While working technology selection projects, one feature that I like to look at is flexibility. In the past, flexibility wasn’t exactly a feature that was touted by many vendors, but in recent years, we’ve seen more folks highlight their solutions as being flexible, customizable and able to do multiple functions for a business.
Flexibility – if designed and implemented correctly – is ideal for technology solutions and is wonderful for IT groups since we are constantly being asked to do more with less. Flexibility allows IT groups to choose solutions and approaches that best fit their current needs and best prepare for their future needs. Building solutions that are flexible is good business. It is good business for the vendors and good business for IT groups.
There will always be a need to replace some systems as an organization evolves, but selecting and implementing a solution that can change and evolve over time helps the business grow more efficiently without having to replace all systems regularly. Solutions with flexibility as a feature allow organizations to focus their time and resources on growing the business, not changing out systems and solutions every few years.
One of the best examples of flexibility as a feature can be found in cloud computing. When I use the cloud, I can design a solution that uses best-of-breed today and be confident that i can easily replace and tweak the systems in that solution as needed moving forward. When I need more processing power, I push a button. When I need more storage, again…I push a button.
Compare the above to on-premises systems. You can’t quite just push a button when you need more processing power or storage…you have to find more hardware, install it and add it to the system (or re-purpose other hardware in your data center). The same is true for storage…you may have plenty of storage today, but what about next year? How will you add storage to your already full data center?
Flexibility as a feature is what every CIO and IT Professional is looking for today. We are being asked to do more with less and need to be able to use our systems and solutions in different ways as we grow and change.
Is your organization looking for ‘flexibility’ as a feature set in your technology selection projects?