Spring Clean

The springtime is frequently associated with longer days, warmer weather and a good old ‘Spring Clean’. Traditionally carpets were taken outside and beaten, furniture was given an airing and the floors were polished too.

Such domestic spring cleaning seems to have faded over the years, but the concept is familiar nevertheless. Just like cleaning out behind your bookshelves and under your couches, tidying up your IT is something that most companies put off. Yet a dust down of your business IT and systems can result in business-wide benefits, saving money and making day-to-day jobs easier.

Your Business IT spring clean check-list:

•Consolidate servers and storage systems. Have you recently looked at your current server or storage situation? ‘Sprawl’ is something that occurs naturally over time and sometimes a rethink of how applications are deployed and data is stored will make your systems more efficient and help with how you manage and maintain your servers and disk storage.

•Update, replace, or simply remove software and hardware that are no longer supported or out of date. Organisations can take on high operational and financial risk by running systems past their prime. Prime examples include Windows XP or the forthcoming Windows Server 2003 end of life (14/07/2015).

•Review desktop computing for opportunities to improve energy efficiency. Something as basic as unused computers or printers still plugged in, desktop computers and peripherals running around the clock when they don’t need to be, failure to use the power management functions built into desktop operating systems – all of these are easy ways to trim energy used by PCs.

In addition to this, desktop virtualisation is a viable option for improving your desktop estate. VDI lengthens a workstation’s lifespan, makes IT easier to manage and benefits the business, opening the door to working anywhere, anytime on any device.

•Make a tiered storage plan and make smart use of old systems. Match the investment in storage systems with the value and type of the data residing on them. Smart storage systems can help with compression and de-duplication, meaning you get more usable storage. For long term storage of inactive data or just for an economical, periodic backup of current data, a cloud back-up is a suitable storage solution.

•Capitalise on cloud and hosted/managed services offerings. For select software applications or hardware infrastructure, cloud computing and hosted/managed services can offer economies of scale, quality of support and convenience that many organisations would be challenged to match with internal resources.

•Streamline operations and free up time for both admin and users by updating the group policy design to grant access and rights to trusted users within major groups.