For any company to truly grow in the 21st century they must transform using digital technology to gain higher amounts of efficiency to be relevant and counter their competition. This has also changed the role of IT infrastructure as Alan Flower, CTO and Vice President of HCL Technologies Europe aptly says, “The traditional role of IT Infrastructure is being rapidly reshaped by the global Digital Transformation of business. In the ultra-competitive global economy that presents unlimited opportunities for disruption and demands constant innovation the demands placed on IT are changing far more rapidly than many expected.”
Few Initial Checkpoints before initiating Digital Transformation.
- Is your IT Infrastructure in a healthy state?
- Will it be able to handle the transformation?
- Is it build to scale?
- What is its current ability and how much will extend?
An IT Infrastructure Assessment is an opportunity to get a complete diagnosis of what is happening in your current IT environment. It helps to find gaps in the current IT ecosystem along with recommendations on how to address these gaps.
An IT Infrastructure Assessment is critical in knowing your IT ecosystem. How new technology will cope up with the existing infrastructure.This knowledge is a pre-requisite before bringing or investing in new technology.
IT Infrastructure is the fuel on which the Modern businesses run. Some of these dependencies and the risk they entail is not clearly visible. An IT Assessment helps make these more visible to the Management.
For Digital transformation, the Assessment and its gap, help create a strong foundation for the new systems you may chose to build.
An IT Infrastructure Assessment should look into the following areas:
Network Infrastructure: Know if your IT network is in good shape and configured for optimum performance. Also since this forms the backbone of the physical connectivity, it helps you understand the strength of the capacity and scalability of your IT systems.
IT Asset Management: This help you to manage your hardware and software Inventory and look at the processes involved in your organization with the asset life cycle – from a need to acquisition to retirement. It should also include how these assets are configured and are they performing at optimal level.
Server and Data Management: All Corporate systems need to be controlled centrally. A server is a physical manifestation of centralizing the data, access to it, various IT resources and controlling and monitoring their usage. Being a Centralized resource and very critical to how your security works, it is important to understand its role and functioning in your organization.
Internet and WAN: The Internet is as critical as electricity, to any business organization. How your organization uses it, what is the purpose and the control of it is an important aspect. The second and most important point is security. Internal and External Protection needs to be reviewed and the checkpoints which help you monitor and control it.
Email and Collaboration: It is important to study the Email and Collaboration policies and practices used by the organization and making recommendations to improve it.
IT Policy: The existing policies and their implementations are reviewed and recommendations for their improvement are given.
Being an IT Consultant, in many years of my experience performing IT Infrastructure Assessments across various industries and sectors, I have found that small and medium businesses (SMB) can have time and cost savings by regularly diagnosing the health of IT Infrastructure, just like taking the car in for a service to get a second opinion. Assessment will also help them to take a competitive advantage in terms of using latest technologies to improve productivity.