CEOs of IT Naturally Julie Bishop and Richard Gardner discuss why IT infrastructure matters, and why their refreshing approach to changing, running, and securing infrastructure is winning customers’ hearts and minds
Often overlooked and never considered business-critical like applications and development, IT infrastructure is the foundation of IT and the digital world we live in. Infrastructure consists of the servers that process and store petabytes of data each second around the world, the networks that share data globally and locally at the speed of light, the millions of devices like laptops, phones and PCs that users interact with to input and consume the data and the surrounding fabric that prevents the wrong people getting their hands on the data.
Infrastructure is what allows us to communicate, and what allows both our organisations and we as individuals to work productively and collaborate in our modern world. We must all appreciate that infrastructure is much more than just hardware and tin and see just how critical infrastructure is in enabling our organisations’ business functions. If it fails, your business processes and income streams may be impacted for a while if you are lucky, and at worst, your organisation’s secrets and competitive advantage could be lost or stolen for good.
Getting IT infrastructure strategy right
Ensuring your IT infrastructure is reliable and secure is rudimentary, but to gain a competitive advantage having a clear infrastructure strategy that addresses your organisations needs of today and tomorrow is critical. Intelligent investments in platforms, network, user interfaces, cyber resilience coupled with appropriate levels of service management can make the difference between a profitable organisation and a failing one.
A future-ready modern infrastructure often costs less than the current environment, especially when infrastructure transformation includes deleting data and decommissioning applications that you no longer need. The benefits of getting your infrastructure strategy right include:
- Increased employee productivity.
- Improved collaboration between all parties.
- Optimised levels of investment.
- Appropriate cyber resilience to avoid security incidents.
- Enabling business growth.
- Providing a competitive advantage.
COVID-19 has dominated 2020, and leaders that had well-thought-out infrastructure have enabled their staff to work from home most effectively where appropriate.
Changing or upgrading an organisation’s infrastructure to align with the strategy need not be high risk when done properly and backed by a strong business case that articulates the time, people and money investment required to give an organisation the edge. Different cost models are available to suit an organisation’s preference for Opex vs. Capex spend. Where using cloud-based infrastructure close attention must be paid to the hidden costs – it is not a given that cloud will be cheaper.
Functional and non-functional requirements are fundamental to infrastructure change and often overlooked. Failing to solicit and document these correctly will only lead to additional costs, delays and potentially put your organisation’s operations at risk – experience has taught us that this ‘law of infrastructure transformation’ cannot be broken.
Changing infrastructure is not only about the technology, but equally people, process and service must be carefully considered and aligned to maximise the benefits. Outsourcing infrastructure operations may lead to improved value and service.
Large-scale transformation change can affect all parts of an organisation, require significant investment, and last months to years. For this reason, strong sponsorship, governance, communication, and laser-like project delivery is required coupled with robust testing and well-planned service introduction and implementation.
Keeping it running smoothly
Service management and operations is the discipline that ensures your organisation’s infrastructure processes, stores, transports, secures, and communicates your organisation’s data year-after-year without issues.
Done well, it beautifully manages risk, aligning people, process, monitoring, and continuous improvement to ensure capacity and performance are managed, changes and requests are fulfilled without incident. Furthermore, when things do go wrong the right people are in the right place at the right time to resolve things swiftly.
Why IT Naturally?
In a world where infrastructure doesn’t always get the care it clearly deserves, IT Naturally goes the extra mile with our customers to plan, improve, secure and maintain their IT infrastructure, delivering successful outcomes that are designed to be simple, manageable and aligned to our customers’ business strategies.
We offer the following key services:
- Infrastructure consultancy.
- Transformation planning and delivery.
- 24 x 7 x 365 IT service desk and service management.
- Network operations.
- End-user/collaboration operations.
- Platform & hosting operations.
- Cyber resilience services.
Julie and Richard have built a company in a highly competitive industry that offers a more personal and bespoke service than similar services offered by the big MSPs and offshore outsourcers. It is small enough to be lean and agile – which allows us to move quickly, offer bespoke services and solutions, and importantly, deliver highly personalised customer care. We are big enough to take on large, complex, IT infrastructure projects because of our team’s combined experience, expertise and knowledge and our commitment to customer care and security is demonstrated by our ISO 9001, 27001 and Cyber Essentials accreditations.
If your infrastructure needs a little more love or you need a caring and reliable partner to plan and transform your infrastructure with, our services are available on the government’s G-Cloud 12 framework and we are working to provide more services on other public sector frameworks in the near future.
*Please note: This is a commercial profile