Over the past decade, changes in information technology created a novel lifestyle that people can only see in the movies in the 50’s. Digital technology has redefined the way people do tasks. Industries have greatly benefited from these discoveries. IT made work more efficient, faster, and more accurate than ever. At the turn of the 21st century, AI has revolutionized the way businesses operate. It does not only optimize office and clerical jobs, but the entire operations of a company– operations, marketing, human resources, accounting, and even financial management.
Digital technologies enhance productivity by automating and speeding up processes. For instance, robotic process automation can perform tasks faster and more accurately than humans in many domains. IBM demonstrated bots that were 20 times quicker than people and made fewer human-like errors. Data analytics and business intelligence systems can gather and process data more efficiently and precisely than humans. Virtualization has indeed reshaped the way IT infrastructures operate.
Optimizing business through virtualization
Virtualizing a computer system separates the software from the real physical hardware. It often involves running multiple operating systems on the same machine simultaneously. Applications running on top of the virtual machine seem to be running on their own system, with their own operating system, libraries, and other applications that are independent of the host’s operating system below them. Small and medium-sized businesses have fiscal restraints in this challenging economic environment. IT investment returns are getting increasingly difficult to calculate. Fortunately, transitioning to a virtual environment allows companies to manage their finances and calculate risks.
How does this technology reshape IT infrastructure?
It can be considered a game changer because it offers various ways for businesses to operate to their optimum level with less effort and resources, such as follows:
• Enabling cloud computing.
It is the basis of cloud computing, which allows you to access IT
services over the Internet without owning or managing the physical infrastructure.
- IaaS or Infrastructure as a service: Virtualized storage, server, and network resources you can configure based on your specifications.
- PaaS or Platform as a service: Virtualized databases, development tools, and other cloud-based services for building your own cloud-based apps and solutions.
- SaaS or Software as a service: Virtualized applications and software that you can access online without installing or maintaining them on your device.
• Increasing efficiency and productivity
It allows you to run multiple operating systems and applications on a single physical
machine, which can improve the utilization of your hardware and reduce the number of
servers you need. This can also lower your operating costs, such as power consumption,
cooling, and maintenance. It also enables faster deployment, migration, backup, and
recovery of your virtual machines, which can minimize downtime and enhance performance.
• Improving security and compliance.
It can help you isolate and protect your data and applications from unauthorized access or
malicious attacks. By creating separate virtual environments for different purposes, you can
prevent cross-contamination and limit the impact of a breach. You can also encrypt your data
and use firewalls to secure your network traffic. Virtualization also makes it easier to comply
with regulations and standards by allowing you to audit and monitor your virtual machines.
• Supporting cloud computing
There are different types of cloud services, such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform
as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).
• Reducing environmental impact
You can also contribute to environmental sustainability by using green-friendly virtual
Is virtualizing your operations right for your business?
Before acquiring a virtual environment for your business, there are things to consider. First, it comes with a hefty cost. Second, there are hardware or software elements that are not built for this technology. If you think you can overcome these challenges, your business is ready to venture virtualizing.
The how’s of transitioning to virtual environment
Assess your current IT infrastructure and identify your business needs and goals. You should consider factors such as your hardware, software, network, storage, security, performance, scalability, and budget.
- Choose a platform that suits your needs and preferences. There are different types of virtual platforms such as server, desktop, application, network, and storage virtualization. You should also compare different virtualization software providers in the market.
- Plan and design your strategy and architecture. You should decide how many and which physical machines you want to virtualize, how many and which virtual machines you want to create, how you want to allocate and manage your resources, how you want to secure and backup your data, and how you want to monitor and troubleshoot your virtual environment.
- Implement and test your solution. You should follow the best practices and guidelines of your chosen platform and software. You should also test your virtual machines for functionality, compatibility, performance, and security before deploying them to production.
- Manage and optimize your virtual environment. You should regularly update and patch your virtual machines, monitor and analyze their performance and utilization, backup and restore your data, troubleshoot any issues or problems, and optimize your resource allocation and configuration.
Do small businesses benefit from this technology?
SMBs may profit greatly from workspace virtualization. Whether a company wants more freedom for its employees, lower expenses, or better IT efficiency, workspace virtualization, if implemented correctly, can be a great help.
How much do I need to acquire a virtual platform?
The cost depends on various factors, such as the type and size of the business, the number and configuration of the servers, the choice of the virtualization platform and software, and the level of support and maintenance required. Therefore, there is no definitive answer to this question, but some estimates can be made based on different approaches.
Transitioning your business operations to the virtual environment may be one of the best decisions you can make. Yes, it may have a high cost at the beginning, but it can reduce your overall IT expenses and other operating expenses in the long term.