IT Trends 2023 | 1st Trend – Optimizing IT for Reliability and Resilience

The emergence and growth of digital business paradigms coupled with the rapid shift from work-from-office to hybrid/work-from-home models have fueled an “always on” expectation of IT. The days of working just traditional Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm business hours are well behind us.

The trend of expecting “always on IT” has expanded beyond the subset of mission-critical systems being up 24×7. It increasingly applies to many adjacent and supporting systems like email, HR, Finance, and even the employee help desk. If any of these are down or experiencing performance issues, users (and the business itself) are being impacted even during the “off hours”.

These realities have driven the priority to improve overall IT reliability and resiliency—a direct byproduct of the “always on” business reliance upon IT. The challenge is to make these improvements within continuing IT budget constraints and other competing priorities.

Here are some of the most prevalent tactics, techniques, and measures which we are expected to provide the greatest benefits in 2023:

  • Updated Apps Tiering with SLAs and Metrics - Many companies have hundreds of applications across their ecosystem. However, we still see application tiering limited to just a couple of classifications – like in mission-critical and non-mission-critical tiers. Expanding and detailing application tiering definitions categorize applications by class or stated service level/availability requirements. Moreover, associated metrics such as performance response time can enable better understanding and alignment with the business. It also surfaces gaps and puts attention on areas where applications are not achieving the needed resiliency and performance as per business expectations. Thus, collaborating with an independent, third-party partner with expertise in how to tier applications can be helpful.

  • Risk/Benefit-Quantified Tech Debt Mitigation– Technology debt (simply put—old/outdated/unsupported technology still in production) is one of the biggest culprits impacting IT reliability and resiliency. Identifying the areas of tech debt can be done quickly with automation powered by the contemporary network and environmental scanning tools. Quantifying the risk of “doing nothing” utilizing risk quantification methods can strengthen and elevate the justification to progressively eliminate tech debt and improve IT resiliency and reliability.

  • Capacity/Performance/Availability Optimization - This technique helps move under-performing application workloads (hosted on outdated/under-performing platforms) to more cost-efficient and scalable cloud or hyper-converged platforms that offers built-in levels of redundancy.

  • Vulnerability and Security Hardening - Hackers, viruses, and other non-malicious but inadvertent user acts can negatively impact IT operations. The damage aggravates when security holes such as weak authentication/privilege restrictions, missing firewall rules, and open network ports persist within the IT environment. The convergence of network and security tools and disciplines has produced cost-effective ways to reduce this risk and boost resiliency and reliability across the IT ecosystem.

  • Improved Change Management & Coordination – Ensuring that routine changes like patching and software version updates are well-planned and executed with clear acceptance criteria and back-out plans can help avoid one of the leading causes of negative impacts on the IT environment. Expert help from an ITIL-certified IT solutions company that brings and can instill best practices in change management can make a tremendous difference.

All of these areas are ones that we are seeing being discussed by our clients and in which Celsior Technologies is a leading IT solutions company that is helping businesses improve IT reliability and resiliency–in response to increasing user and business demands for “always on” IT. Leveraging today’s cost-effective solution options helps businesses shift IT budget spending from primarily “keep the lights on” operations to more of an innovation and transformation agenda.

What has your experience been with these techniques or others which have positively impacted IT operations? Let us know.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rob Kondoff
Senior Director – Technology Operations
Celsior Technologies

rob.kondoff@celsiortech.com

This is the second blog of a series on IT Trends 2023. Check back regularly to see additional blogs on this topic:

Blog #1: IT Trends 2023: Mainstream trends you should look for next year

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