From Tapes to Cloud - An IT Engineer's Perspective
Do phrases like “Skeleton crew,” “Not enough time in the day,” and “Have you changed the tapes?” remind you of the way IT support used to be? Back in the day, before system management software, artificial intelligence, and the as-a-service model, the IT support team for most companies handled it all. From managing every aspect of the network, every device, training users, as well as providing support and maintenance for all hardware and software systems, the IT support team carried the full load.
On top of a heavy workload, IT departments were typically under-staffed. As companies grew or upgraded their technology, they would expand technology resources, and IT support’s workload grew with it. In fact, in our experience, we’ve found working to keep systems running takes up most of our time, and instead, employee support was where we were most needed to create the biggest impact to business operations and employee productivity. It seemed like there were more issues and projects than what the team could handle.
Phrases that remind me of IT support in the past:
- Have you changed the tapes?
- Not enough time in the day
- Skeleton Crew
Another frequent issue was that applications were usually the responsibility of one IT administrator. This meant that losing someone from the team would require the changing of every single administrative password for the company. While there were glimmers of change along the way, these changes and improvements took time for their capabilities to mature and for successful adoption. For example, when Active Directory’s capabilities were enhanced to authenticate applications and systems, it helped lighten the workload.
IT departments of today are much different. One main reason for the changes is the widespread adoption and utilization of as-a-Service technology. With the as-a-Service model, support and systems are mostly off-site. There are user interfaces to control networks and systems so an IT admin can change a route or upgrade a system with just the click of a mouse and a few keystrokes. All these capabilities are accessible from anywhere on the internet. Another feature is that many as-a-Service providers allow the layperson to put in problem tickets, helping to alleviate the internal IT Department’s workload. This in turn frees their time to focus on improving the network and systems for their organization or strategizing on other important projects that support the organization’s goals.
Today, with technological advances, networks are more reliant and flexible. When utilizing a hosted network, you are operating in a shared hardware environment – an environment that most companies would find above their individual budget to purchase. Organizations can use the latest technologies without having to own, house, cool, or maintain large amounts of expensive network or server hardware.
We find there are many differences in the IT Department now from even ten years ago – let alone 20+. Utilizing and supporting hosted services has allowed our IT support role to evolve into a more proactive role – rather than reactive. At the same time, we can rely on our experiences with physical hardware, software, networks, and system support to provide the necessary foundations to guide and consult our customers as they move into the as-a-service model.
ChoiceTel has a team of seasoned engineers who have grown with technology and our customers as the workloads have shifted for IT teams across the nation. For some customers, we help them be bleeding edge and for others we help guide them in time tested solutions to meet their risk tolerance, while still maintaining best in breed solutions – from both an IT hardware/software solution and level of effort on their part. But, like with anything in IT, the choices can be overwhelming when looking at what your organization can move to an as-a-service model or a form of a hybrid solution. We are here to guide you through the entire process – and assist after the fact, when inevitably, technology changes again.
Give us a call today and let our experience and knowledge help you with your organization’s digital strategy. Call (248) 922-1150 to speak with one of our consultants. Or, you can also contact us at [email protected]