Your IT infrastructure will support your users, devices and applications and therefore it is critical to have the right systems in place.
There are different types of IT infrastructure such as network infrastructure which connects your devices together and to the internet, and server infrastructure which can be used to manage users, devices and software.
There are many considerations when choosing the best systems for your business. Labyrinth can help you make the right decisions, find the right solutions and implement them. For our Managed Support clients, we review IT strategy and the effectiveness of existing systems every year.
Cloud or On-Premise?
One of the key decisions you will make is what infrastructure and software can be hosted in the cloud and what will need to be hosted on-site. You should aim to host as much as possible in the cloud which offers a number of benefits over on-premise hosted infrastructure (see here). Some equipment like firewalls, switches and managed WIFI systems will always need to be hosted in your offices to bridge the gap between your end user devices and the internet.
Your infrastructure needs to be easily but securely accessible to all of your employees wherever the work.
Cyber Security and Disaster Recovery
Your systems need to have the appropriate security controls. You also need to consider how you will recover your business operations in the event of a disaster. If your core business systems are hosted in the cloud, recovering from a disaster will be far quicker and easier because you should be able to access them anywhere with an internet connection.
Capital and operational costs should not be your primary focus. If your business is not efficient, your systems are prone to going down or you suffer a cyber-attack; you could lose far more money than your investment in IT infrastructure.
Cloud systems generally give you better control over costs because you know exactly what you will pay as you scale up and down your business and you are not responsible for purchasing, upgrading or maintaining any hardware.
For many standard business requirements there are suitable cloud software-as-a-service solutions (SaaS) available which negates the need to host application or database servers. SaaS is not always the answer though. Depending on the applications you need to use and the size of your organisation, you may need to host your own on-premise or cloud application and data servers.
Applications, devices and users need to be easy to manage and as centrally manageable as possible. The bigger your organisation, the more important this becomes. For example, if you have 5 users it is easy to manually manage devices and software deployment/updates. If you have 50 users, automation and centralised management is going to be essential.