The Modern IT Leader: Tips on How-to Manage Aging Infrastructure
August 22, 2023
In an age of thinning margins, today’s IT leaders can sometimes feel like they are continually triaging and patching legacy systems to keep them limping for a while longer (and longer and longer).
After the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated an unexpected bubble in tech expenditures to support remote work, major pundits have now downgraded their IT spending predictions for 2023—but it’s not so much a matter of how much organizations plan on spending, but where they plan on spending.
Continuing with digital transformation, increased vigilance around cybersecurity and increased demand for consulting services mean allocated IT dollars are getting spread thinner.
More and more frequently, IT leaders will be tasked with bandaging and taping aging infrastructure together and still be expected to make it perform optimally to support the organization’s strategic objectives and minimize friction for end-users.
Here is how to maximize your organization’s current IT investment and prioritize spending while keeping your systems firing on all cylinders.
Managing Aging IT Infrastructure
An aging IT infrastructure is a collection of IT assets that must be updated and can no longer meet an organization’s needs. This can include hardware, software, and networking equipment. Aging IT infrastructure can lead to problems, including:
- Performance issues: As hardware and software become outdated, they may be unable to keep up with the demands of modern applications. This can lead to slow performance, crashing, and other problems.
- Security vulnerabilities: Outdated software is often more vulnerable to security attacks, putting the organization’s data and systems at risk.
- Compliance issues: Organizations may be required to comply with specific regulations, such as data security or privacy. Aging IT infrastructure may make it difficult to comply with these regulations.
- Increased maintenance costs: As hardware and software become outdated, they may become more challenging to repair and maintain. This can lead to increased costs for hard-to-find replacement parts, security losses due to unpatched/out-of-date software no longer supported by manufacturers, and, in some cases, increased consulting fees for help maintaining outdated infrastructures.
- Lost productivity: System downtime or performance problems caused by outdated infrastructure harm user experience and interrupts employee productivity.
As mentioned, today’s IT leaders can find themselves in an unenviable position of having to answer too many masters—some of which are directly at odds. Directives of the position often include getting creative about how to do more with less (and less and less) while coaxing maximum performance, efficiency, and cost containment from existing infrastructure.
IT leaders who can strike the right balance will be well-positioned to protect their organizations from security risks, ensure that their applications and users perform well, stay compliant with industry regulations, and manage the cost of maintenance.
Managing Aging IT Infrastructure While Optimizing Performance and Keeping Costs Down
Auditing and assessing current infrastructure
As part of both assessing near and long-term budget allocation for replacing and upgrading systems as well as how to work within the constraints of aging infrastructure, IT leaders must perform an objective audit and assessment of the organization’s current infrastructure—you won’t know where you need to go if you don’t have an idea of the current situation. That includes drilling down very specifically into where failures are occurring or where they might occur in the near future.
Explore cloud and hybrid solutions.
IT leaders can improve their aging IT infrastructures’ security, performance, compliance, and cost-efficiency by exploring cloud and hybrid solutions. Depending on your unique needs, this can help save money, improve productivity, and be a way to stay ahead of the competition.
Cloud and hybrid solutions can help IT leaders deal with aging infrastructure when they:
- Migrate legacy applications to the cloud. This can help IT leaders reduce the cost of maintaining aging applications and improve their security and performance.
- Use cloud-based disaster recovery and backup solutions. This can help IT leaders protect their data and applications from outages and cyberattacks.
- Use cloud-based analytics tools to monitor and optimize the IT infrastructure. This can help IT leaders identify and address performance issues before they impact users.
- Use cloud-based collaboration tools to improve communication and productivity among IT staff. This can help IT leaders save time and money and improve the quality of their work.
Learn how to make how to make the most of your cloud migration: See How This Fortune 500 Healthcare Company Saved 40% in 1 Month in AWS.
Embrace virtualization and containerization.
Virtualization and containerization are two technologies that can help IT leaders better manage aging IT infrastructure.
- Virtualization creates a virtual layer between the physical hardware and the operating system. This allows multiple operating systems to run on the same physical hardware, which can help to improve resource utilization and save money on hardware costs.
- Containerization packages an application and its dependencies into a lightweight container that can be run on any compatible infrastructure. This makes it easy to deploy and manage applications, and it can help improve security and compliance.
Virtualization enables IT to migrate legacy applications to virtual machines to improve security and performance, and containerization helps with managing aging infrastructure through the deployment of microservices that will enhance scalability and flexibility, improve the efficiency and agility of DevOps workflows, and facilitate easier development, deployment, and management of cloud-native applications.
Leverage IT tools to monitor and gauge needs.
Using tools like Login Enterprise, IT leaders to better deal with aging infrastructures by assisting them to better predict and plan for the budgeting, retirement, risks, and replacement of aging IT assets.
The benefits of using Login Enterprise to manage aging infrastructure to:
- Confidently add more users to a current environment while maintaining consistent performance.
- Detect when newer hardware or upgrades might be needed to maintain/optimize existing environments.
- Evaluate whether existing environments can support newer operating systems, runtimes, or business-critical application upgrades.
Sustainable infrastructure management
Your organization’s IT infrastructure is likely a mix of legacy systems and newer technologies. No matter the age and relevance of your plans, there is a list of best practices IT leaders should implement to ensure all systems remain “go.”
Sustainable IT infrastructure management is an integral part of the future of IT. By implementing these best practices, IT leaders can help their organizations make a positive impact on the environment and the bottom line:
- Regular maintenance and updates: Money doesn’t grow on trees, so maintaining existing investments while optimizing performance is key. In addition to establishing benchmarks to monitor performance on an ongoing basis, you can use tools like Login Enterprise to evaluate whether incremental investments are sufficient or begin building a case for a major upgrade.
- Emphasizing employee training and skill development: IT professionals must be trained on the latest technologies and best practices to effectively manage and maintain IT infrastructure. IT leaders should provide their employees with regular training and development opportunities to help them stay current on the latest trends.
- Building a culture of continuous improvement: IT infrastructure is a constantly evolving landscape. IT leaders must create a culture of continuous optimization within their organization to stay ahead of the curve. This means IT leaders need to be open to new ideas and encourage innovative approaches to IT infrastructure management.
The path to IT superstardom
Aging IT infrastructure can be a significant challenge for organizations, but it doesn’t have to be.
By leveraging best practices, IT leaders and admins can manage the delicate balancing act needed to meet the business needs of the organization. From keeping systems humming to reduce and eliminate downtime to protecting systems from security threats and controlling spend within budget constraints, IT leaders can transform how IT contributes to the organization.
Constant downtime, performance issues, security breaches, and wasteful spending hurt the overall organization and end-users. By working as best you can with existing assets, IT can sit as functional leadership and a trusted advisor to the organization’s overall strategic objectives.
The Login Enterprise Platform helps manage the entire capacity lifecycle – from initial tuning and configuration, validating disaster recovery plans, and ongoing optimization until retirement. It’s your one-stop shop for getting your VDI environments operating at peak efficiency. Besides making better and more defensible decisions, you’ll benefit from cost savings by eliminating overspending or underbudgeting.