Throughout the fall, HK technology staff members have been hard at work upgrading the platform that delivers our website. We’ve also begun a major hardware replacement to the storage systems where our files and data live.
Many people wonder why we undertake these types of initiatives, given the months of planning, development, quality testing, and implementing required before we can make the changes live. For our website and storage projects, the reasons are very different.
Human Kinetics uses a sophisticated web content management system. We’ve developed a strong partnership with the system’s developers, who continually update the software as part of their own development road map. Our partnership also ensures they develop features that meet our particular business needs. To keep current on the software, we have to undergo periodic upgrades.
The latest upgrade improves customers’ experiences with HK and makes our website a powerful marketing and e-commerce tool. Specifically, it brings completely new search functionality, lays the foundation for improvements to our website video delivery offerings, and allows us to begin working in earnest on responsive design, which relates to a website’s ability to detect the type of device a customer is using to browse a site (a desktop PC, a tablet, or a smart phone, for instance). When the site determines the device, it automatically adjusts the display to ensure that the customer has the best browsing experience possible. As a result, our customers will receive a shopping and viewing experience that is best suited for them.
When the geeks in the technology group start talking about the storage upgrade project, people’s eyes start to glaze over. Most people aren’t interested in where files are stored as long as the files are available when needed. But what if the files weren’t accessible? That scenario would be devastating to HK’s business. We buy, create, produce, and sell content, all of which is stored in files on our storage networks. Our entire business is run through databases, software applications, and websites stored on these systems.
When you start thinking about it in those terms, there’s no doubt that we need to take care of the systems that store our data. We have more than 50,000,000 files using more than 60 terabytes of disk space. In addition to giving us greater capacity, the upgrade we are embarking on will provide greater stability, faster retrieval times, and reduced support costs—not to mention the welcome peace of mind from knowing our assets are stored safely on current hardware.