There are many potential challenges of information technology in business. One of the most important information technology issues is ensuring safe and effective technology infrastructure. Your company’s IT infrastructure supports your entire organization, but you only have so much money to spend on your company’s IT needs. This can lead to weak technology systems that cause inefficiencies in your business.
If your infrastructure is weak or fragile, it’s almost certainly costing your company wasted time, effort, money and opportunity. Weak IT infrastructure not only strains the efficiency of your company, but also makes you prone to massive security holes that hackers can exploit. Therefore, it’s vital to know the below red flags in IT infrastructure management…
6 IT Infrastructure Management Challenges:
This post discusses 6 of the most common red flags regarding IT infrastructure management. These challenges and issues can create weaknesses in your systems’s structure. Use the red flags to evaluate your own technology environment & identify potential weaknesses.
1. Manual Data Transfer
If part of your IT infrastructure involves having an individual or individuals manually re-key data, or transfer data via disk or flash drive between departments, you are not only wasting time, you are potentially creating an entire position that would not be necessary if you were running a unified, cohesive system. In addition, data left lying around on a flash drive presents a security threat to your organization.
Manual processes must be automated to ensure the security of your data.
2. Too Many Systems
Was your IT infrastructure built one piecemeal solution at a time? Are multiple software applications dedicated to the same or similar tasks? How many apps do your employees have to use to accomplish one of their assigned duties? For instance, are you using Excel AND Access to generate an invoice?
Redundant or overlapping systems must be eliminated.
3. Same Data, Multiple Locations
Quite often different business applications use the same data, but not always from the same data source. Storing the same data in multiple locations is costly and introduces the potential for errors. Data stored in multiple locations also forces additional security to be implemented in all locations, further increasing system complexity.
Separate data storage must be consolidated to effectively utilize your technology infrastructure and storage capacity.
4. Hacked Together Applications
Perhaps your timeline was too short or the budget too tight. Whatever the case, you realize your application is at best a bunch of work-arounds, temporary fixes and hacks. Whatever money you saved with a short development timeline is now being burned in debugging, inefficiencies, inaccuracies and fixes.
You must repair or replace these hacked together infrastructure systems. If you need guidance on what to change, consider application services.
5. Outdated Tech Infrastructure
We all know that old server, switch or firewall that continues to run past everyone’s expectations. Since security patches and updates are no longer available, hackers can easily exploit these older devices to gain access your network. Additionally, the device will eventually fail and a replacement will not be available.
You must eliminate this outdated tech. If you don’t know how to address this it management problem, check out how to fix your IT architecture with actionable steps.
6. Legacy or Decaying Systems
Are you still using older green or blue screen systems or outdated versions of Windows? Whatever you think you are saving in money is most certainly paid for in your employees’ loss of productivity. In addition, finding security updates for these systems is no longer an option.
Legacy and decaying systems must be replaced with updated infrastructure systems to effectively utilize company time and resources.
The Bottom Line…
If you have manual processes, piecemeal solutions, kludges or decaying tech, you need to begin architecting a cohesive infrastructure system that helps everyone effectively accomplish their jobs. This will help you to save time on future projects, while also ensuring the safety and security of your systems and business data.
It is best that you do this step-by-step and not all at once. You need to create an overall plan to help you avoid the red flags & challenges of information technology in business. Each step in the process must be carefully planned and executed before the next step can be undertaken.
You then may want to consider IT infrastructure management services to maintain your systems.
Check out potential ways to fix IT problems with software architecture – our next technology piece!
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Tom Swip has been developing and streamlining business processes for over 20 years. Tom’s expertise lies in business process automation, software and application design and network infrastructure. In his spare time, Tom likes kayaking, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.