The last few years have seen an extraordinary pace of technology advances, but when you operate in the real world, taking advantage isn’t always that easy. Have you ever spotted an outstanding opportunity for your business, only to come back down to earth when you realise that your time and budget just won’t stretch that far?

We only have to look at the market disruption of new contenders such as Airbnb, or masters of reinvention like the Dominos pizza chain, to see how survival depends on innovation. Clearly, bold, well thought out ideas are vital, but unless you are positioned to take advantage of them, they may never become reality. So how do you get out of the business-as-usual rut and free up your budget to invest in innovation?

An old Renault advertisement used the tagline ‘a few centimetres can make a lot of difference’, and the same principle applies here. You don’t have to completely reinvent the world, and sometimes the most powerful innovations are relatively small and simple. For Dominos, it was the pizza tracking app that powered the business to take a stranglehold on their industry sector. They didn’t make too many changes at once, but they started with something that was meaningful to customers.

One thing the successful reinventors have in common is that they build solid foundations, so that they are positioned to take great ideas and run with them. When you’re competing with nimble start-ups, being left flat footed is a bad place to be – just ask the traditional businesses suddenly leaking market share faster than you can say ‘meat-lovers-with-extra-cheese’.

Overall, around 80% of workloads are now virtualised, but small and medium businesses lag behind here, at an estimated 53%. This keeps costs high, as well as tying up IT professionals in frustrating lights-on tasks more than necessary. Since it is the IT team that has both the skills and the business knowledge to see technology possibilities, being unable to capitalise on their capabilities is costly.

Even for those larger businesses, a fresh look at virtualisation may be more fruitful than expected. After all, vendors like VMware have introduced some real game-changers that take it to a new level. Their software defined data centre (SDDC) architecture virtualises compute, storage and networking devices, all with a single, unified management platform.

Suddenly, instead of wrangling a multitude of different machines, you’re using your existing infrastructure without the usual headaches. It has a knock-on effect too. Security becomes a lot easier, for starters. When you can see everything in your environment, you are in a better position to anticipate risks and deal with them before they eventuate.

The big thing, aside from regaining headspace, is the financial benefits. You extract every last bit of value from your existing infrastructure, and reduce the amount of new equipment you need. Less doubling up and less expenditure on consulting means more left in the coffers for those big ideas that might just turn you into a digital success story.

If you’re shouldering the burden of a complex IT environment, it is time to lighten the load. For more information about virtualisation, SDDC possibilities, or smashing IT budget challenges, talk to the friendly experts at Computer Merchants.

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