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:
- Asset lifecycle
- Data Centre and storage facilities
- Network Security
- Wireless and wired network operations
System Tools & Applications
Finally, to successfully manage and run your business successfully you need the appropriate tools and applications in place. This helps to manage data efficiently and maintain smooth operations. Some key applications and tools include as per the IT experts in the business.
- Security software: Security software is essential to keeping networks protected against attacks and malware attacks, protecting data theft as well as unauthorised entry to the network. It helps reduce vulnerabilities which expose it to potentially hazardous attacks while simultaneously offering unrivaled network protection from unauthorised intrusions.
- Network monitoring software: This application monitors networks to identify potential problems or issues as soon as they emerge, helping identify them before becoming severe and quickly solving any that do arise.
- Server Management Software: Server management software helps administrators effectively oversee server assets. It automates tasks, monitors health status and more – giving administrators more time for other important duties.
- Backup and disaster recovery software: Backup and disaster recovery software allows users to back up data for use during an emergency and restore it as required if lost or corrupted; essential protection against potential data disasters.
These are only some of the essential tools and applications needed for an efficient IT infrastructure.
As part of your IT infrastructure selection, it’s crucial that you consider your specific business requirements when making choices about components for it. When answering such inquiries as, for example: “what type of business am I running,”, or “how much data must be stored” etc, once this question has been addressed you can start narrowing your choices until finally finding components suitable to your organization’s requirements.
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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.
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.
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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
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.
How Will IT Infrastructure Planning And Management Assist Your Business?
An effective IT infrastructure is key for your business as every facet relies on it. Failing to do so could cost time, money, and your reputation if left neglected. Below are the benefits that you can as per the suggestions given by the best IT consulting company:
Provide Improve services to clients
Build tools to attract higher revenue customers while engaging your target audience more deeply. Prioritize client relationship management software investments for your IT department as they will serve both purposes.
User experience matters. By designing an easy process for customers to utilize your services and simplifying support efforts when necessary.
When your technology works seamlessly together, business functions more effectively. Your infrastructure plan must include comprehensive communication technology solutions that optimize email, telephone calls and unified messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.
Your employees can now work efficiently from home just as effectively, while information can easily be shared among your team – keeping everyone on the same page and unifying your message.
Your business must have the ability to rapidly respond to customer expectations and changing conditions with cost-efficient results, making business agility key in driving an innovative operation forward.
Maintaining comprehensive IT infrastructure gives your organization the agility needed to adapt quickly to changing conditions, better meet client demands and enhance client experiences. Your IT department should develop an overarching strategy for using all tools used within their purview to support business operations and identify leverage points within those tools that would give it competitive edge.
Enhances Server Efficiency.
Your business runs more efficiently and saves money when its servers use less energy, thus upgrading IT infrastructure helps achieve this objective.
Conduct an annual inventory of your server use. Make sure as much of it runs via virtualization in order to reduce costs and enhance network efficiency. By taking regular inventory of server usage you may reduce costs while increasing network efficiency.
Optimize the potential of your network by having an IT infrastructure plan in place that includes detailed mapping. Doing this will allow you to identify redundancies within the system and make better use of company resources.
Your team will be able to complete tasks more quickly and balance workloads more equitably with ease when IT is optimized, benefitting both bottom lines and talent pools in your office. Without it, there will likely be missed opportunities!
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How IT Infrastructure Relate to Business Growth
As per the best IT consultants in the business, Computing speed, cloud solutions and IT stability will become ever more crucial. This is because your company expands in terms of overall productivity, security and connectivity. It eventually leaves it more susceptible to internet security breaches than before.
Running a successful firm in today’s digital era means taking steps towards digital transformation. To keep pace with consumers, competition, and market developments you must work more efficiently while automating procedures to stay ahead of competitors.
Below are three things every company leader must understand regarding organizational infrastructure and its connection to business success.
Speed to Market
An unstable network can create chaos for companies dealing in digital products. For instance, should connectivity falter and staff start collecting orders that no longer exist, then an organization could find itself facing many angry consumers who refuse to place further orders with them.
With an efficient network system in place, your organization can achieve more. One such goal would be satisfying increased demand when there’s a spike in traffic – faster service means smoother online interactions for clients and your firm!
Accept what research shows and the experts say
New technologies and networks may seem intimidating and daunting when it comes to their implementation and adaptation, yet their data, research, and trends exist for a reason; should your company choose not to follow these, the changes could overwhelm it quickly and leave its businesses reeling behind in response.
Modern network setup requires some expenditure; however, you don’t need to go all-out right off the bat. Instead, start small. Perhaps automating some procedures is your focus or investing in infrastructure for your digital firm will suffice; whatever works – just get moving and modify as required!
Serves Employees As Well
Businesses should aim to design an intuitive workplace workflow and information system. Employees will reap more than merely an improved network connection from modern IT solutions; modern IT can also reduce stress levels and boost productivity through minimal downtime issues with work functions; automated cloud solutions or software providing repetitive functions; as well as technology bridging gaps between processes.
Future Analysis And Insights
Do not neglect planning for future growth of your business. As it expands, additional storage capacity and powerful tools may become essential – make sure your IT infrastructure can scale with you as your enterprise expands!
With these tips in mind, you can design the most efficient IT infrastructure for your business. Once your infrastructure is established, support and continued improvements should follow… As your business evolves and changes, ongoing IT support becomes even more essential; without it you may not be able to update or add features that could benefit the growth and expansion of your site if without IT assistance local companies could not make these updates themselves. In case something goes amiss with the system itself, IT assistance can assist in quickly diagnosing and solving the problem so your website remains operational as soon as possible.
Don’t wait until a network outage or any other IT-related catastrophe to realize the importance of having a flexible IT infrastructure. A firm’s ability to innovate, expand and outshout competitors is determined by how dependable its technologies are.
An advanced network system contains tools, services, and solutions designed to assist your company with bettering business strategy and network operations. Now is the time for businesses to embrace such advancements to adapt with changing markets.
Why is IT infrastructure planning essential for any business?
IT infrastructure management and planning is essential for all businesses today. It assures an efficient and reliable foundation of the technology. Not only this, it also enables smooth operations, enhanced productivity, scalability, and data security, to meet future business needs.
What are the perks of IT infrastructure planning?
There are several benefits that come along with proper management of IT services infrastructure and planning and few of them are reduced downtime, optimized performance, enhanced cybersecurity, cost savings, and more.
How does IT infrastructure management and planning influence business growth?
IT infrastructure management and planning plays an essential role in business growth by offering the necessary technological infrastructure advancement. This leads to support innovation, expansion, and eventually helps one get ahead in the race. It enables agility, scalability, and the ability to leverage emerging advancements to stay ahead.
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