6 ways IT infrastructure is crucial to the success of your business
Let’s get a couple of things out of the way. First, the phrase “Information Technology Infrastructure” is a mouthful and it’s tiresome to read. So I’m going to refer to it as ITI from now on.
Second, ITI is super boring to most people. So let me briefly tell you what I mean when I say ITI and we’ll let it go at that. ITI is simply the pieces that make technology work. There are many layers to ITI just like there are many layers to the electrical infrastructure that your business also relies heavily on. And just like any infrastructure that is done well, it should fade into the background of your consciousness. When you flip on the light switch you don’t give any conscious thought to all the layers of infrastructure that make it work. You also shouldn’t have to think about the infrastructure that makes your email work, or your phone, your sales system, your accounting system, your door access system, etc.
Third, I’m weird because I love ITI. One of my favorite things to do in the world is to walk through a business looking at their ITI, ask a bunch of questions, and take a bunch of pictures. Afterwards I’ll go sit at my computer and write up a detailed report of my findings. If the ITI doesn’t support what the business is currently doing or has plans to do, I draw up a roadmap for upgrading the ITI so that it will. It’s one of my most enjoyable ways to spend time. And yes, I am such a geek, but it’s just my thing.
So, as promised, here are 6 ways ITI is crucial to the success of your business:
ITI drives your business: Virtually every businesses relies heavily on their computers and everything they can do; email, Internet, order entry, accounting, ERP, payroll, spreadsheets, etc. Your computers in turn rely on solid ITI; reliable Internet, solid wiring, excellent WiFi, good network design and components (switches, routers, firewalls, access points, etc.), solid security policies, anti-virus, malware/phishing/ransomware protection, patch management, backups, auditing, etc. If any one of these many components isn’t right then all those things your computer does will suffer or cease.
ITI keeps you running: Are you able to say that you’re technology works at least 99% of the time? Well whoopie! That means you’re down 1% of the time which translates into 1,200 minutes in a typical 2,000 hour work year. And those 1,200 minutes aren’t likely to be consecutive; they typically represent dozens of downtime incidents. This can take a huge toll on productivity and on your business in general. Most big time data centers shoot for what is termed 5 9’s which means 99.999% uptime. Since they run 24/7 that represents 525 minutes of downtime per year. That should give you some idea of just how hard this is to achieve. Your uptime will be in direct correlation to the quality of your ITI and you probably have nowhere near the resources of a 5 9’s data center.
ITI drives innovation: There are many very cool and imaginative uses of your network and the Internet these days; Wifi thermostats, network cameras, door access control, PoE LED lights (Power over Ethernet which just means that the device’s power is provided by the network switch data connection), paging and intercom, phones including door phones and video phones, digital signage, wireless video, and kiosks. But successful, frustration-free implementations of all of these require solid ITI.
Solid ITI prevents disaster: When I first started my career in Jackson, I was sent to Chicago with a briefcase full of reel-to-reel magnetic tapes to test our “cold” disaster recovery site and procedures. The cost to maintain the site was astronomical (like twice my annual salary) and I was less than impressed from a commonsense perspective. It smelled to my young mind like a colossal waste of money. Fast forward nearly 30 years and I now see the cost in a different light. While I no longer think it was totally wasted money, I’m now able to better articulate how most of it would be better spent; on disaster prevention. We typically think of disasters as natural disasters like tornado, fire, earthquake, floods, etc. But if you quantify types of actual disasters you’ll find that most are preventable with solid ITI. These include things like failed hard drives, physical thefts, data thefts, network outages, viruses, malware, successful phishing attacks, ransomware, and lost intellectual property.
Solid ITI = peace of mind: Peace of mind allows you to focus on your mission. Assuming you’ve read the previous 4 paragraphs, can you see how much peace of mind would be the natural outcome of knowing you had solid ITI? Peace of mind is possibly the most elusive and underrated but profoundly impactful criteria for mission success.
Solid ITI provides your business with a competitive advantage: The ITI at most businesses is anything but solid. Businesses hop, skip, and stutter along as they continually compensate for what they count as normal. But if you’re not normal, if your ITI is solid and appropriate to drive your productivity, minimize your downtime, enable innovation, prevent disaster, and give you peace of mind, you, my friend, have a competitive advantage.
Contact ProbityTec today at www.probitytec.com and let us show you just how economical and beneficial it is for us to manage all this for you.
Mr. Bentley started ProbityTec in early 2018. He explains that the word probity just means integrity and he requests that you stop using the word integrity in favor of probity from this day forward. ProbityTec provides managed IT services to small and medium size businesses, churches, and nonprofits throughout West Tennessee. Mr. Bentley can be reached at 731-410-7017 and firstname.lastname@example.org.