To create a more efficient and streamlined business, companies are often tempted to introduce new systems that promise major improvements over the status quo. This can be a viable strategy in some cases – and it will impress stakeholders who prefer to shake things up. But this has a cost. Replacing the old with the new will take a lot of training to get everyone up to speed, and that’s just getting started.
There is another option: optimize what you currently have. In other words, your current systems may not be providing the best possible experience for your users, but you can change that.
Before deciding to acquire new systems or complete software, companies must take a complete inventory of existing systems and processes. The goal: effectively understand where efficiencies can be created by simply retrofitting what you already have.
This blog will look at how companies can take stock of their systems and offer best practices for IT teams with small budgets looking to retool. We will also provide examples of redesigning a system to improve performance.
The importance of self-analysis
As stated earlier, the first step is to take a full 360 degree view of internal systems to determine the obstacles and the best way to overcome them. Getting a download on the overall performance and health of systems can paint a picture of bogged down processes and complex reasons for bottlenecks that create inefficiency.
This also includes asking questions such as: Is this technology underused or overused? Is it dormant or active? Is it still in service? Are there plans to dismantle it? How much space does it take up? These questions will help inform next steps: how to move on or retool for greater efficiency.
After performing a comprehensive assessment of internal systems, teams should talk to their frontline employees and business users about what works and what doesn’t. It’s important to remember that many IT and business managers are unfamiliar with day-to-day operations, which means they’re alienated from the day-to-day issues and problems that users face. This can create knowledge gaps where management thinks a system is working well. But the front-line end user faces a host of issues, such as bugs or system failures. This is what makes communication so important.
Creating a culture of communication between frontline workers and management is paramount, as end users can act as a real-time information pipeline. One way to achieve this culture is to hold regular meetings with employees, led by people who are already experts in using the systems. This allows direct access to a subject matter expert who is well versed in the technical details and can come up with ideas that may not have been tested before.
Retooling in progress
Once the in-depth analysis is complete, IT teams can get to work rearranging their systems to work in a more efficient and streamlined manner. All processes and systems that directly impact customers and revenue should be prioritized, as they often deal with the most critical data sets for a business.
After retooling, it is crucial to test current performance against previous performance to establish benchmarks. During development, there should always be a test/beta phase where old and new processes run concurrently; this ensures feedback on effectiveness and what is accepted by users. Often companies introduce a new system without testing it alongside an existing process. This creates a situation where there is no benchmark, and the business may encounter the same challenges as before.
If the revamped process is customer-oriented, the same questions asked internally about performance must also be asked of the consumer. Customer feedback is essential, as they could switch to a competitor if they are unhappy with the new process.
Make do with small budgets
Smaller companies with tighter budgets are often more likely to undertake retooling. Larger organizations typically have more capital to spend on new software and other services, but smaller organizations often have to work with what they have.
An example: a customer who has decommissioned nodes and is looking to increase their storage capacity. The company completed the assessment, realized that its nodes were taking up physical space, and determined that it needed more storage. Once the nodes are decommissioned and the computing power removed, one way to retool and reuse this system is to use a software-based storage solution. This way, the company only pays for the software licenses that run the storage solution on the decommissioned hosts.
As the current solution was space constrained and was only used as a short-term backup solution, the new storage solution allowed long-term backups to be stored to meet deferred backup compliance standards. This new idea also improved the company’s current solution by improving throughput and reducing network bandwidth for end users. Creative thinking and self-analysis like this can help businesses of all sizes, especially smaller ones with more modest budgets.
Honestly looking at what you have and retooling systems is a surefire way for companies to continue driving innovation without breaking the bank. As companies strive to transform their operations, now is the time to look inside your systems and find ways to increase efficiency by reorganizing.
Learn more about HPE PointNext Tech Care here.
About Kyler Johnson
Kyler Johnson is a Master Technologist at HPE Pointnext, Global Remote Services. He has worked in technology for 10 years with a focus on innovation, automation and consulting. Kyler strives to ensure that his customers are very satisfied now and in the future. When not focused on the customer, he enjoys reading, horseback riding and gaming.
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