IT infrastructure, as we know it, is changing rapidly. What we once knew as concrete ten years ago, has now morphed into a completely new set of challenges and possibilities for today’s businesses. The landscape continues to grow at an increasingly rapid rate, and brick and mortar establishments that are not willing to invest in their future risk getting left behind by the next generation of competitors who see the value in cutting-edge IT. 

But where should you start? Cloud computing? In-store experience? 

The answer paints a much bigger picture than one-off solutions. The truth is that for businesses to stay relevant in a world that’s exponentially changing, they must adopt a flexible IT infrastructure which can grow to become agile, able to pivot and adapt at a moment’s notice. 

Antiquated Infrastructure

In the past, companies only had to manage a minuscule amount of data compared to today’s needs. Credit card numbers, basic POS, and security protocols demanded an extra server here and there, but overall, weren’t a deal-breaker for brick and mortar establishments to continue serving customers to the best of their abilities. As a result, many companies have IT infrastructures which haven’t really kept up with the times. 

With technology expanding at the rate it is now, however, those same infrastructures are struggling to accommodate innovation. Staying up to date on the constant influx of new technologies demands an IT infrastructure that is resilient. For example, if the majority of your data is still currently being stored on in-house servers, it’ll be nearly impossible for your business to gather and use data in the same way your competitors are. Switching to a flexible infrastructure is an investment that will pay off for years to come, and is the best way to prepare for future technological innovations which could really make an impact on your business.

Data Overload

Today, we see a stark contrast to previous norms. Businesses are handling more data than ever before, and need to rely on sophisticated means to parse, analyze, and make use of it. The volume is so large that it can’t be readily managed by any one system. This leads the businesses to rely on a network of outside partners and vendors to help do the heavy lifting – Something they would be unable to accomplish with a network that doesn’t plan for growth and has the capacity to change with the needs of the market.

The trend is only going to increase in the coming years. As new methods of data collection emerge such as tracking in-store movement through beacons, they’re going to bring even more opportunities for third-party vendors like Microsoft’s AI division to come in and make sense of all of that information. 

Software-Defined Networking

Because of factors like this immense data growth, hardware-defined networking is quickly becoming antiquated. Replacing it with a software-based approach not only makes sense from a current usage perspective, but it also points your business in the right direction for future growth. 

Unlike its predecessor, software-defined networking opens the door for quick turnarounds and rapid scalability. If a new technology is gaining traction, this method of networking can easily grow to accommodate it, as opposed to the extreme difficulties associated with adopting the same advancement on a hardware-based system. 

The Importance of a Flexible Infrastructure

A resilient and redundant network is extremely important for fostering a conducive IT environment that can meet the ever-changing demands of the industry. With the direction our world is moving, we simply can’t afford to remain complacent when it comes to our IT Infrastructure. Defining our networks through software will vastly improve both performance and productivity, leading the way for your business to enter the new reality of consumer culture.

Our team specializes in putting together compelling IT Infrastructures, which improve your store’s bottom line. If your business is interested in taking its IT infrastructure initiatives to the next level, we encourage you to schedule a meeting with our team using the Calendly plug-in on the upper right corner of this page. We’ll reach out to discuss your unique business goals so that we can begin crafting a solution that best fits your needs. If you’d like to read more of our thoughts on trends for brick and mortar locations, check out our blog here