Build Your IT Strategy On An Assessment that Goes Beyond Infrastructure
The pace of change in IT and business means that you constantly need to re-evaluate your IT strategy to align it with your business. This starts with an infrastructure assessment that evaluates your current assets to identify how they support your business, but your assessment should go beyond identifying hardware problems.
You should evaluate your people and processes as well to create a unified view that helps your IT people work with your IT infrastructure to meet business needs. In addition to identifying weaknesses, your evaluation should identify your strengths so you can continue to support them and build on them to maximize the productive use of your technical resources.
Evaluate Your Equipment
Evaluating your existing equipment usually means first identifying and locating it. It’s likely you have equipment that isn’t recorded in your inventory or that systems you thought had been retired are still in active use. All equipment, whether compute, network, or storage, real or virtual, is important to the evaluation.
Once equipment is identified, you can assess whether it’s up to date, whether it has adequate capacity, whether it provides the performance the business needs, whether it is protected against viruses and other security risks, and whether the system is included in your disaster recovery plan. If you have equipment that the manufacturer no longer supports, updating it needs to be a priority.
Obtaining this picture of the current vulnerabilities in your infrastructure lets you identify the changes you need to make to modernize your equipment, provide capacity to support future growth, and to plug gaps in your security architecture.
Evaluate Your Procedures
Your infrastructure assessment should evaluate your procedures to identify opportunities to streamline them and make them more efficient. In particular, identify the tasks your staff is performing manually every day. Then identify tools or scripts you can use to automate these tasks. But you also need to look at the tasks your team doesn’t perform every day. A disaster recovery process which isn’t updated and which your team isn’t familiar with doesn’t offer you any protection.
In addition to the task procedures, evaluate your procedures around data governance and identity management. These are key to protecting your data and to keeping up with changing compliance requirements.
Evaluate Your People
You probably evaluate individual performance on an annual basis, but you need to evaluate your team as a whole. Which skills are missing from your organization? Do you lack internal expertise on any of the products you use? Identify these gaps and determine how to assign responsibility for developing familiarity with these products to your team.
You should also evaluate your team for the risks created based on potential staff departures. Is someone nearing retirement? Will their departure, or any other departures, leave you shorthanded? Are you already shorthanded? If so, your strategy needs to include a plan for hiring additional staff with the correct skillsets.
Evaluate Your Business
Lastly, but critically, evaluate how these challenges affect IT’s ability to deliver to the business and develop a plan that will help IT deliver on its goals of supporting business growth.
Prescient Solutions can use automated tools to help you complete your infrastructure assessment and help you create a comprehensive strategy that integrates the technology and business perspectives. Contact us to learn how our certified experts’ insight can help you develop greater insight into effectively using your technology to support your business.
Additional IT Strategy Resources
4 Things Every CIO Should Be Doing to Drive Technical and Business Success
How to Hire an IT Consulting Firm