On numerous occasions with IT projects, the management decided to buy software which didn’t fit into the current technological environment. The consequences of this were costly.
- The software required Linux, but the IT environment consisted of Microsoft servers. The business needed new servers as there was no opportunity to share with existing systems.
- The solution required MySQL or Oracle while all the existing database servers were Microsoft SQL Server
Having a defined platform when it comes to deploying new business systems keeps costs to a minimum by taking advantage of existing hardware, software, services and business processes. The alternatives are more costly:
- Skillsets – existing staff with Microsoft experience would need cross-training in new technology, or the business would need to hire new staff with the necessary skills to operate the system. Introducing a new business system on the same platform would take advantage of the existing skillsets. If additional team members are required, the skills will apply to the new system and all current systems deployed on the estate.
- In-house software – if the environment has many different systems built in-house to support the business, does the new bespoke system use the same technology as existing systems? Introducing new programming languages may make the system unsupportable by existing teams and result in the need to hire new staff.
- Security – the more complex and diverse the environment becomes, the higher the potential for breaches, and the greater the requirement for patch management and security testing
The vendor system under investigation may be one of the best in the marketplace. However, if it introduces too much diversity into your organisation, it will quickly become an unmanageable cost centre.
- Accurately understand the requirements to make the system work
- Understand your own IT environment
- Evaluate how the new system will work in your environment and what the realistic cost expectation is factoring in technological diversity.
Robert is an information security consultant with over 20 years of experience across various organisations, both in the United Kingdom and internationally. Robert graduated in 1997 with an honours degree in software engineering for security and safety-critical systems. Contact Robert directly through Linked In.