IT infrastructure management is crucial for all types of organizations. Ensuring that you have control over your IT infrastructure helps improve your organization’s environment, information, and experience as a whole. IT infrastructure management can present itself in a number of ways, but it is primarily the process of creating and implementing organizational procedures based on data-driven best practices.
The primary intent behind IT infrastructure management is to improve the effectiveness of IT across the organization. Some of the reasons why IT infrastructure management is so critical for an organization include:
If you are not managing your IT infrastructure, you generally have little to no insight into how your IT environment is functioning. When you manage your IT environment, you understand when to change or upgrade systems, technologies, and storage capabilities, as well as various other risks that need mitigation. When you have this type of insight, you can create preventative solutions before anything critical or disastrous occurs;
When you manage your IT infrastructure, you gain insight into information that helps you predict and mitigate potential disasters. When you do not, unexpected crises can occur, and, in turn, this incurs unexpected costs. When you are proactive instead of reactive, you can reduce downtime and any major data loss — saving the organization money.
By managing your IT infrastructure, you also obtain valuable information that can help you determine necessary upgrades for your company in the near future. With this information you can budget and prepare for those costs instead of being forced to pay for something that you weren’t expecting;
When you have immediate insight into your IT infrastructure at any given moment, this can create a better overall experience for your users and help prevent any unexpected downtime. While it may not entirely rid you of downtime, you can prepare yourself, your employees, and your clients beforehand to reduce unexpected inconveniences. This can improve the user experience of both clients and employees. Additionally, when you incorporate new tools like client relations software, you can improve client engagement directly.
Proper IT infrastructure management can help you reduce disaster occurrences and the damage that they can create. You can implement systems that help you predict or determine potential threats or weaknesses within your structure so that you know when to make changes to your existing infrastructure accordingly;
When you monitor your systems, you can better predict and create structural and procedural changes as needed. This allows your organization to stay one step ahead, boosting productivity.
A good IT infrastructure manager will consistently be assessing the existing infrastructure. This is not a one and done procedure; it is an ongoing, continual process. Infrastructures can become outdated over time, and it is important to constantly ask questions to assess their effectiveness — questions like:
What can we improve?
What is going well currently?
What areas can we duplicate?
What can we change, and how can we change it?
Infrastructure managers will look at every aspect of the infrastructure, big and small. For example, let’s say an infrastructure manager does their due diligence and realizes that their legacy systems are outdated, and a digital transformation is warranted. The infrastructure manager would have assessed that a migration to the cloud offers the following benefits to their organization:
Improved compatibility with computational resources;
Viable replacements for old back-office applications;
Improved ability to scale as needed;
Enhanced ability to manage large volumes of data from a variety of sources;
Additional resources for adopting systems that improve business functions like artificial intelligence and machine learning.
At that point, the manager has pinpointed an aspect of the infrastructure that could use a major overhaul. Before making any major changes, it is important to create well-thought-out, intentional goals.
Companies that adopt or upgrade to new technology or infrastructure may end up wasting money and time without coherent goals. After analyzing your existing technologies and infrastructure and identifying potential solutions, you need to create a roadmap that will result in the successful implementation of those solutions. Once you have determined your goals, it's crucial to ask the right questions so you can accomplish them. Using the above example, if you had determined that digital transformation is in order, you might ask yourself questions like:
How will this impact the day-to-day of your business?
What additional technology do you need to invest in to support the strategy and solution?
Do you have the infrastructure and team capable of supporting the strategy and solution?
How much will digital transformation cost?
How does digital transformation solve current issues?
Are you capable of doing this on your own?
If you're unable to undertake a digital transformation on your own, how do you choose a digital transformation partner?
After answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what it will take to achieve your goals — in this case, digital transformation. You can then create an implementation roadmap on your own, or invest in an organization that specializes in data-driven digital transformations.
When managing IT infrastructure, security standards should always be a priority to ensure the safety of organizational data and end-users. It is especially important for organizations to maintain cybersecurity when offering remote work privileges. Some of the most common cybersecurity threats include:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has an online cyberplanner tool to help businesses create a custom cybersecurity plan. It should be noted that this FCC resource is aimed at small organizations and may not be suitable for large enterprises. Additionally, you can use the following tips for staying on top of your security standards and protecting your data:
Perform internal audits. If you are using a cloud service provider make sure they have audit and assessment solutions
Continually update your disaster recovery plan to minimize the effects of downtime.
To protect both your data and end-users, stay up to date on industry cybersecurity trends and adjust according to best practices.
Ensure that all your software is up to date by installing updates as soon as they become available. This includes things like antivirus and antispyware.
Monitor any changes in access to your computers or network and limit user access to certain data.
Train employees on cybersecurity principles and best practices, and address the importance of secured Wi-Fi networks.
The global artificial intelligence (AI) software market shows tremendous growth in recent years that is expected to continue as time goes on. More and more businesses are adopting the use of AI within their organizations to improve functions like intelligent automation, data analysis, and customer engagement.
Although AI has a variety of benefits, the implementation of AI causes substantial impact and certain disruptions within IT infrastructure management services that deserve mention. These include:
AI systems need large amounts of computing power and storage. Administrators and infrastructure managers may need to make sweeping changes in their infrastructure to accommodate this robust solution.
Large enterprise organizations cannot afford to become the victim of a zero-day exploit (a cyberattack that occurs the same day as a hardware or software vulnerability is discovered). AI-powered security and monitoring helps protects against that;
In the future, AI is projected to be able to actively manage and maintain entire infrastructure systems without human intervention. Administrators or infrastructure management may need to make dramatic changes to their existing systems in order to plan for this.
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