The problem with ageing infrastructure
Ageing IT infrastructure is more vulnerable to cyber attack, says Lawrence Weitzman, director at BT-SA.
It's the dawn of a new year and we've all made resolutions to update our health, our lives and even our jobs. An important consideration for new year resolutions is the inclusion of a commitment to update IT infrastructure.
Outdated IT infrastructure can pose massive problems for businesses, as highlighted in the news last year. The reality is that many businesses still rely on ageing hardware and outdated software, and find it harder to keep up with the swift changes in technology.
Another problem with ageing IT infrastructure is that it is more vulnerable to cyber attack. Some companies may even still be using IT infrastructure that has reached end of support, meaning any patches for new vulnerabilities are not going to be received or updated.
"Maintenance and upgrading of IT infrastructure can be both costly and time-consuming. It usually means network downtime, which impacts a company's bottom line. Often, organisations don't even consider updating until the IT infrastructure is about to become redundant, or they have had a major breach," explains Lawrence Weitzman, Director at BT-SA (Bridging Technologies South Africa), a leading ICT infrastructure solutions provider.
Transformation begins with evaluating the current infrastructure. An assessment of the current situation will help to identify what needs to be updated. This will also assist in prioritising what needs to get done first. It's important to understand what infrastructure is coming to the end of its life and when to proactively initiate changes before it reaches a crisis stage.
"The next step is to schedule a maintenance programme for all the different components of the IT infrastructure. Consider what your network needs may be in the next three to five years and plan for it at the outset. Decide who will be responsible for maintaining your infrastructure: will you appoint someone in-house or will you outsource? These are all important considerations," advises Weitzman.
Proper training on the upgraded IT infrastructure and processes should be a priority for all staff involved. Every team in the IT department needs to be aware of the scheduled maintenance programme and new protocols. This will help management to identify any training on new or existing technology that needs to be implemented.
"It's not just about keeping up with the times, but making security a priority. Updating your IT infrastructure is not something that should be left to the very last minute. It has to be part of a yearly assessment and it needs to take top priority on the to-do list," says Weitzman.