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How to Plan Your IT Infrastructure Transformation
Planning or mapping out your IT infrastructure can be a daunting task. There are a lot of different components involved and every business is unique so there is no one-size-fits-all playbook to follow. Even if you plan to outsource most of the work of building or transforming your IT infrastructure, you still need to have a basic plan for what you want a provider to do for you. In most cases, the business you work for (or own) already has an existing IT infrastructure. This means you need to make changes to it while ensuring that you maintain operating functionality simultaneously. This can feel like renovating your entire house while living in it. You still need to eat, use the restroom, and have a place to sleep while you renovate. Let us dive in to how you can begin mapping out IT infrastructure needs while maintaining business operations.
Primary and Secondary Priorities
The first step in planning your IT infrastructure is outlining what your primary and secondary priorities are. This can be difficult to do because you can quickly fall into listing everything as a priority. In most cases planning your IT infrastructure transformation stems from the desire to grow your customer base, grow your team, expand your offerings, upgrade communication tools, or adopt a form of online sales. Starting with your main business priorities is the easiest way to break it down into digestible parts. Here are a few example questions to ask yourself when deciding what your primary priorities are:
- What is my main goal with transforming my IT infrastructure?
- How many employees do I have now, and do I plan to expand my team in the next 5 years?
- Do I want to have a premised based data center, or am I interested in moving to the cloud?
- Does my physical space suit my IT infrastructure goals? (if you only have a tiny closet to store infrastructure hardware you may need to consider expanding that space)
Once you identify your main priorities for transforming your IT infrastructure you can decide on secondary priorities, which will generally end up being directly tied to your primary priorities. Here are a few example questions to ask yourself to identify your secondary priorities:
- Is my team remote connectivity enabled?
- What type of voice applications or phone systems to I currently use? What do I want to use moving forward?
- What does my online presence look like? Am I interested in building out an online sales platform?
As mentioned, these are only example questions. Every business is unique and has its own strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify your IT infrastructure transformation goals, you can move on to finding provider to help you achieve them. Check out this blog for pointers on selecting the right provider for you.
Drafting your IT infrastructure transformation plan
Now that you have identified primary and secondary priorities, you will want to consider a timeline and budget for your IT infrastructure transformation. Technology is a continuously evolving space, and it is important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to your timeline. Ask yourself a few grounding questions to keep your plan in scope:
- What do I need my IT infrastructure to do in 1 year?
- What do I need my IT infrastructure to do in 5 years?
- What is my budget for the next year? Will this allow me to reach my goals?
- What is my budget for maintenance over the next 5 years?
The point of this is, what is it I need to have completed in the next year and what will maintenance or upgrades look like in the future? The key to figuring this out is working with a provider you trust. Reputable providers can help you build out a plan to reach your goals, while also recommending products within your budget. When it comes to IT infrastructure, you want to remain grounded in the present while also keeping your eyes on the future of your business. Your IT infrastructure is the foundation of your business operations.
If you have any questions about transforming your IT infrastructure reach out to us at ContactUs@Matrix-NDI.com or call 763-475-5500