As a child and still to this day, I had a misty-eyed fascination with the art of Retrofuturism. First popularised in the 1940s, and further again in the dawn of the great American Space Race, it was an artistic movement that imagined a future of polished chrome surfaces, flying cars, impossible architecture, and pristine blue skies: a veritable sci-fi utopia.
As time went on, the worlds of art and sci-fi would imagine numerous new directions for the future. From the murky, neon-lit cyberpunk of Blade Runner to the comical, colourful satire of Futurama, we could pick or choose our favourite vision of the future at will.
If only the same could be said of our business IT. Technology’s an industry forever searching for surprising new developments to take the world by storm, so when the Next Big Thing comes along, it pays to be prepared for it as best as you can.
Previously, we’ve discussed Developing Your Company’s IT Strategy, a short and sweet look at how to get the wheels turning on your next big tech transformation – so now, let’s dive a little further into your strategy and see how to protect your solution from an unfamiliar future. Set phasers to stun…
Keep a Head in the Clouds
“Keep looking. Keep watching the skies” – Ned Scott, The Thing from Another World
The amount of data we retain and manage every day isn’t slowing down, and it’s only going to grow further into the future. Therefore, you want a cloud solution that does two things: first, you’ll want it to provide ample storage now and in the future; second, you’ll want it to be flexible and adaptable to the technology of tomorrow.
A hybrid cloud system is an efficient and economical starting option for small to medium businesses, allowing you to move as much data as is needed between your on-site servers and your off-site storage. This allows you to manage the costs of your internal and external storage accordingly, keep your important data safe and take an adaptable approach to your data when unexpected disruptions occur.
Don't Just Prepare for Disruption - Tackle it
“I’m not just in the business. I am the business” – Rachael, Blade Runner
As we mentioned in our article on Business Longevity companies such as MySpace and Nokia failed to adapt to the future of their industries, and suffered as a result.
Luckily, however competitive the market becomes, compatibility will always be a major selling point for any big tech advances, and this can be used to your advantage. Invest in proven, popular technologies and widely adopted software - no emerging tech outside of this century’s Spinning Jenny will forego compatibility with the biggest household names.
Once any invaluable new technology arrives, you’ll want to look to the past to have it work for you in the future.
Don’t Buy into Everything
Shut up and take my money!” – Fry, Futurama
It’s better to adopt winning tech later than to bank everything on the wrong horse, so don’t jump on every new development you see.
Take VR, for example. It took more than one attempt to get right, and even now its adoption is steady, if sustainable. However incredible its offerings, VR prospers only in certain sectors and circumstances, and smart businesses would rather wait for a broader solution than splash out on superfluous tech.
Keep a keen yet tentative eye on emerging technical trends, and only adopt them at the appropriate time. Too early, and they won’t be fit for purpose; too late, and they’ll fail to meet demands.
Survey Your World, Not Only Your Tech
“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!” – Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Political, societal, and legal challenges have a far greater impact on your strategy than you’d think. The EU’s GDPR legislation dramatically changed how we store and manage our data, for example. Yet the reverse is also true, and tech itself has created a whole new set of regulations as their uses become more widespread. Drones have captured the public’s imagination, but have since become subject to constantly evolving laws and guidance by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Laws will impact disruptive technology, and technology itself will impact the law. It pays to survey the long-reaching consequences of new or emerging tech, to plan your solutions around them and to anticipate legislation further down the line – you’ll hear them through the grapevine long before they’re confirmed.
It’s impossible to predict the future of your business, or the devices and software that’ll run it - but at the very least, you can learn from experience. Keep an eye not only on your tech but the attitudes of the public, cast a critical judgement on the latest industry disruptions and don’t be afraid to look to the provisions of past, before leaping into the solutions of the future.
If you're looking to take your IT Infrastructure into a bold new world, why not get in touch with the award-winning team at Mirus?
We partner with small to medium sized businesses to deliver an IT strategy that’s structured and supported from start to finish - with exceptional customer support.
Contact us today for a FREE IT Infrastructure Assessment, without obligation.