8 ways a standard operating environment improves IT efficiency

In today’s digital businesses, IT organizations are expected to deliver more services at a faster pace than ever before. However, an IT environment built on multiple operating systems (OSs) creates complexity that can delay provisioning, increase downtime, and create security and compliance risks.

Follow these 8 approaches to implement a standard operating environment (SOE) that can help reduce your IT complexity to increase business agility, enhance focus on security, address skills gaps, and gain operational efficiency.

1  Determine your standardization strategy

A primary goal of standardization is to increase consistency and reduce complexity within your IT environment. Determining the right approach for your organization will help you create a single, standard set of operating procedures that can streamline operations and improve productivity.

2  Document your assets continuously

Documentation provides a critical record of how your IT environment works. A poor understanding of your IT environment can cause outages, failed migrations, and significantly delay repairs. Standardization simplifies the documentation needed for your organization, allowing you to find and follow key steps more easily.

3 Balance standardization with flexibility

IT flexibility is essential to meeting ongoing business demands. While there are many benefits to standardizing your IT environment, too much standardization can impede flexibility and agility. Finding the right balance requires careful analysis to develop a reasonable number of core configurations.

4 Automate your IT environment

Automating administrative tasks reduces the time and effort needed to provision new resources and services. Free IT staff from management tasks and give them more time for innovation. As a result, organizations see faster rollout of new applications, reduced security and compliance risks, and lower costs.

5 Contain misconfigurations 

Misconfigurations occur when procedures and standards are not properly implemented, communicated, or followed. An SOE promotes consistency and helps you contain misconfigurations by enforcing policies across your IT operations. Clear configuration policy helps reduce security and compliance risks and minimizes 

6 Prepare for system failures

By designing and implementing resilient services, you can mitigate system failures. Running resilient services on an SOE gives you even more protection. Greater system consistency and reduced complexity reduces the risk of operational delays and security issues and increases your ability to manage them efficiently when they do occur.

7 Scale dynamically to meet changing demands

Static infrastructures cannot keep up with high demands, but over-provisioning capacity to meet peak demand can deplete your budget. An SOE lets you dynamically scale resources across your environment. A shared foundation allows systems to be assigned to more than one application. This helps you maintain more efficient infrastructure while trimming expenses.

8 Increase focus on security with a layered strategy

Layering security throughout your IT environment can increase its resistance to breaches. An SOE simplifies protection by requiring fewer system variations. This simplifies how you implement security measures and integrate security solutions, gives you more control over your IT environment, and streamlines the process of keeping systems up to date with the latest security patches.

Standardization is a key strategy for flexible and efficient IT. An SOE built around an enterprise open source OS, such as Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, can help you reduce your infrastructure management complexity, increase business agility, focus on security, address skills gaps, and gain operational efficiency.

Learn more about how IT standardization can help you.