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Is Your Enterprise IT the Best It Can Be?

January 24, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by David Wagner, President and CEO, Zix

Enterprise IT is a driver of the global economy. In 2017, an estimated $3.5 trillion was spent on software and telecommunications services. Those figures exceeded expectations, and spending on software is expected to grow by another 7.6 percent this year. Investment in devices is also expected to climb another 3.8 percent, ultimately reaching $654 billion.

To help achieve the scope and scale IT departments need in order to implement and maintain solutions, companies often look first to the cloud. The right enterprise cloud-based solutions enhance productivity and efficiency while fostering innovation and growth, while the wrong enterprise solutions can waste titanic amounts of time, money, and effort.

How, then, should an organization go about building a dynamic enterprise IT platform?

Strong Solutions for Cloud Software

No two companies have identical software needs, but the issues every business faces can be addressed by several ubiquitous and generally strong options for cloud-based software. Now that Microsoft’s Office 365 is hosted in the cloud, for instance, it has taken familiar tools and made them more accessible on the enterprise level. By migrating to the cloud, companies can save on email and collaboration tools while eliminating the costs associated with on-premises solutions.

Companies turn to Google Apps for Business as an alternative. Services like Gmail and Google Docs offer similar functionality while integrating especially well with mobile devices. Because these apps were basically native to the cloud, they also scale well across large organizations.

Moreover, to supplement Microsoft or Google Apps for Business’s offerings, Adobe software provides specialized services like document signing and form completion, along with more enterprise-minded solutions that include file sharing and document storage.

When Single Cloud-Software Solutions Fall Short

This range of options illustrates how many quality cloud-software solutions exist. So which should an organization choose? Understanding each solution’s strengths and weaknesses and correlating that with the organization’s particular needs is essential to answering this question, especially considering that how a solution appears at face value may be different from how it operates.

Office 365 is a good example. It’s popular for many reasons, but it also has security limitations that get exposed at the enterprise level. Even though data and threat protection capabilities are available as both native and add-on features, they may not meet your needs as well as security solutions offered by third-party security leaders, leaving organizations to ask: Should companies rely on a single solution to handle the broadest range of services, or should they mix and match solutions in pursuit of a stronger sum?

Building a Dynamic Enterprise IT Platform

Identifying what solution(s) an organization needs in order to construct the most comprehensive enterprise IT platform possible is a three-step process:

1. Use a vendor that matches your organization’s goals and capacity. Create a road map of the product that weighs the day-to-day or quarter-to-quarter support requirements to find a vendor with a long-term vision that aligns with your company’s.

Then cross-reference that vendor’s services with the experience and expertise on your teams to ensure that enterprise IT doesn’t clash with your organization’s culture or necessitate re-staffing. The biggest investment you end up making as a leader is what your people will become trained on, experts in, and fluid in. While vendor technologies can be replaceable, an effective team that uses those tools isn’t.

2. Consider alternatives and additions to create a comprehensive platform. Companies must determine what they absolutely need in terms of service, support, and security, and then compare that list to what any single solution offers now and how it’s likely to evolve to craft the most comprehensive platform possible.

By keeping your vendors honest and always maintaining options to go on in the case of a needed shift, you avoid letting your organization get to a place where it’s paying more for an application than the value it’s receiving.

3. Make sure you’ll receive outstanding service and support. A significant amount of your organization’s investment is made during the initial implementation phase of your cloud service contract, but hopefully you will use the service for many years. Ensure that your vendor will be easily accessible and available and that it’s investing to provide outstanding service for the long term.

Enterprise IT is a major expense that only grows when companies have to switch or scramble to find solutions. Not every solution is as expansive as advertised, and choosing wisely from the start by vetting your third-party vendors, investing in your people, and bolstering capabilities through additions and other considerations is essential. While one solution may be an excellent tool for establishing a foundation today, it’s the applications and protections on top of it that will ultimately provide your organization with the dynamic solution it needs for tomorrow.

DavidW 150x150 Is Your Enterprise IT the Best It Can Be?

David Wagner, President and CEO, Zix

David has more than 25 years of experience in the IT security industry. He serves as the president and chief executive officer of Zix, a leader in email security, and previously held leadership roles at Entrust for 20 years. With his IT security and leadership background, David offers a business perspective that enables company leaders to better understand evolving cyberattacks and prepare for future threats.

APPLICATION INTEGRATION, DATA and ANALYTICS , Inside the Briefcase, SECURITY, SOCIAL BUSINESS

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