IT Modernization: Renovate or Buy New?

Posted by Brett Miller, Field CTO on Oct 18, 2018 12:00:00 PM
Brett Miller, Field CTO

Home RenovationWith all the technology approaches in the market place to modernize IT, it is a challenge to maneuver through all the noise and figure out which is the best approach for you and your company.   Whether you are considering cloud, hyper-converged, revolutionary database products, or a new dev ops program, it all seems daunting. In recent conversations and blogs that I have read, any of these changes need to be accompanied by a change in cultural and skill set.  The complexity of the changes and the impact they have on an organization reminds me of the process I went through to decide whether or not to modernize my existing home or buy new.

In deciding the best way to achieve a modernized home, you must consider a huge number of factors, including, costs, the amount of time and energy needed, displacement.  For myself and my family, the right decision was to renovate our existing home since we could save money by living in the house while we work on individual projects. Additionally, we saved on time and energy needed to pack up and move an entire household. Everyone in the family had to work together throughout the project. My kids needed to adjust to sharing a room, and to not having access to all their toys.  We had to set up a temporary kitchen with limited functionality.  As we worked our way through the house, each individual improvement project we completed provided benefits and got us closer to a fully modernized home.  During this modernization effort, I had to take my time and learn along the way.  Making sure I had the skills and an understanding of how to do particular jobs may have slowed me down, but I enjoyed the projects more because I learned something new, like sweating pipes.  Upon completion of the project my family was thrilled with the new paint colors and upgraded kitchen amenities and our family bond was strengthened as we all worked together to create this new environment.

Monthly operating costs of a new house played a big part in the decision-making process.  Much like cloud and managed services, there were jobs I didn’t want to do, and I found more value in outsourcing this work than doing it myself, such as, trash removal. (I have noticed the trash guy has slowly been increasing my rates over the years, and offers a lower rate to any new customer, by the way.)  However, mowing my own lawn is something I enjoy and it allows me to monitor any changes to my yard, like bare spots or dying plants.  Not to mention how much I enjoy running my electric powered lawn mower. Monitoring my own yard and being able to directly make any necessary adjustments is like monitoring the market for business changes and allowing the company to adjust the priorities.  And because I did not make a “big bet” on a provider and trust they would put my best interests first, I am more agile to make any further adjustments and changes. If you have systems that are worth the cost and effort to move to managed services or the cloud, then, it makes sense to execute on those commitments.  There are some projects and tasks that will remain with you and your team, such as, the high value-add activities and the tasks they enjoy doing, like learning new methods to improve systems for the business and your customers.

Much like choosing to renovate or buy new, the decision comes down to do you, spend more upfront, have less control, and introduce a lot of change at once; or do you, spend less upfront, continue to invest, and move the whole organization forward together.

No matter the direction you choose, you’ll need a solid foundation that allows for changes in business priorities or customer demands.  Getting the best return on your investment is important as well. Using Violin Extreme Storage to modernize your infrastructure is a simple step to lay a solid foundation to reduce costs and increase performance with little change to your core infrastructure.  This allows your existing teams to have flexibility and time to concentrate on addressing the business challenges that provide the most value to your business.  With any of these decisions, if your IT teams are engaged and going through the transformation process with you, the change will be worth the investment.

Topics: SAN, flash storage, storage, Extreme Performance, Transformation