As any company or governmental agency can attest, maintaining legacy IT has a series of pros and cons — but mostly cons that can result in expenses resulting from high operating costs to inefficiencies and security vulnerabilities.
For the federal government, the price tag can be significantly high. According to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), 5,233 of about 7,000 federal IT investments were dedicating their entire budgets to operations and maintenance in 2015. Furthermore, $61.2 billion of the $80 billion spent on IT by the federal government was on operations and maintenance.
Most of these expenses could be attributed to the government working with systems that are aging and incompatible with modern security solutions. And it’s a dire security situation, according to Dave Powner, GAO Director of IT Management Issues Dave Powner.
However, modernization plans must be based on replacement plans that have clear milestones, Powner said. The same is true for modernization projects in the private sector.
Key to data center modernization planning
According to the research firm Gartner, you should adopt the following principles in launching and executing a data center modernization project:
Develop a strategy. It’s important to determine the cost savings and efficiencies that can be gained before you undertake a project. Also, weigh the impact of the project on other areas of your IT infrastructure. Use these findings to gauge the benefits of modernization.
Consider architectural needs. Assess the number of data centers required to undertake the project, also taking into consider location, configurations and whether or not colocation and outsourcing are options. Also, consider a cloud computing strategy.
Determine the solution. Review research on various technologies, products and services that will help you make gains in energy efficiency, agility and availability.
Depending upon your findings, you may decide to seek alternative solutions to building a facility — whether to meet immediate needs while you build out a facility or as a long-term solution. If you decide to use colocation as an option, take the time to conduct extensive research to find the ideal provider that meets your requirement for uptime, efficiencies and capabilities.