IT infrastructure and operational (I&O) efficiency are fundamental to the ongoing success of businesses of every shape, size and industry. Yet, even those who recognize this fact may not have yet achieved full maturity in these areas. If you want to remain competitive in the digital age, you must find a way to improve, enhance and foster the infrastructure and operations of your organization. Here are four tips to get you started.
Focus on the Right Metrics – Measuring and monitoring performance are critical components of a mature I&O, so it’s important that you develop a good system with the right metrics in place. Not only do metrics provide the ability to monitor internal performance for improvement purposes, but they also arm IT managers with the tools and information needed to demonstrate those improvements to key decision makers.
Use the tools and technology at your disposal for measuring things like performance and availability, configuration management, workload automation and more to establish a baseline of I&O metrics and measure that baseline regularly. This will allow you to ensure ongoing performance and activity, which will eliminate the need for users to keep such a close watch on IT. This, in turn, provides an added benefit of enhanced security and compliance.
Plan Ahead to Reach Maturity – Understanding that you need to achieve a certain level of I&O maturity and actually putting the right steps in place to do so are two entirely different things. As with anything else in business, if you want to improve and enhance your infrastructure and operations, you must develop and implement a plan for reaching that goal. Try taking a programmatic approach, plotting a course of action that is most closely aligned with your overall business goals and needs.
First, determine the appropriate services that will help you achieve better performance and work toward your goals, always considering the costs associated with said services. Select your services and assemble the right team to help implement and manage those services. A recommended approach is to combine new employees with existing ones and provide the right training and tools to help empower them toward success.
Consider Different Angles & Think Outside the Box – There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to maturing your I&O, nor is there one single approach that works better than others. You may need to combine a variety of new and existing technologies to achieve the desired results. For instance, adding new hardware or servers can breathe new life into existing systems and make them more efficient and effective than they were previously. This marries new with old for optimum results at the right price.
Upon a thorough assessment of the company’s required governance, risk levels and change rate, another option would be to shift workloads from core resources into the cloud (either public or private). The key to this step, regardless of how it is ultimately executed, is to identify areas where existing hardware and systems can be leveraged and which areas will require new technology. Therein lies the answer as to which direction your particular business should head.
Automate, Automate, Automate – Finally, although perhaps most important, intelligent IT automation can have a tremendous impact on I&O maturity. One area in particular where automation can be critical is that of support and remediation. These routine, repetitive tasks, which are usually assigned to the IT help desk, can be more efficiently handled by an automation tool, freeing up personnel to focus on more important things. Automation can also reduce errors and improve compliance through enhanced auditing capability.
The requirement on IT groups to provide better, more accurate service with fewer resources is ultimately the need that will drive I&O to perform at its best. This takes maturity, which is something that doesn’t come naturally, but must be achieved through careful, strategic planning and ongoing measurement using the right tools, such as intelligent IT automation.
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