Virtual vs. Hardware Sprawl
Many businesses, big and small, find themselves faced with the issue of hardware sprawl: as tech goes out of date or maintenance falls behind, many companies acquire new machines without getting rid of the old ones. BYOD policies, which we’ve discussed quite a bit on the blog, play their own roles in multiplying the pieces of hardware that access or store company data. Larger companies especially find the task of tracking and maintaining these devices time-intensive, since each employee may have multiple pieces of tech that they use for work.
Virtualization can be the answer for some businesses, but virtualizing doesn’t necessarily mean that sprawl problems will disappear. There is such a thing as virtual sprawl, after all. Virtual systems and machines can take the place of hardware, and can offer employees a secure place in which to work and access company resources, while also giving them freedom to work from multiple physical locations. But virtual machines can add up, too, and so can unused and outdated software and applications. Piling up software and applications that are unused or outdated can be a serious drain on your resources–just like extraneous hardware can.
Virtual machines and networks aren’t a magic bullet that solve all of a company’s problems. Like any technology, if used improperly, they can actually make things more difficult. And as with many workplace technology shifts, planning and efficient resource allocation are essential to make the transition worth it.
Anything that takes up space and isn’t used is a waste of time, money, and other company resources. If it’s taxing your system, it’s time to let it go.