So is IT infrastructure dull and of interest to only those who are directly involved with it or should its influence and impact be of interest to a much wider audience?
We now live in a world where technology is just expected to work. Online services, like Zoom, that we’ve all become reliant upon over the pandemic must work – downtime is now simply unacceptable. But how is this all made possible? Infrastructure!
I recall Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and the world’s richest person, saying in a BBC documentary (The 21st Century Race for Space): “When infrastructure is in place creativity is released.” When he set up Amazon from his garage, he didn’t need to invent the Internet. He didn’t need to establish the postal service. Both critical infrastructures existed, which enabled him to establish a new business paradigm.
Maybe now this is a particularly grandiose view of IT infrastructure, but it’s a good example of the important role infrastructure plays in the success of new ideas, especially when it’s fit for purpose and equally ambitious.
Few today would argue about the critical importance of IT infrastructure; most organisations rely on it. Nevertheless, perhaps IT infrastructure and its management still suffers from a hangover of the past when it was often viewed as an invisible, tactical, back-office function with limited strategic value?
The conversation has moved on with Cloud-based infrastructure now dominating. Perhaps the question today is not ‘how much’ IT infrastructure is needed, but ‘what type’ of infrastructure is needed that enables flexibility, supports business objectives and responds to customer needs.
Are there opportunities for established businesses and start-ups alike to be more ambitious when it comes to IT infrastructure? Should more of them replicate the innovation they show in business models and customer services in the underlying IT infrastructure that underpins them?
Our approach to IT and technology can be influenced by age, experience and social drivers. Some IT professionals look for stability and certainty in what they know best. Others take a very different view and actively search out opportunities to try new ways of doing things. At Flexiion MSP, for example, we specifically avoid any predetermined approaches to technology or ‘historical’ brand loyalties. For us, this is what Cloud independence is all about.
Regardless of approach, success is reliant on the resulting IT infrastructure being fit for purpose that supports the business’s ambition not hinders it:
Clearly technology has never been more important. Similarly, the rate at which technology is changing has never been quicker or more influential on business and society as a whole, but is the role of IT infrastructure in enabling creativity, as suggested by Jeff Bezos, fully appreciated? Likewise, are business decision makers being ambitious enough when it comes to IT infrastructure or are they still hampered by established thinking and set ways of doing things? We’d suggest that if organisations fully embrace an independent Cloud approach, then they will be much better able to fully maximise the benefits of the Cloud and IT infrastructure.
If you’re interested in the business implications of tech decisions then you may find our video series: Horizon Scan worth a look.
Simon Lofthouse, CMO, Flexiion MSP
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