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5 Requirements For Effective Business IT Infrastructure

Two women working on a laptop in an office, focusing on DTC marketing for Shopify.

Just about every business requires some level of IT infrastructure. And if you’re starting or are reviewing what you have in the hope of finding more efficient ways to do things, you’ll want to know the basics about what you need for a practical IT framework.

The first thing is obvious: hardware. 

But choosing the proper hardware is essential. You shouldn’t have to update it every few months, but it’s time to shop for replacements if things are getting slow and clunky. Get advice on the specifications you should be looking for if you don’t know how to do it yourself – if you don’t, you might end up with expensive equipment with a lot of functionality you’ll never need. 

1. Effective Provisioning 

The provisioning process occurs at several levels. It’s the all-important business of ensuring your business has the networks and servers it needs and applications that will make day-to-day tasks easier to manage and get done. Users also form part of this. Each person should have access to information and applications based on the tasks they need to get done. 

You can develop your concept from scratch if you’re starting. If you’re reviewing an existing setup, you need to know what works, what doesn’t, what your options for improvement are, and how implementing them would affect the overall ecosystem.  

Unless you’re an IT expert, you’ll probably need help. For example, the applications you choose must be able to work together, and you need to protect sensitive data by limiting access to those who need it to do their jobs. 

2. Storage and Recovery

Make sure there’s a plan in case things go wrong. Losing all your data, for example, is a blow from which your business will struggle to recover. How will it be stored? Will you be able to recover essential data in the event of a disaster? How secure is your data? What if you were to experience a ransomware attack? These are examples of crucial questions that require clear-cut answers. 

3. Consider Internal Communications and Automation

While emails can work well enough in relatively straightforward scenarios, you might prefer a system that makes it easier to categorize and follow up on “to-do” items. When these form part of repeatable processes, automating them prevents dropped balls and saves time on transferring tasks and following them up. Test various systems, ask your staff for feedback, and choose the tools that work well for all concerned. 

4. Prioritise Cybersecurity

Even if your business is relatively small, cybersecurity is hugely important. Ensure that employees are trained in the basic steps they need to take to keep sensitive data secure and have your overall system evaluated by professionals to ensure it’s as watertight as possible. In doing so, you protect your business from situations that could cost you a lot of money,  harm your reputation, or even put you on the wrong side of the law. 

5. Have Expert Help at Your Fingertips

Last but not least, have expert help available. When systems don’t work as they should, it should be possible to tweak them or repair them fast. Not all businesses can afford a dedicated IT department, but many companies have made the design and maintenance of IT systems their specialty. You’ll be looking for ones that offer you rapid responses and practical solutions. Insider knowledge of how your IT system works will be necessary, so if you can involve them during the design stage, that’s the first prize!

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