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The Evolution of IT

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IT is now a vital tool for business growth – the flexibility, productivity, and security seen in modern IT products offer a far better value proposition than in the past.

The evolution of IT has increased considerably in the last 10 years. The technology you bought in 2009 is incomparable to today’s equivalent – we require far more from our IT than we once did, both in relation to functionality and security; a challenge which industry innovators have risen to.

1) Business capability demands – We require far more from our IT.
2) Technological innovation – IT performance has increased exponentially, in line with demand.
3) Increased threat landscape – Cyber threats have grown and become far more sophisticated.

Business Capability Demands

The key reason as to why today’s IT is incomparable to that of 10 years ago, is that business capability demands of IT have proliferated considerably. Driving this is business’s innate desire to work faster and more efficiently, in less time and at a lower cost.Capability demands and technological innovation work reciprocally however – demands incentivise innovation, whilst innovation creates the demand to remain competitive.  Whereas servers were previously used for basic means, IT now enables business growth. Therefore, modern IT systems are at the heart of how entire businesses operate.

In order to facilitate this increased productivity, businesses have seen an increased demand for rapid, resilient internet connectivity. Business grade fibre lines, with associated backup lines, are now a minimum requirement.

In addition to this, with IT and business operations now so interwoven, potential IT disruption resulting in a data breach or significant downtime, is a disaster. A robust backup and disaster recovery solution is therefore essential, which was not as necessary 10 years ago.

Technological Innovation

Advancements in IT have helped to make this possible – manufacturers are now developing smarter, smaller, faster, more advanced, eco-friendly servers, computers, laptops, and mobile devices in response to demand.

However, the cost of innovation has increased slightly. Whereas before it was acceptable for a business to invest in an all-in-one server solution that included the relevant licensing, servers today are far more complicated pieces of IT architecture. This means that an additional spend is required for businesses to feel the benefits of productivity and security innovations, though the value-add offered by modern IT infrastructure often off-sets this cost.

Furthermore, to make the cost of innovation accessible to all businesses, regardless of size, software subscription-based pricing models have grown in popularity and have become commonplace. Businesses can pay for what they use and when they use it, rather than investing in upfront capital expenditure.

For example, 10 years ago, you could buy hardware with the necessary Microsoft Office software pre-installed. Whilst convenient, this discouraged businesses from updating to the latest software, as most would simply wait until hardware end-of-life. Now, licensing can be purchased for the requisite number of users and distributed through your server for a small monthly cost.

Essentially, subscription-based licensing and software offer benefits that were previously unavailable. These days, your business can benefit from regular productivity updates, including collaborative working, in addition to all the latest security measures. Investing in modern IT systems grow your business and helps secure it from the latest threats!

Increased Threat Landscape

Of course, with businesses reaping the benefits of IT innovation, dangerous threats to cyber security have seen a significant increase. Whereas 2009 saw roughly 220 million personal records exposed, still a significant amount, 2018 saw this figure rise to a staggering 5 billion exposed records.

Whether it’s ransomware, jackware, phishing, malware, viruses, or compromised passwords for sale on the dark web, amongst other methods, the list of threats facing businesses today has resulted in a significant shift in demand of top-of-the-range cyber security solutions. A server in 2009 would often come with basic built-in security, but security components today are often separate investments due to their sophisticated methods of securing your network.

The cost of a data breach far outweighs the investment required to stay protected – settling for basic on-premise anti-spam and failing to implement an advanced firewall solution is no longer feasible for any business. The potential cost of fines for breaching data regulations such as GDPR, and loss of trust from your clients, could be catastrophic. Not to mention, downtime can result in an inability to conduct business as usual.

The Servers of Today

It’s worth mentioning that, despite servers becoming progressively higher spec in line with the capability demand place on them by businesses, the hardware itself has not seen a rise in cost. On average, the price you paid for a server in 2009 is comparable to the cost of a server in 2019. You’re essentially achieving far higher performance at a lower cost.

Where you will have seen your business’s IT budget alter over the last 10 years is in the licensing, subscriptions, and security associated with your server.

In raw numbers, software costs have seen an overall 300% increase compared to 10 years ago. The main reason for this is that whereas software used to come pre-installed on end-user hardware, it is now a separate purchase, which is then installed onto your server. There is a significant value-add behind this extra cost – your software is updated constantly, ensuring your business benefits from all the latest security features.

Anti-virus, firewall, and backup solutions have now become an essential part of your IT infrastructure compared to 10 years ago. The increased threat landscape has meant that all cyber security products have become far more sophisticated and can be bespoke-configured to protect your specific setup. As a result of the increased capability of all cyber security solutions, their cost has inevitably increased over the last decade.

In summary, the increase in cost of implementing IT systems is due to a combination of business capability demands, technological innovations, and the larger threat landscape. That said, modern technology offers your business a return-on-investment that was previously unachievable.

If you would like to hear more about how Neuways can help you migrate to a modern server solution, contact us today on 01283 753333 or say hello@neuways.com.

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