There can be many challenges in infrastructure management but there are some simple ways that the most common of these can be resolved.
IT infrastructure can be complicated and there's no getting away from it. With software, hardware, networks, and data centers all coming under the term, there can be many challenges in infrastructure management.
The fact that so many different disciplines are involved in a single infrastructure means that a wide variety of skills are needed to resolve potential problems that could arise. Being aware of what these obstacles may be will allow your organization to be prepared to deal with these issues before they escalate to company-wide problems.
Here are three of the most common infrastructure challenges and how you can overcome them:
Making IT objectives business priorities
As with many areas of the company, it can be difficult for IT to make its objectives priorities for the wider business. Whether you need additional investment or are fighting against certain aspects of your department being outsourced, one of the biggest - and oldest - issues is trying to prove your worth to decision makers.
This can lead to friction between departments and a situation where resources are being sent in the wrong direction. Although it may be difficult to actually convince your company your objectives should be a priority, preparing for this challenge is relatively simple.
Most decision makers care about numbers and how their support will boost profits for the company. Whether this is through actually generating more income for the company through expansion, reducing inefficiencies, or simplifying processes, detailing the cost benefits of your priorities will be very beneficial to your case.
You can do this by listing the goals for your department as a whole and how you have been able to achieve them. If you have been unable to realize all your targets, you need to be clear about why this is and suggest an approach that would allow you to do this next quarter.
Pricing vs. the Environment
Another one of the most common infrastructure challenges for modern IT managers is to bring down the costs of running the facility. However, this often goes hand-in-hand with ensuring your operations are as eco-friendly as possible. With more restrictions and even fines being placed on companies that fail to reduce their carbon footprint, balancing low costs with staying eco-friendly is a pressing concern.
You don't need to decide on the best course of action for these, as it's unlikely that there will be an answer that doesn't compromise one or the other, but offering solutions is key. Pricing structure is often unique to each company, but there is common ground, such as phasing out applications that get minimal use or that have cheaper alternatives, re-assessing other management costs and looking at other spending to help reduce costs.
Often making your facility more eco-friendly requires a significant upfront investment but this can be more cost-effective in the long run. This should also be analyzed as an option, as well as cloud storage architecture for your organization in the future.
Service Level Agreements and what to do internally
Reliability is a key challenge in IT management, and has been almost since the start of technology as we know it. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are used when part of the facility is outsourced, but even if you keep everything in-house it's wise to have an equivalent to ensure a high standard of IT service.
A key part of this is identifying what success looks like for your infrastructure. How do you measure a good month compared to a bad one? Keeping reports of any unwanted downtime and degradation in performance can act in your favor when it comes to asking for more budget or investment in your facility.
This is directly linked to customer satisfaction (CSAT) as any disruption to service, which is the result of infrastructure, can lead to unhappy clients that will look to take their business elsewhere. Ensure your organization is doing regular surveys to understand customers and their pain points when it comes to their IT requirements.
Businesses can live and die by their ability to adapt to changing customer IT infrastructure demands so make sure you keep analyzing yours and how it could be improved.
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