By: Jake Schulte, Networks Plus IT Manager
Because Information Technology (IT) is always evolving, hardware manufacturers and software developers are always coming out with something new to replace what exists today. Consequently, hardware gets old and outdated, and software running on the machines needs updated.
If you don’t have a plan in place to maintain your IT infrastructure, now is the time. Instead of being caught unaware and not being sure what to do next, your company will be in the position to allow IT to drive your business forward.
What is considered IT infrastructure?
IT infrastructure refers to the mechanisms required to operate and manage the IT environment. This includes both infrastructure within the organization’s facility and cloud infrastructure. A few examples include Active Directory servers, App servers, firewalls, switches, wireless, computers, backup services, operating systems, and software. While each component of IT infrastructure has its own unique role, they all work together to deliver performance, efficiency, and uptime to drive business functions.
When it comes to managing business IT infrastructure, companies need to take a holistic approach and think about the big picture, rather than having tunnel vision and only focusing on individual components, such as improving performance. Without all the essentials in place, companies make themselves more susceptible to risks that could halt all business functions.
My recommendation when it comes to setting up and managing IT infrastructure is to consult with an experienced IT Team who can provide the proper guidance and support that’s needed.
Infrastructure’s Role in Business Performance
There are many ways IT infrastructure plays a role in how a business performs by making sure the necessary equipment and software are in place to drive business functions. For example, if a server doesn’t have adequate computing power and storage to fit the requirements of the software applications running, performance will suffer. Each line-of-business application that is used by a company requires resources to operate. If the business fails to meet the system requirements and does not have the needed resources, operating system, or software to make the application work, it can be extremely costly and business performance will be negatively influenced.
Another example is security services that protect your data. If your company is hacked and your data is compromised, the situation can dramatically impact the company’s ability to perform job functions– not to mention its reputation. Businesses need a layered approach to security that includes both a firewall and advanced endpoint security software on their computers.
Leveraging Infrastructure to Drive Business Performance
With IT infrastructure, technology has significantly evolved in recent years. A business shouldn’t continue making decisions today based off of what made sense 5 or 10 years ago. There are likely better, more cost-effective options available. Explore all the options, both on-premise and cloud solutions, prior to making IT decisions.
Take time to assess all your options. Just because an infrastructure solution works well for one company, does not mean it’s the right fit for your organization. It’s best not to rush into any decisions when considering purchasing or replacing existing infrastructure.
Furthermore, do not make decisions based off of up-front costs alone. Consult with an IT Team that can give the proper guidance to make sure you’re getting the infrastructure you need to run your business, while also not overspending on things that are not needed.
Networks Plus provides services for all aspects of IT Infrastructure. We recognize that every organization is unique in what they have to offer, and we treat IT infrastructure the same way. There is never a “one-size-fits-all” solution. We consult with our customers to put them in a position to make well-education decisions for what makes the most sense for them. Our role is to identify all possible solutions, the costs and benefits associated with each one, the risks associated with each solution as it relates to the customer’s business, and share that with the customer so they know what they’re getting and what to expect of it.
When it comes to IT Infrastructure, my recommendation for all businesses is to plan ahead and budget appropriately. IT budgets are not solely for enterprise organizations. All small and medium-sized businesses should have a plan in place to understand what they need, why they need it, and the budget resources to make it happen.