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Opinion: Four reasons why server modernisation is the way to go

Timothy Ngui, CIO, Ghim Li (Global) Pte Ltd | July 15, 2015
How the bet Singapore-based international textile and apparel company Ghim Li made to modernise has paid off.

Futureproofing the business
What I'd like to share is that not modernising is tantamount to closing the doors on positive disruptive technologies such as mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and social. These were classified as the top four disruptors to organisations, according to a Microsoft Asia Pacific Survey of 291 IT decision-makers across Asia Pacific.

An outdated IT ecosystem severely limited Ghim Li's ability to innovate and implement newer game-changing solutions such as IoT and mobility. As a global textile and apparel business, there is a lot of gatekeeping that occurs between a textile going into a factory and actual garments coming out. Line leaders, supervisors and factory managers all conduct checks and a lot goes on behind the scene to ensure that the final garment we ship out meets our customers' exacting standards. There is much effort that occurs to meet targets, and pieces that fall short of our own internal quality standards need to be corrected before they can be sold.

By deploying a mobility solution along with a few devices down the production line, we can vastly improve transparency by collecting data upfront on the production floor and utilise the cloud to analyse that data. This will alert us when something does go wrong the moment a pattern emerges, essentially saving us time and money on correcting mistakes or in replacing defective raw materials. This scenario could have taken place sooner if we upgraded earlier to a modern server operating system.

Migration is simpler than you think
So what's the takeaway? Well, if there is one thing that holds people back from modernising, it is inertia. There's a common misconception that migration is a long, tedious and frustrating endeavour. For me and my team, that was not the case. It took us just 60 days to migrate our 37 servers. The biggest challenge the team faced was pushing our software vendors to ensure that their software was patched for use with Windows Server 2012. It took some prodding to get the support we needed, but this was far from a sticking point.

With the modernisation process as painless as it was for my team, I greatly recommend my peers to rethink their stance on refreshing their old, outdated systems. The host of benefits this brings can never be discounted.

Timothy Ngui is the Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Services at Ghim Li Global Pte Ltd. In addition to overseeing the organisation's IT infrastructure, he also has oversight of the Group's Human resource Management, Legal, Administrative and Corporate Services.


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