With 2020 right around the corner, now’s the ideal time to start planning for next year’s IT budget while clarifying technology goals. Although business IT platforms are increasingly moving toward cloud platforms, hardware components are still a critical aspect of your network’s backbone. From servers and security appliances to storage and devices for employees, your organization can’t get far without accounting for the costs of IT hardware.

But with the next groundbreaking development in IT seemingly popping up every other month, how can you be certain what hardware can add lasting value to your operations and what you should pass on? In this post, we’ll explore some of the tried-and-true IT hardware that’s sure to keep your organization ahead of the curve in 2020.

Start With Core Network Operations

Your organization only has a fixed amount of money to spend on technology, and deciding where to invest that capital can seem like a daunting task. That’s why focusing on your core network operations and working out from there provides a practical framework with which to begin. These core operations include:

  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Security

Are any of these systems nearing their end of life or slowing down your organization’s growth? If so, start developing a plan to overcome these inefficiencies in 2020, and make upgrading those systems central to your hardware budget. Doing so will not only empower your team with a faster network, but you’ll also be taking the necessary steps to mitigate security threats.

Calculating Storage Demands

When your team runs out of storage space on your network, you’re left scrambling to find a solution to minimize downtime. That’s why it’s always wise to plan out the year’s storage demands in advance. Begin by calculating the computer resources and total data storage your organization will need for the year. These projections will give you a clearer idea of the infrastructure you’ll need to support those network demands, including the number of switches and how many layers you’ll need at your on- or off-site data center.

Making Room for Big Data

As data-driven analytics and insights are increasingly used to drive business decision making at every level, storage is in higher demand than ever before. If your business already generates a lot of data right now, that number is only going to increase over the next few years. Make sure you’re scaling your infrastructure to keep up with these ever-growing demands.

For scalable, reliable network storage devices, solid-state drives (SSDs) and non-volatile memory express (NVMe) are currently the two best options on the market. When properly designed and deployed, these systems allow your organization to scale storage systems without interrupting normal network operations. If you’re looking to immediately improve system-wide performance while preparing for the challenges of tomorrow, SSD/NVMe is one of the best investments you can make today.

Network Load Balancing

Even the latest IT hardware and infrastructure can bottleneck when not properly configured and deployed. As network demands increase, investing in network load balancing components can help you further minimize network bottlenecks. Load balancers work by automatically monitoring server traffic to keep operations running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If one server is absorbing a disproportionate amount of traffic, a load balancer can circumvent traffic to other circuits and achieve a more balanced state.

Redundant Routers

Many businesses rely on one router even when redundancy could help minimize downtime throughout the year. When a router goes down, so do your network operations. If you can fit redundant network routers into your IT budget, you can take an extra step to mitigate the consequences of a network outage.

At the same time, redundant routers quickly pay for themselves by minimizing the lost revenue and time associated with outages over the course of a year. In the event that one router goes down, the other one can keep functioning as usual, so your team stays on track with day-to-day tasks.

Los Angeles IT Support

Does your organization need help clarifying your IT hardware budget for 2020? If so, the experts at Be Structured are here to help you pinpoint your goals for the coming year, so your team has a technology platform that aligns with your broader business objectives.