The Benefits of IT Infrastructure Management
Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Management pertains to the management of the technology components needed to effectively operate an organization. When done properly, infrastructure management will garner a multitude of performance-enhancing perks. According to the IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics IT Infrastructure Conversation study, “7 out of 10 organizations believe IT infrastructure enables competitive advantage and optimizes business performance."
Framework IT is a Chicago-based Managed Service Provider striving to equip growing businesses with IT tools and strategies that generate success. During our 12 years of experience, Framework has managed the IT infrastructures for a vast array of clients. In fact, IT infrastructure management is one of our core competencies and a large component of our managed services offerings.
This blog is intended to help you grasp the concept of infrastructure and how proper management will ultimately improve your operations.
What is IT infrastructure?
Consider your infrastructure the core of your entire network. This core is composed of the technology elements needed to manage your business. These components include items such as computers, servers, software, data, network switches, and so much more.
Essentially, your IT infrastructure consists of all systems and information that support the management and usability of your data and information. Engaging in IT infrastructure management means taking charge of your organization’s IT environment.
What is IT Infrastructure Management and why is important?
IT infrastructure management is the process of implementing structural procedures based on data-driven best practices for each of the technology elements composing your environment. The purpose of infrastructure management is to maximize up time and overall productivity.
Assuring that your IT infrastructure is stable and strong is crucial to your organization's success and execution. Strategic infrastructure management is vital and wise investments into high-quality technology and the people to manage it could be the difference between success and failure.
What are the benefits of IT Infrastructure Management?
IT infrastructure management should be viewed as optimizing the productivity of your largest asset - people. The upsides to improved system performance are never-ending. Efficient IT infrastructure management helps improve the performance of technology systems, increases up time, and enhances the user’s experience.
- Performance Enhancing: Author Peter Drucker quoted the phrase “you can't manage what you can't measure.” Monitoring system performance is a form of measurement, and measurement is essential to management along with your improvement.
Monitoring your systems allows you to better manage their performance as it assesses your unique changing needs and makes strategic changes as a response. It also allows you to proactively anticipate and plan for future needs to ensure you can maintain or even improve performance.
Being regularly informed of your IT infrastructure can ensure a positive experience for your employees. Experiencing consistent up time and high-performing technology will translate directly into an increase in productivity and positive user-experience. Without this, employees may be disheartened or become incredibly frustrated with sub-par systems and loss of access to critical info.
Satisfied employees directly translate to the satisfaction of the client. When your technology isn’t performing well it has downstream effects clients can often detect. For example, when a vendor or supplier's employees cannot access needed info or systems in a timely manner, it undermines goodwill and productivity. This may cause a lasting impact on employee productivity and morale as employees are not able to add as much value to the business and its clients as they otherwise would.
Experiencing fewer interruptions caused by technology issues allows all channels to remain productive, increase morale, and build an overall sense of trust.
- Optimized Investments: Proactive IT infrastructure management will guarantee that your systems are running at maximum performance levels for longer than a system without proper management. Adhering to best practices like maintenance & update schedules, documentation protocols, monitoring your infrastructure, etc. will ensure your IT investments fulfill their expected life cycle.
If your IT infrastructure is improperly managed, you can't predict and handle emergencies before they arise. Being proactive with your infrastructure management will save your company time and money you can save money during and after issues are resolved.
IT infrastructure management also optimizes investments in other areas, such as licensing. Having thorough documentation and management of the organization's software, licensing, and subscriptions helps ensure you’re fully using what you pay for and not paying for what you don’t use.
Monitoring for issues can often allow you to address small dilemmas before they become giant issues that wreck valuable IT infrastructure and may create wasted investments.
- Overhead Reduction: When you adopt IT infrastructure management best practices, your technology, and your IT management operations run more smoothly. Applying IT best practices to procedures, documentation & inventory management, knowledge bases, monitoring, and management systems allows IT resources to work at optimal efficiency.
Your IT people spend less time running around reacting to one fire after another and more time proactively managing and mitigating risks. In other words, it allows for a smaller team to manage more effectively and still deliver predictable results. In this scenario, you can succeed with less IT staff (and less IT payroll).
The best practices we speak of were analyzed and developed for over 10 years by using IT management data from hundreds of clients across dozens of industries.
We discovered that clients living within the best practices in place in terms of their IT infrastructure itself, and their IT infrastructure management, achieved far better, measurable results from their technology. There were fewer issues and if there was a problem it became easier and quicker to resolve
The best practice environment doesn't require as much reactive IT support. For example, we found that clients with best-practice IT infrastructure and IT infrastructure management fully adopted cost about 50% less to manage. We say cost less, meaning in terms of the total cost of IT personnel’s time to provide reactive support.
Getting better results, and having to be less reactive, allows organizations to take a more strategic view at making technology a major strength in their organization.
The combination of these features will enhance your team's productivity, optimize your investments in IT infrastructure, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce IT management overhead.
Need Help Building a Plan?
Now that you understand the benefits of IT infrastructure management, you can begin to consider designing a management plan unique to your organization.
If you have the time and the budget, your internal IT team may be able to set up a comprehensive IT infrastructure management program. This involves deploying and managing documentation, creating knowledge bases and inventory management, and independent monitoring and managing software.
If you don’t have an IT team or your current team can't sustain the time or the budget, consider contracting a Managed Service Provider. MSPs like Framework IT already utilize developed, deployed, managed, and scaled the core IT infrastructure management ingredients mentioned above. Contact us today for a professional consultation!