The most common mistake made in IT is not knowing the requirements to implement technology. However, the real problem usually starts with not understanding business needs and/or having some kind of staunch bias.
Take a website for example. Most people review various sites they like and have it built using whatever technology has the best pitch. Today there is no point in having a website without knowing how customers will find it or a clear call to action when they do. Gone are the days of the spaghetti PHP code and custom content management. Business people should be well versed in common Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and feel comfortable using any WYSIWYG editor for simple updates.
Now that Windows 7 is becoming prevalent, many are finding that third-party anti-virus products no longer function or must be upgraded. The old habit of throwing an anti-virus console on a domain controller is not supported by Microsoft and nearly all security products now require a server of their own.
2010 is a big transition year for 32bit to 64bit architecture. While most server applications are now 64bit, workstations and remote desktop services should remain 32bit to match the prevalent applications. Otherwise, applications will actually run much slower due to the conversion called thunking.
The dirty secret of virtualization is applications like Exchange and SQL are only supported under HyperV. Novices often try to get away with only one host and don’t provision enough memory or network cards to support the load, much less consider storage for data or failover.
There is much confusion over hosting versus cloud computing. Moving servers to hosted rack space is a good solution for things like e-commerce sites. However, it doesn’t fit for general network and line of business applications as slow and error prone VPNs are often required with costly charges for bandwidth, rack space, server maintenance, and backup. On the other hand cloud computing offers things like Exchange online for $5 per month per user.
Knowing requirements allows management to make informed business decisions concerning technology while saving time and money.