The term infrastructure modernization means different things to different people. After all, no two enterprise network infrastructures are designed and built based on the same business objectives. However, the newly built infrastructure has more in common than the network of a long time ago. Therefore, the process of infrastructure modernization may be similar in many ways.
Let’s take a look at the five steps that enterprises should take to update their existing IT infrastructure with the latest technologies, platforms and tools.
Step 1. Understand what modern infrastructure looks like
Our first step is to understand the development of IT infrastructure in the past decade or so. Historically, enterprise infrastructure mainly includes LAN, Wan and private data center – within the scope of secure network.
However, today’s infrastructure extends far beyond the boundaries of any physical company. It decision makers find that a better and more efficient infrastructure is to migrate applications, data and other IT services to one or more public clouds using a hybrid cloud or multi cloud model. In addition, modern edge computing architecture makes cloud computing functions closer to end users or autonomous devices, which creates better application performance for delay sensitive applications.
Ultimately, modern infrastructure extends the reach of enterprise networks to provide the necessary levels of performance, scalability, and agility required by modern applications.
Step 2. Evaluate your existing infrastructure
In order to transform your enterprise into a modern infrastructure to meet current and future needs, please thoroughly evaluate your existing LAN, Wan, Internet and cloud components. Typically, this analysis should be performed first at the application level and then drill down into the existing networks through which these applications and data pass.
In most cases, a detailed assessment of critical business applications, data, and network flows can help determine where an enterprise can achieve performance and cost-effectiveness. Here, for some applications or processes, enterprises need to redesign or replace them with modern alternatives to make them run more efficiently in highly distributed hybrid, cloudy or edge computing designs.
Step 3. Identify gaps in current infrastructure
The results of the infrastructure assessment should highlight areas where new hardware, software, platforms and managed services can better improve performance and cost efficiency.
For example, this assessment may make enterprises realize that it is more suitable for home office employees to migrate some key business applications from enterprise LAN to public cloud providers. However, this transformation may lead to security vulnerabilities. However, for such vulnerabilities, enterprises can use modern secure access service edge tools to extend existing IT security policies to the cloud and to remote employees. This can better protect sensitive data and intellectual property from loss or theft.
Step 4. Identify a modern version of your infrastructure
As mentioned earlier, no two infrastructures are the same because each enterprise has different goals. Therefore, when redesigning the infrastructure, architects should understand how business leaders want to operate in the future. Covid-19 epidemic is a typical example.
If decision makers plan to extend the home office policy indefinitely, the enterprise infrastructure should support geographically dispersed employees for the foreseeable future. In most cases, this means that private data centers can be completely eliminated and infrastructure based on public cloud and metropolitan edge deployment can be adopted. On the other hand, if the enterprise wants employees to return to the office, the hybrid cloud infrastructure model is still a feasible choice.
Step 5. Calculate the cost of infrastructure modernization
Finally, according to the enterprise’s vision of modern infrastructure, enterprises can study infrastructure hardware, software and managed service options to help achieve enterprise goals.
If your business is like most businesses, the goal should be to eliminate capital expenditure as much as possible and replace it with service-based operating expenses. This payment model provides a variety of benefits: less upfront funds to build, create a more predictable cost structure, and provide upward and downward expansion paths.
When calculating the cost of infrastructure modernization, it is important not only to calculate the costs related to the purchase and implementation of new technologies and services, but also to consider continuous maintenance plans and training.