Over the past twelve months the UK economy has seen many changes. Major organisations have had profits squeezed and even gone out of business, but there are ways in which every business can utilise its current IT infrastructure to become more profitable.
With many organisations the IT infrastructure has grown with the business and there has been little opportunity, or drive, to integrate systems to improve efficiency and return on investment. This has meant that they waste significant resources managing systems rather than using them to create value within business.
Here are some simple steps organisations can take towards business efficiency by really managing their IT resources and systems.
One of the first steps in streamlining any business is understanding the current state of systems and applications. Many companies are reluctant to invest in software or hardware upgrades regularly which means that when they have to upgrade, because of non-compatibility or immediate business need, costs can be very high. During this period IT teams end up been reactive to system support rather than been proactive in supporting the day-to-day business operations.
By regularly reviewing current systems and planning upgrades inline with business strategy, companies can spread the cost over a longer period of time, as well as ensuring they always have the resources available to maintain ongoing operations. In addition by planning for and implementing regular upgrades, IT teams can maintain their focus on the business, greatly improving efficiency and ensuring minimal disruption.
Outsourcing has often been seen as a dirty word in the IT community; internal IT staff look at it as a threat to their jobs and financial managers question the need because they have in-house resources that should be able to do the job. Although in some cases both these are true, the reality in the majority of situations is completely different.
By outsourcing elements of your IT support and infrastructure management your business can access the latest up to date skills and knowledge without the need, or cost of training your own in-house IT team.
In addition outsourcing also means that in-house teams can concentrate on driving value in improving performance of normal day-to-day operations that can improve efficiencies and make greater cost savings for the business in the long term.
Continuous monitoring and management of key elements of the network, from router configuration to email archiving, can ensure a network performs at its optimum level at all times. But many companies fail to heed the advice and find that when an error occurs, such as the failure of a router or server, set up and configuration of replacements can take much longer than expected, and in worse case scenarios, work stops until the problem is resolved.
By implementing regular management reviews of the network to identify bottle necks and weak points companies can plan to overcome problems before they occur and ensure that they are able to maintain their focus on the business. Devices can be pre-configured for instant replacement or relevant backups can be maintained to ensure minimal disruption.
Planning for the Future
For many companies planning their IT infrastructure is often left to the last minute when it should be part of the planning processes. To truly get the best from systems and infrastructure pre-planning is a critical and often overlooked business requirement. .
As companies grow their requirements change. For example a regional business that wants to expand nationwide may need to consider how members of staff operating throughout the country can access critical business applications remotely not just their email. Planning for this can therefore enable future system upgrades to take into account the requirement and be implemented with the least amount of disruption and cost, therefore improving efficiency.
In conclusion, by following these four simple steps businesses can gain a significant return on investment by making immediate cost savings as well as far-reaching business improvements. In addition other not so apparent benefits include:
- Having an agile, operationally focused IT network and infrastructure that becomes a key business tool to help them remain competitive.
- Providing higher quality IT services internally that adapts with the business to achieve specific and measurable goals.
- A significant reduction in overall IT costs either by reducing training requirements and capital outlay for one off upgrades.
- Greater improvements to operational and customer services effectiveness as systems work with the business to deliver results.
- Improving user productivity by reducing downtime and system integration frustration.
- Developing your own IT staffs motivation by removing them from mundane tasks and allowing them to concentrate on business services delivery.
adept4 is a fast-growing UK-based IT Managed Services businesses. By delivering effective IT management and support adept4 enables clients in both the UK and abroad to utilise systems effectively and gain greater return on IT investment.