From scheduling production and monitoring real-time performance to reviewing costs and margins – these are just some of the everyday challenges facing meat manufacturers. Technology solutions like food ERP software are vital to operational success, but just as consumer demands change, so does technology.
With older complex legacy systems providing inflexibility to change and newer cloud-based systems providing more advanced possibilities, the ability to keep systems up to date is becoming more complex. This explains why many businesses are turning to an Evergreen IT strategy and a Managed Services Provider (MSP).
Importance of an evergreen IT strategy
With the digital world constantly developing and evolving, updates are more frequent than ever. Rather than traditional IT migrations requiring ‘big bang’ updates every now and then, evergreen IT management makes continuous upgrades and improvements.
By implementing an evergreen IT strategy, you’ll benefit from:
Smaller, iterative updates
As the updates will be rolled out on a more frequent basis (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc), it means they tend to be smaller. This improves any compatibility issues as smaller changes means faster updates.
It also provides a better experience for employees because up-to-date systems means access to new features and functionalities. These new updates could bring an easier way for your employees to analyse data which boosts productivity.
Successful internal change
With any system migration or update, some internal processes and policies may need to be reviewed. Having an MSP on board will optimise the success of the transition and automate changes wherever possible.
Reduce downtime and maximise uptime
Without an evergreen IT strategy, updates often come as one ‘big bang’. This can result in downtime as major changes are made and employees may need to adapt to a completely new process or infrastructure. This reinforces the benefit of smaller, iterative updates.
It’s better to work with an MSP
Staying evergreen is a complex and never ending process which can be difficult to achieve in-house. Not all businesses have the manpower, resources and expert knowledge in-house to do so. This is why businesses choose to work with an MSP.
Some key benefits include:
Access to 24/7 support
Knowing your MSP is constantly monitoring your systems will give you piece of mind. Any issues will be picked up and resolved much quicker, allowing you to focus on other important areas of your business.
For example, if you develop an issue during out of hours, it’s easy to log a ticket at the service desk for your MSP to resolve the issue.
Reduce downtime and increase revenue
Systems can easily fall victim to a security breach or process breakdown as a result of it not being kept up to date (evergreen). For example, if your network goes down and you're not able to conduct regular temperature checks on your refrigerators and freezers, it can have a big impact on your food and energy waste.
In fact, manufacturers lose up to £180 billion a year through lost productivity.
This highlights how important it is to minimise downtime. An MSP will mitigate the threat as they monitor your systems round-the-clock and proactively solve issues before they become a problem.
Ultimately, keeping all systems ‘evergreen’ will boost revenue.
Reduce security fears
Cisco reported that 31% of businesses experienced cyber attacks on their operational infrastructure. Employing fixed team members can be expensive and so can the consequences of a breach, whereas MSPs will provide security experts with the capabilities of monitoring your systems round-the-clock.
Their expertise and resources will become an extension of yours, minus the costs associated with recruitment or paying the salaries of in-house staff. MSPs offer you the opportunity to scale up and down without significant upfront or ongoing costs, whilst also providing that constant surveillance.
Having an MSP relieves you from the burden of handling business as usual tasks. This will leave you with more time and resources to strategically plan for the future of your business, knowing your systems are working and up to date.
The market is moving towards evergreen IT. Are you?
Evergreen IT management is becoming a necessity for businesses as opposed to optional. Advances in technology and business applications require a higher level of expertise to manage which, for many businesses, is too costly to manage in-house.
At Columbus, we’ve bundled together the three key services that will help you stay in control and better manage the complex evergreen process. They include the following:
- Secure update
- Release management
- Automated testing
Follow the link below to learn how they can benefit your business.