When it comes to managing IT infrastructure, there are a lot of moving parts. Because of this, it’s easy to lose out on efficiency as so many different elements are at play, and you need to switch between options regularly in order to get your work done. It’s a good idea to regularly conduct audits of your use of IT to see if there are ways to improve effectiveness and efficiency. The following will explore several things you need to keep in mind when you’re managing information technology in the workplace.
Table of Contents
What Is IT Infrastructure?
IT stands for information technology, and it refers to the use of tech to sort out issues within businesses or organizations, often on a wide scale. Any work that requires the use of a computer then uses information technology. In many workplaces, there is an entire team dedicated to ensuring that this technology is functioning and any issues that arise are dealt with. This evolved out of the need that many specialized employees have for technology in their daily work tasks. If a doctor also needed to be able to fix the computer he was working on if it crashed, it would be a lot harder to become a doctor, and there would be countless hours spent away from treating patients. The solution was to hire someone else (or a team) who specializes in the particular type of technology being used by the company.
IT infrastructure, therefore, is any of the hardware, software, and systems used as part of incorporating information technology into your business. Hardware can include things like the physical computer, routers, servers, hubs, and data centers. Software includes things like web servers, operating systems, content management systems, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management. Infrastructure can also refer to facilities or physical plants dedicated to providing space for hardware (including cabling throughout a building).
Understand Your Needs
Before you begin managing your IT infrastructure, you need to understand what purposes it’s fulfilling in your workplace. Almost certainly, every department will be using tech to address different needs, so you might have to speak with department heads individually. Whenever you’re considering an alteration to the systems you have in place, return to this list of needs and ensure that you’re not leaving anyone out. This step will also help you have functional conversations with IT parts or systems providers if you need that later on.
Internal Or External IT
Depending on the size of your needs and your budget, you might want to consider the location of your IT team more carefully. You have two options in this regard; you can have an IT team in-house that only deals with your workplace, or you can hire an IT team from a company that specializes in providing IT services to other businesses. If you’re unsure which option best suits your particular business, you can have a conversation with an IT consulting firm. More than likely, a firm with a bit of experience will have encountered a business of your size with your needs before and will have a good idea of what works most smoothly in similar instances.
In-House Or Cloud-Based IT
The other major decision that you’ll need to make when optimizing your IT infrastructure is how much of it you wish to move to the cloud. The cloud is a cute term for software and storage that is saved online. It feels like you’re storing things up in the clouds, which is where the name comes from. Your email, for example, includes elements of cloud storage; the messages are not taking up space on your computer, they exist outside your computer, and you access them via the web. Businesses have a plethora of cloud-based options to help reduce the need for physical servers and storage space in-house. In particular, one of the benefits of cloud-based storage is that you don’t lose the files or data should your computer or external hard drive be harmed. If there’s a fire, flood, earthquake, or nasty coffee incident, everything is safe as it’s not stored on your computer; it’s somewhere else and can be accessed by any computer with the right password and security measures taken.
Cyberthreats are growing exponentially, and no company is safe. If you’re collecting any data at all regarding your customers or your employees, you have a responsibility to protect that data from cyber attacks. Whenever making IT decisions, it is absolutely vital that you look into the safety and security of each decision before making your final choice.
The above tips should help you sort through the different IT options available and select the ones that are right for you and your business. If you want things that work efficiently, you need to be making decisions with your needs and preferences in mind.