for designing an upgrade roadmap and providing clear and timely information to the workforce. Employees should know that the upgrade is coming, how it will impact their job, the benefits of the upgrade, and what they will be required to learn to make the upgrade successful and to help make the deployment more efficient.
Implementing a change management process and roadmap may seem like an extra step that elongates the deployment process. In the end, however, it will save an organisation time and resources. The entire workforce will be on the same page about the new upgrade, leading to fewer issues once the technology is deployed. Additionally, once a change management process is set up, it will become intrinsic to the company and flow right alongside every following deployment.
5. Implement AutomationDeploying technology is incredibly time and labour intensive for any IT department. Also, much of the deployment process is manual. However, certain aspects can and should be automated.
A good example of introducing automation to technology upgrades is the deployment of big data technologies. When it comes to ongoing configuration and cluster deployment, branded open-source distributions are far too reliant on manual processes. Automating some of the processes, such as provisioning, configuration, installation, and testing, can enhance operational efficiency.
Process automation can also streamline scaling technology upgrades. If a big data technology cluster is expanded from 50 to 250 nodes, automation can remove the need for manual configuration. Instead, IT professionals can provide oversight and work on ensuring that the technology is deployed on time and in the right condition.
6. VirtualisationTechnology upgrades that involve physical hardware can often be the slowest to deploy. Virtualisation, when possible, can help to eliminate this extra burden. For example, server deployment can be converted into a virtualised system that is deployed. Instead of having to procure and wait for servers to be delivered and configured, businesses can create server functionality by pooling CPU and memory in hardware components. Additionally, a virtualisation environment's protocols further assist with deployment by being more malleable and scaleable.
Key to this type of success with virtualisation, though, is having a workable virtualisation plan and scalability plan in place, as well as having the right team on hand to implement and monitor the server activity.
The implementation of technology upgrades into a business is already a big enough challenge. Companies should not have to face additional struggles with deployment speed. By using the right methods, companies can hasten their deployment without sacrificing protocol. Download our eBook or contact us for more help with IT challenges.