If you are a business owner that relies on IT-based solutions, scalability and high availability are two terms which you are most likely familiar with. Scalability represents the flexibility of the IT solution or infrastructure, allowing it to scale up alongside the business. High availability ensures a safe and reliable ecosystem for business solutions, which ensures smooth business operations.
These two terms, however, cover the basics of IT services in most companies. For solutions to truly support business operations, the entire IT ecosystem must be sustainable. It needs to scale up quickly, remain entirely available, and be efficient at the same time. Sustainable IT services are becoming the future, especially for businesses looking to gain a competitive advantage in a crowded market.
Laying the foundation
For your business IT ecosystem to be sustainable, it needs to have several key elements, starting with an infrastructure and components that support the smooth operations of business solutions running in the ecosystem. Infrastructure no longer acts as an entry barrier for IT implementation. You can have cloud computing resources working alongside on-premise solutions without making significant investments in hardware.
Even the on-premise side of the equation can be cost-efficient. There are service providers that offer hardware-as-a-service (HaaS), meaning you can establish your network, a cluster of servers, and other infrastructure to support business operations without actually buying the required hardware. Instead, you pay a fixed monthly service charge for the entire ecosystem.
The next part is solutions that are designed to manage IT services. Before you start adding business-specific solutions, you must maintain the ecosystem effectively and efficiently. Gone are the days of manually configuring individual nodes and setting up client computers by hand. Thanks to tools like TOPdesk, you can manage configs and other IT assets effectively.
TOPdesk does more than manage IT services. It’s a solution that simplifies business processes around IT services, as well as other essential functions. You can use TOPdesk to manage customer service, build a comprehensive database for your IT services, and handle things like Configuration Management Database on the same platform.
Integration is the next component to add to the ecosystem. It is easy to pick the best business solutions to use, but using multiple solutions in a fragmented way is no longer the way to go; at least not when you want to put sustainability as a primary focus of your IT development. Fortunately, today’s solutions come with APIs, which means integrating them is easy.
Integration is only one half of a critical equation that builds a sustainable IT ecosystem. The other half of the equation is automation. There are so many things you can automate. Both the IT services and the business solutions you run in the ecosystem come with automation tools – the ones that don’t have APIs that allow for specific tasks and functions to be fully automated.
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If you are an app company, for instance, CI/CD can now be streamlined with the help of Infrastructure-as-a-Code (IaaC) frameworks. Instead of manually creating new server instances and reconfiguring everything from the start, you can pull config files from the CMDB tool of TOPdesk and have new servers configured automatically.
This type of automation has long-term benefits. By combining IaaC with tools like CMDB, you are eliminating human errors, maintaining better control over your IT assets, and avoiding future problems at the same time. You can manage assets and track metrics, such as usage patterns and users, which gives you the headstart you need to create a robust ecosystem for the business.
High availability becomes easier to achieve. You know which hardware and solutions need replacing and the cloud services supporting business solutions. These insights let you save time and resources along the way, all without risking server failures or taking your business solutions down for maintenance and replacement.
Making it visual
That brings us back to the importance of establishing the essential elements correctly. With solutions like TOPdesk, you also gain the ability to maintain a visual overview of your entire ecosystem. Being able to see relationships between IT assets is a huge plus, but achieving that visual overview with a complex ecosystem already in place becomes too difficult.
A visual representation of IT assets and how they connect, allow you the opportunity to do more to boost sustainability. Thus, when you need to scale infrastructure up, you can anticipate errors and bottlenecks even before performing the update. The same is true when you need to troubleshoot errors or manually trace the source of IT issues.
An overview of users in the ecosystem helps too. Since you can link assets to their users, you are not only maintaining the infrastructure but also monitor the ecosystem under different situations. The primary goal is gaining the ability to anticipate issues rather than reacting to problems after they occur.
When a server is down, you know right away which group of users are affected, allowing you to notify those users or route them to a backup server for smoother business operations. Rather than risking not being able to service customers because of IT problems, you can think two or three steps ahead and avoid catastrophic problems altogether.
Establishing a sustainable IT ecosystem with the best infrastructure supporting top business solutions is the way to go. It is only a matter of time before businesses become entirely dependent on solutions running on-premise and in the cloud. Now is the best time to prepare for that time and start developing IT services that can sustain the business while it is growing.
Getting started is not as difficult as you think. We have already covered the necessary elements to put in place, plus some tips and tricks on how you can build your own sustainable IT services. All you need to do now is implement the tips and strategies we discussed in this article and start your implementation project.