For poker players, stacks refer to piles of chips. Unfortunately for business owners, stacks don’t have the same leisurely connotation. Technology or solution stacks are sets of software components that compose a logically complete platform for running a service or supporting an application. And as modern IT infrastructure becomes increasingly complex, it is becoming common practice to represent and document each element as a part of the “technology stack.”
Harmonizing your technology stack is an integral step to establish a foundation for efficient product delivery. Selecting a tech stack is difficult -- you don’t want to risk committing to the wrong framework since it will cause detrimental consequences in the long run.
Luckily, there are only a few key factors to consider when designing your technology stack. If you aren’t too tech-savvy, it’s easy to find the nearest developer and rely on their advice when it comes to choosing a technology stack. So before you make any sort of decision, you might want to examine the benefits of a standardized IT infrastructure first, that way you can stack the odds in your favor.
Standardizing your IT infrastructure
IT standardization is a strategy that helps minimize an organization's IT expenditure by keeping hardware and software as consistent as possible while reducing the number of tools you have that address the same need. This takes the form of devices that work on the same operating system, or purchasing the same hardware in bulk.
Standardization goes hand-in-hand with centralization -- the process of giving your IT department more control over hardware and software purchases as well as what staff members are allowed to do with their office computers. Imposing equipment standards helps streamline IT infrastructures, simplify decision-making, while minimizing procurement and maintenance costs.
Make centralized purchases
All staff should contribute towards establishing purchasing plans, but purchasing responsibility doesn't go to every department unless they're buying off a predefined list of approved items. Not only does individual purchasing lead to hardware and software incompatibility, it also causes confusion for accounting when it’s time to sort through and reconcile bills from multiple vendors.
Opt for business-class computers
When you're looking to buy new computers, you should consider enterprise models over home editions. That's because manufacturers change the components of their business machines less frequently and will often guarantee configuration for a certain period of time (usually six months).
Avoid compatibility problems
When you're supporting multiple models, finding the right replacement parts and matching it with the right computer is no easy task. Also, the more software and hardware you have, the more often you will experience technical conflicts and errors that are both hard to isolate and fix.
Reduce the burden on IT staff
With each new piece of technology you bring to your organization, your IT department faces a learning curve. If you're supporting four types of antivirus software, each of those applications would require different procedures for updates and patches. This means the troubleshooting and support skills as well as online resources for each application are different.
Track assets with tech inventories
It's extremely helpful when you know the number of computers as well as how old they are, since you accurately estimate how many you need to replace in the upcoming year. Also by utilizing inventories, you'll be able to identify one-off non-standard pieces of hardware and software in your library and dispose of them as soon as possible.
List out “preference” software
It's normal for organizations to create a list of "preference" software that employees can request from the IT department. These applications are supported, but are not installed by default on every machine. Working with a list not only grants you access to specialized software but it also helps control costs as well as complexity.
We at Complete Technology understand that finding the right technology stack isn't the easiest task for small- and medium-sized businesses to accomplish on their own. So if you are still unsure or have unanswered questions, feel free to contact us! We look forward to being your dedicated IT partner and navigating your organization towards greater success.