Why is effective IT infrastructure management so important for businesses?
A solid IT infrastructure is fundamental for any business relying on a combination of hardware and software to deliver products or services.
For example, if you run a small delivery company, there’s a good chance you utilize various platforms to manage inventory, track packages, monitor drivers’ routes, interact with customers, etc. And you’ll need quality computers and stable connections to do that.
All of these individual components work together to form your IT infrastructure. If one or more of these are outdated or a bad fit for your operations, that’s a sign of poor infrastructure management — and your entire business could be affected.
But what constitutes good IT infrastructure management?
What is effective IT infrastructure management?
Effective IT infrastructure management involves combining individual components that work harmoniously together and empower teams to perform at their best.
It’s about stepping back and thinking carefully about how physical and digital components may help or hinder operations. Are your servers outdated and causing potential security risks? Does your internet connection drop regularly and disrupt your user experience?
Good management hinges on asking these (and many other) questions, finding a solution, and making positive changes for the good of your business.
The nature of infrastructure management varies depending on whether you work with a traditional or cloud infrastructure:
- traditional infrastructure encompasses servers, computers, enterprise application software, data centers
- cloud infrastructure is accessed online: teams can use software, data storage, and other essential tools wherever they have an internet connection
What are the benefits of good IT infrastructure management?
Ensure hardware is updated to be safer and more efficient
Any hardware you use should be safe, secure, and fully functional. It’s no good forcing your employees to complete tasks on computers that are too old to run the software they rely on properly. Or using a server that struggles to accommodate the number of users visiting your site every day.
One of the biggest dangers of using hardware in need of an upgrade or replacement is increased vulnerability to cybersecurity attacks.
Cyber criminals leverage cutting-edge technologies and techniques to target businesses. Ransomware has become a common threat to Canadian companies, accounting for more than 57 percent of cyber attacks (when the type of attack was known) in Canada throughout 2020 .
Ransomware attacks lock users out of specific programs or entire networks. They may be forced to work with reduced capabilities — or be unable to work at all.
Other risks include:
- phishing scams
- DDoS attacks
Effective IT infrastructure management ensures all hardware is updated to reduce the risk of security breaches.
Cultivate a streamlined and efficient technological environment
Your current IT infrastructure might be the best it can be. You might have made the smartest choices in buying the ideal physical components for your team. You may have the perfect operating system and install updates as soon as they’re released.
But you also might not.
Instead, your current IT infrastructure may be a burden. You might be constantly calling technicians to your office to repair your server or relying on help desks to troubleshoot issues that could be fixed by upgrading to newer systems.
All this will harm your productivity and reduce your efficiency. Time you spend trying to resolve unnecessary problems could be better spent elsewhere.
A major part of great IT infrastructure management is choosing your physical and digital components so well that your team has everything it needs. Employees should be able to access software, complete tasks, communicate with clients, and do whatever they have to without having to jump those same technical hurdles.
Reduce risks of disruptive downtime
When things go wrong with your IT infrastructure, even if it’s something small, you face downtime.
This can affect businesses in different ways. Perhaps you can’t access your CMS and have no idea which customers were promised a callback. Maybe your VoIP system also goes down, so you couldn’t reach those people anyway.
But no matter the cause of your downtime, it can lead to serious issues. Such as:
- clients may become frustrated if they feel they’re not receiving the service they pay for
- opportunities to make sales and win new business can be missed
- costs of consulting experts and performing maintenance can add up
- reputational damage could occur, affecting future business
Good IT infrastructure management helps to mitigate these risks. The better your infrastructure is built and maintained, the better equipped you’ll be to handle crises.
Cloud storage and a comprehensive data recovery plan allow you to retrieve key data from alternative systems during downtime, so it’s worth considering if you don’t currently leverage cloud storage services.
Achieve a better user experience
Managing your IT infrastructure, and monitoring it closely, can contribute to a better user experience overall. This ties in with everything else we’ve covered so far.
End users will be able to access your website, services, and/or products better if all components perform as necessary. They’ll be less likely to experience frustration and disappointment due to recurrent downtime.
And their data will be safer if you keep your hardware and software updated.
So, they’ll have less reason to look elsewhere and more reason to stay loyal to you!
Is it time to revise your approach to IT infrastructure management?
Are you feeling inspired to examine your own approach to IT infrastructure management now that we’ve explored why it’s so important?
If so, take the time to get it right.
Don’t rush into making changes that you assume will work for your business. You could spend money on the wrong hardware and software — wasting money that could have been invested elsewhere for better results.
One of the best ways to ensure you manage your IT infrastructure properly is to work with IT experts.
Our comprehensive IT infrastructure services cover a wide range of solutions. Whether you want assistance in setting up your IT equipment when you relocate to a new office, plan to update aging hardware in your IT back office, or need anything else, contact GenX’s team to discuss your options today!