When an organisations’ IT infrastructure has become outdated due to underinvestment, there is often a negative impact on staff to deliver the standard of service expected of them to their customer base.
Difficulties and challenges arise as IT systems continue to age and no significant progress to modernise is achieved. Depending on the company and their ability to invest, there are so many IT services & solutions available – it can be difficult to know where to start. The correct place to start is gaining a thorough understanding of your existing IT infrastructure which will indicate where the weaknesses and opportunities exist. This way, correct decisions can be made regarding your choice of IT Solutions, what support will be required and what will be the impact on staff’s ability to operate.
How the right IT support services can help identify where to begin
For you to learn exactly where you should be starting from, the right Managed IT Support Services team will work with you to investigate options for presenting your infrastructure to a modern, up-to-date cloud environment.
The resulting objectives would be much like the following:
- Analyse and document your current IT infrastructure estate
- Use this information to confirm requirements for a cloud solution and architecture design
- To allow a clear business case for change to be developed
- Be confident in making decisions required for the long-term infrastructure road map
- Ensure every decision made going forward is based on knowing exactly where you started from
- Increase the accuracy of setting time frames and budgets upfront
- Improve the overall efficiency of service delivery to staff and customers
Any potential project involving an infrastructure transition of a significant scale cannot be easily undone. If the wrong decision is made, this can lead to increased costs, increased timeframes and a significant disruption to all. In addition, factors like ‘affordability’ and ‘future-proofing’ are usually significant decision drivers. Taking all this into consideration, it is vital to get to get the decision right first time.
How a concise IT audit will improve management of your IT Infrastructure
In cases where IT systems are increasingly outdated, delivering one-off solutions may resolve immediate pain but longer term, the deployment of a fully integrated system will ensure the business can scale efficiently in future, without having to repeat this exercise on an annual basis.
This makes it increasingly important to ensure the IT audit is thorough and above all, correct, as well as ensuring that all recommendations are clear. The information from your IT audit will help:
- To understand where you are currently as a business, where you wish to be in the future, and how you intend to get there?
- To deliver an environment that can grow whilst taking advantage of economies of scale;
- To deliver high levels of service and control to the business;
- To provide accurate information that allows your management team to make decisions required for the short- and long-term IT road map;
- To allow your Managed IT Services Provider to present accurate recommendations that support your business plan or by taking the role of IT Infrastructure Management
To ensure you are always fully aware of the status of your project, a project manager should be allocated to report on progress of the project.
Solution – example office 365 deployment
Fifosys have conducted over fifty office 365 migrations in the last two years. In 80% of the projects, we had conducted an audit pre-migration and the success was 100%. In instances where we were not allowed to conduct an audit, there were factors not considered at the outset that led to a negative impact on the users.
Once an audit of your infrastructure has been completed and all areas within the scope have been documented, results can be compared with IT best-practices, ‘unearthing’ areas where your MSP can recommend how to enhance and further improve your IT infrastructure in line with your expectations for the business.
The following process will deliver these objectives:
- Audit the existing IT infrastructure, highlight issues identified and any immediate recommendations;
- Confirm the stability of the existing IT Setup and the choice of baseline technologies in use;
- Prepare IT infrastructure propositions that include options for the relevant solutions that can present the backend IT infrastructure in-line with the business objectives;
- Highlight any configuration areas where best practices require deployment;
- Highlight potential risk areas that have not already been considered and accounted for;
- Make recommendations to enhance performance and reduce the adverse impact of IT on the business;
- To ensure every decision made going forward is based on knowing exactly where the organisation started from
- Increase the accuracy of setting time frames and budgets upfront;
- Highlight business decision drivers and technical decision drivers to support you in making the right decisions.
A typical project scope would cover the following areas:
|Server Environment||Virtual Servers|
|VMware Health analysis|
|Storage Environment||SAN Storage|
|Firewall Rules and Configuration|
|Data Backup||Backup Technology|
|Recovery Time Objective|
|Recovery Point Objective|
|Business Continuity Analysis|
|Disaster Recovery Analysis|
|Applications||Cloud hosted applications (i.e. office 365)|
|Other||Power / UPS|
In summary, we strongly recommend you get an audit of your infrastructure estate prior to making any transition to a new infrastructure architecture solution. This will save you time effort and energy in the short and long term knowing all decisions are based on fact.
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