Technology is the engine that drives productivity and innovation at your company. However, a recent study has revealed some concerning statistics: On average, businesses waste $4,072 per employee every year due to tech issues. On top of that, employees spend nearly three hours per week grappling with these issues, with remote workers bearing the brunt with a 73% productivity hit, followed by 41% for hybrid workers and 22% for on-site staff.
In light of these challenges, businesses must take a strategic approach to managing technology, part of which involves an IT infrastructure assessment.
What is an IT Infrastructure Assessment?
An IT infrastructure assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of your organization's technology environment, including hardware, software, networks, and their overall performance.
The primary goals of an IT infrastructure assessment are to ensure efficiency, security, and cost-effectiveness in your IT operations. This process can reveal potential weaknesses and areas for improvement, helping you make informed decisions about technology upgrades and investments.
Every technology has a lifecycle—desktops last four to six years, smartphones endure around two to three years, and servers span between five to seven years or more. It’s important to know when a technology has crossed the threshold from asset to liability whether due to the technology simply breaking down, its provider no longer offers support for that model, or the tech can no longer run the latest version of your mission-critical applications.
Refreshing IT infrastructure isn't a singular event but an ongoing strategic endeavor. Different components require staggered refresh cycles to ensure optimal performance. Here, we present actionable strategies to gain maximum value from your IT equipment by conducting an IT infrastructure assessment.
Steps for an IT Infrastructure Assessment
1. Define your tech needs
Before looking at your existing technology take the time to look at what your company needs. For customers, this can be user-friendly interfaces, responsive customer service platforms, and personalized services made possible by tech. For your team, it can be project management tools like Monday or Asana, remote support tools like GoTo Resolve or LogMeIn Rescue, and communication platforms like GoTo Connect or Slack. Understanding these needs creates a theoretical framework that enables you to measure your current infrastructure’s effectiveness against a defined baseline and decide if your current setup gives you (or would give you) a competitive edge.
2. Identify infrastructure gaps
As you review your technology setup, adopt a critical eye. Is your current IT infrastructure doing its job? Is it allowing you to remain competitive? Are employees satisfied and productive? If not, now’s the time to spot the specific gaps in your infrastructure that are directly tied to potential financial losses, operational hiccups, and time lost within the company. Pinpointing these deficiencies will help when it’s time to propose upgrades to supervisors.
3. Determine whether your network is efficient
These days, a robust, business-class network is a must. Are you equipped with enough bandwidth? Are there data lags or issues with storage and communications? A reliable network facilitates uninterrupted data flow and seamless communication, while an inefficient network introduces setbacks such as disrupted workflows and potential missed opportunities. Ultimately, the quality of your network has a significant impact on your operational efficiency and competitiveness in the market.
4. Assess the current IT systems
Take a comprehensive look at your current IT systems, which covers hardware components, software applications, network architecture, and overall system performance. This involves examining hardware conditions, software inventory, and critical performance metrics like system uptime, response time, network latency, throughput, error rates, resource utilization, and user satisfaction. Additionally, tap into your team’s experiences with tech—how it assists in their tasks, its user-friendliness, and what improvements they suggest. Their insights can give you a better idea about your technology’s strengths and areas for improvement.
5. Evaluate Total Cost of Ownership for new technology
Too many IT departments only look at the direct costs of a technology purchase. But research has found that these costs only represent 20 percent of what you wind up paying for a technology solution. All the indirect costs (training, downtime, maintenance, etc.) typically go unbudgeted. Because of that, they become an unwelcome surprise later that hurts your enterprise’s bottom line. It's essential to account for both direct and indirect costs to determine the total cost of ownership (TCO). You should also consider factors like whether you’re implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies or deciding between on-premise setups and cloud solutions. It’s all about getting the whole picture of costs beyond the price tag to determine if investing in that new tech is truly worth it in the long run.
6. Ensure a disaster/redundancy plan
Review your current infrastructure's backup and redundancy capabilities. If it’s older equipment, it might not have data duplication and virtual storage resources offered by current technologies. Consequently, as you consider potential replacement technologies, see what they offer in case of outages or disasters.
7. Ensure data security and compliance
Maintain a firm stance on data security and compliance by organizing and safeguarding your data with encryption, access controls, routine audits, and user permissions management. Instill a security-conscious culture within your team through thorough training, ensuring everyone is well-versed in best practices. And, of course, leverage specialized tools designed to swiftly detect and respond to potential threats.
Explore the Perks of GoTo Resolve
Managing your IT infrastructure is an ongoing journey, demanding constant attention and enhancement. With GoTo Resolve, you unlock a range of benefits:
- Automatically identify and resolve device issues.
- Say goodbye to manual support with seamless automation and workflows.
- Save valuable time while maintaining complete control through remote device deployments.
- Diagnose and troubleshoot issues promptly, working on your terms.