Businesses need an effective IT infrastructure to support their operations, streamline processes, and remain competitive. However, organizations can often fall into a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to their IT infrastructure, which invites a number of risks and challenges. That's why it's important to regularly review your IT infrastructure to make sure it's still effective today and prepared for any future changes.
Why do IT infrastructures become ineffective over time?
There are a number of reasons why IT infrastructures may become less effective over time. For one, computers and servers accumulate dust and dirt, which can block air flow, cause overheating, and shorten the lifespan of hardware components. If companies fail to maintain or replace aging hardware, they will eventually lose any performance benefits they initially had.
Software developers are also always releasing new features and updates that can improve the performance of software. When companies don't regularly review and update their software, their IT infrastructure can become outdated, making it difficult to keep up with competitors in the industry.
Additionally, organizational changes such as hiring new staff or changing business processes can cause the existing IT infrastructure to become obsolete. As the needs of a company evolve over time, the infrastructure must adapt to keep up. For example, there may be a need for new cloud solutions to enable your hybrid working initiatives, but you won't know if you don't regularly review your operations and infrastructure.
Finally, cybercriminals are constantly finding new vulnerabilities in the most advanced networks and security systems. If you're not taking the time to assess your risk exposure, your IT infrastructure will gradually lose its ability to protect your business from the latest threats.
What aspects of your IT infrastructure do you need to review?
To make sure your IT infrastructure is still effective today, you need a comprehensive audit that focuses on the following areas:
- Hardware – Check for any hardware (e.g., desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices, routers) that are malfunctioning or no longer supported. Determine if you need to upgrade your current system or replace any components.
- Software – Review your current software to see if there have been any recent updates that could improve your performance. List all the software features and capabilities your company needs, and ask your team whether there are better alternatives for your current apps available on the market.
- Network security – Make sure your security measures and policies are up to date, and that you have the appropriate tools and solutions in place to protect your system from the latest threats. Examples of network security solutions you should have are next-generation firewalls, access management systems, anti-malware software, and data encryption tools.
- Data storage – Evaluate your data storage capacity and determine if you need to increase your storage space or upgrade to a more efficient system. You should also test the effectiveness of your data backups and disaster recovery plans.
- System maintenance – Make sure your IT team has a regular maintenance and patching routine in place to minimize system downtime and interruptions.
- Business goal alignment – Determine whether your IT infrastructure is in line with the business goals of your company. Ask yourself if you have the necessary tools, resources, and processes in place to help you achieve your desired outcomes
What if you don't know how to review your IT infrastructure?
Conducting an IT audit requires a critical eye. While it's entirely possible to carry out this process on your own, it's often best to seek the help of an IT consultant. An IT consultant can review your infrastructure objectively and with the insight necessary to provide valuable recommendations to improve your system and make sure it's running optimally.
At Athens Micro, we specialize in helping businesses with their IT infrastructure audits. Our team of experts can help you understand your current system, identify any areas for improvement, and develop a plan to ensure your IT infrastructure is up to date with the latest technology. Contact us today to get started.