IT Infrastructure Planning: Why It’s Important for Your Business?

IT infrastructure is the backbone of any company allowing it to serve customers faster and stay operational every time. According to a recent survey by both IBM and Oxford, 70% of the organizations believe proper IT infrastructure management optimizes business productivity and sharpens their competitive advantage. So, as a business leader, it’s important you don’t consider IT infrastructure just as a support system in your business. The present COVID-19 pandemic is a great example where companies with properly managed IT infrastructure made a smooth and secure transition to the cloud for running their remote operations. It’s imperative for you to work with expert IT consulting companies to lay down a solid IT strategy for proper infrastructure management.

The article will help you understand the importance of IT infrastructure planning and how you can build a better technology infrastructure for your business. Read on: 

What is IT Infrastructure Management?

Before explaining IT infrastructure management, let’s first discuss what IT infrastructure is?

IT infrastructure, in simplest terms, refers to a combination of hardware, software, and network components that are used to support the delivery of IT-enabled processes and business systems.

IT infrastructure management deals with monitoring, controlling, and safeguarding key infrastructure elements that are critical for the delivery of key business services. These elements mainly include software applications and networking components. However, the primary focus of IT infrastructure management remains on physical components like networking hardware, data storage facilities, and so on.

Because of the high degree of complexity of IT infrastructure, it is usually broken down into three categories primarily: systems management, network management, and storage management. But the motive remains the same: reduce downtime, install robust security, and maintain business productivity.

IT Infrastructure Teams are generally responsible for managing the following IT elements in an organization: 

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Asset lifecycle
  • Data Centre and storage facilities
  • Network Security
  • Wireless and wired network operations
  • Etc.

Importance of IT Infrastructure Planning

Improving IT Design Making

If you are not managing your IT infrastructure on your own, chances are pretty high you don’t know about how your IT environment is performing, or what are the technology security loopholes that are slowing down your mission-critical business operations. IT leaders often remain unaware of their company’s IT vulnerabilities until disaster strikes. By managing your IT infrastructure properly, you can identify the ill-performing systems and upgrade them to mitigate future risks. It also lets you plan and strategize better for future IT emergencies like network failure, server overload, data storage issues, and so on.

Limiting Corporate Disasters

IT network failures can occur even when you’ve taken necessary precautions to avoid it. But, you can minimize such instances greatly by taking IT infrastructure management seriously. How? You can put emergency systems in place that regulate, monitor and identify vulnerabilities in your IT environment before any mishap happens. For example, you can monitor your system backups for a large amount of recently changed files to detect ransom ware. Install critical systems in your IT setting that provides regular updates about data security, backups, and network failure.

Enhancing Customer Experiences

Staying aware of your IT infrastructure all the time helps you improve customer service level and response times. Frequent breakdown and communication failure results in low customer satisfaction towards your business. Having a robust IT infrastructure ensures end users are notified in advance about the upcoming system maintenance activities to avoid inconvenience and surprises.

Bolstering Productivity

Proper IT infrastructure management also lets you run your business smoothly in events of business data loss or corruption due to outside attacks. You can recover such data in due time through backups after disaster strikes. This ensures your employee keeps working and responding to customer queries without missing a beat.

Reducing Operational Costs

When IT disasters happen, unexpected costs arrive side-by-side. Making a better prediction about upcoming disasters and planning accordingly is also possible when you manage your IT infrastructure properly. Some might argue that infrastructure management is itself a costly affair. But with managed infrastructure services, you can cut down the overall costs. You can team up with an experienced professional IT services company to map out a solid IT strategic plan for taking care of your entire infrastructure. This will avoid unnecessary downtime, data loss, and other security incidents at your business.

How to Achieve Success in IT Infrastructure Management for Your Business

Adjusting your infrastructure internally can help you reduce the time, effort, and resources required for building a secure IT environment. By simplifying your IT processes and equipment, your team will be able to better identify the security risks and eliminate them without falling into a cyber trap. A solid IT infrastructure also enables your teams to communicate effectively about the network security risks:

Below are a few strategies you can follow to improve your IT infrastructure: 

1. Map Your IT Infrastructure with Business Objectives

For better IT infrastructure planning, it’s important that you know what your organization is trying to achieve in the first place. Having clarity about your business goals, mission and objectives allows you to map your infrastructure components or systems to wider organizational results. If you’re an IT administrator, talk to your senior leaders and see what metrics matter the most for organizational success. Here two metrics are generally usage by IT administrators:

Primary Driver: These IT infrastructure components are directly responsible for enabling change in your business objectives

Secondary Driver: These are the infrastructure components on which the primary factor directly relies on.

Here is an example of a better explanation: 

A website that runs on a web server directly impacts the sales revenue of a company. Here the web server relies directly on the networking and data center capabilities, so it would be the primary drier while the latter two will be considered as secondary drivers:

Business Metric: Sales Revenue

Source: Online Storefront/ Ecommerce Website

Primary Infrastructure Driver:  Website/ Server

Secondary Drivers: Network Data Center Capability

2. Involve Right Number of People

Often, companies neglect the idea of hiring an adequate number of IT personnel and system administrators, The idea is to cut down costs so they can invest in other strategic areas. But, remember if you throw IT infrastructure management off, it can harm your reputation badly. Fixing data losses or breach incidents after they happen can cost way more than establishing security measures beforehand. So, don’t compromise on your IT team size. One more factor to consider is your server size. The industry standard promotes one admin over 10 physical servers. In SMBs, the quotes are 30:1 for physical servers and 80:1 for virtual ones.

3. Build A Scalable IT Infrastructure

Your IT infrastructure should be built in a way that supports your future expansion needs. As your business grows, your network traffic and data storage capabilities should improve and accommodate the changes in terms of users and data. When planning for storage, think of two down the line at least, not what is in front of you today. This doesn’t mean you should install unnecessary capacity in your network that overrun budget. Anticipate what your business requirements would look like after five years and accordingly plan your infrastructure. Try to integrate performance and capacity monitoring systems to track your usage over time.

4. Document Everything

Over Customizing your IT infrastructure is never a good idea. Customizability may work for your existing members, but not for the ones who are recently joining your IT staff or taking over a management position. Strive for simplicity, not complexity when planning infrastructure from the ground-up. Think of it in this way if you remove yourself as a business owner, CIO, or CEO from day-to-day operations – will your IT skeleton fall apart. To make the entire process transparent, simple, and outright – document everything. Good documentation is the primary foundation of running your IT infrastructure smoothly.

5. Prefer IT Infrastructure as a Service

When you lack time and resources, you can opt for  IT Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS is one of the types of cloud computing services where a third-party service provider hosts your business applications, hardware, servers, storage, and other IT components in a cloud environment. It helps you cut down costs related to system maintenance, backup, and updates. Lack of control over operations and data security remains the key issue here.

6. Team up with IT Infrastructure Experts

This is an extension of the above point. Managed IT Infrastructure services is always a good option when you’re not in a position to manage everything on your own. Making a choice between in-house and outsourced IT infrastructure management is difficult. You should bring in the expertise of an expert IT consulting Services Company when you lack specialized resources. They can help you at every step from auditing, designing to implementing IT systems architecture. An expert IT consultant set-up everything for you from a single server environment to multi-site, high-performing clusters.

With the right expert at your disposal, you can tap into valuable partnerships that guarantee the success of your IT infrastructure. For example, we at A3logics have established long-standing IT agreements with many of the popular companies across industries. We know exactly what it takes to safeguard and bullet-proof our client’s IT infrastructure against outside threats.

Ready to build a secure IT infrastructure for your business? Drop us a line to get started.