When it comes to technology, no two elements are the same, nor is their cost. In any case, though, technology is essential to business operations across the board – especially for those wanting to maintain a competitive edge. So, it’s easy to understand that the setup of that technology and how it’s used also have a far-reaching impact. IT infrastructure has an effect on every aspect of the way a business operates, from planning to maintenance and security (and everything between).
IT infrastructure is also the key to productivity. Whether you’re dealing with in-store, electronic tech designed to meet the needs of financial transactions, or you’re relying on your website for outreach and increased sales, the technology you use matters. Dated systems just won’t work for today’s tech demands. So, how do you go about assessing and updating the needs of your IT infrastructure while getting the most bang for your buck?
Assessing Your Company’s IT Infrastructure
It all comes down to making well-informed, cost-effective decisions, and to do this, there are generally 5 key steps that will get you there.
- Defining Need – Before you even think about making your investment, you first have to know your tech needs. Look at your current system. What is it that you actually need to operate at full capacity? Asses which components need to be upgraded or replaced as well as what new tech might give you that competitive edge. Defining this information will help you determine whether or not your current IT infrastructure is satisfactory or not.
- Looking Inward – Assess your current setup with an objective but critical eye. You need to identify areas in which your business is lacking that may be holding you back from meeting the standards of your competition. Does your current setup allow you and your employees to successfully carry out their duties? Does it solidify your place within the competitive market? Look for any and all gaps and/or deficiencies in your infrastructure.
- Examining Network – Is your current network meeting your expectations? Does it have enough bandwidth to reach your customers and relay the necessary information? Businesses need powerful networks to operate up to today’s standards.
- Evaluating Actual Cost – Instead of looking at technology costs piece by piece, and stressing over budgets, you need to evaluate the total cost of ownership or TCO. Your starting point should not be looking at individual price tags, rather the assessment of the bigger picture. TCO considers the direct costs of technologies in addition to all of those forgotten indirect costs, like downtime, maintenance, training, etc.
- Consider Backup – To round out your IT infrastructure assessment, you have to consider backup plans. Does your current setup provide disaster recovery and redundancy? This is where upgrades are particularly important, as many older technologies and systems don’t have modern data duplication and virtual storage capabilities.
Businesses rely heavily on modern technology. Defining your IT infrastructure needs is all about finding the right balance to meet your specific needs. From budget to services, software, and security, all of these things directly influence your ability to operate successfully and competitively. Fortunately, when done with care, a simple assessment can reduce your costs while upgrading your setup to meet modern standards. It’s all about being attentive to your and your customers’ needs, being proactive, and investing smartly in the future of your business.