Be Strategic with an IT Department

Apr 12, 2017 | blog, IT Support

Nowadays when we think about the IT department we think about a person who provides tech support on the “systems” we use. This could be a number of things from desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, desk phones, Internet, servers, switches, printers, and so on. While this list could have continued to go on for a while longer, it is the modern day reality. IT has their hands in almost everything we do as a company. It is and should be an important piece of the growth and sustainability strategy of your business.  Let’s look into several functional areas that are needed to make up an IT Department today.

IT Department – NOC (Network Operations Center)

For years, the NOC has been described as the “behind the scenes” area of IT. The NOC has many functions but mainly looks at the Up/Down performance of the system(s) and escalates any and all alerts accordingly to the appropriate Technicians. A NOC may be watching lots of systems and their status on the network, as well as alerting on any system level predicative failures. The NOC can also be the delivery mechanism for software updates/upgrades and patching. It is a vital part of the network and is the cornerstone that enables IT related issues to be resolved proactively.

IT Department – Datacenter Administrator

This is the “nerve center” of the network. IT departments must make sure that this room is maintained and secured at all times. The physical security of the room is not the only form of security. Servers, switches, routers, network appliances and other IT gear that are kept in the datacenter are critical to most core functions of all businesses. Ensuring that the infrastructure is running at an optimal level requires maintaining these resources and strategically planning for firmware updates, software upgrades/licensing renewals, hardware monitoring and security patching of these appliances on a regular, non-disruptive basis to ensure the integrity of the datacenter.

IT Department – Cloud Resources

Cloud initiatives will vary based on the business and its long term goal for “flexibility” in available resources and access to data. When speaking of resources, we are specifically talking about the compute resources for applications, web based activities, and data mining; the company’s cloud-based servers. While there are many other reasons that compute resources are needed, the difficult challenge of the cloud is its ability to scale quickly. If advanced resource planning was not part of the initial strategy, the company could find itself waiting on IT to submit cloud services change orders and confirmations before those additional resources can be accessed. The two most popular applications we see in the cloud revolve around email and storage. From Office 365 to Dropbox Business, there is no shortage of cloud-based storage offerings that provide access to day-to-day applications and data needed to perform our daily jobs. However, all this requires oversight from the IT department to ensure that company policies are managed and followed. While we want this part of the cloud to be simple and easily accessible, it could also pose one of the biggest vulnerabilities for a company when left unchecked.

IT Department – Security/Compliance

While this “Department” is typically positioned at the bottom of the list it is by far the most important. What is more important than protecting your intellectual property (IP) and your digital footprint as a company? We hear about security all the time and think – “I have Antivirus and a Firewall, I am well protected”. While this statement is somewhat correct, those are only two pieces to the system/network protection puzzle. The biggest security risk all business have are its “people”.  The majority of malware and ransomware attacks are launched from within the organization either maliciously, or by the unsuspecting employee who opens an infected email attachment. The IT Security Department must take a more proactive role in educating employees about the vulnerabilities and risks associated with using their everyday systems, as well as any remote devices used to remote connect to the network. One click of the mouse can bring the company to a screeching halt in an instant. Whoever fills this role in your company needs to have the “ear” of everyone in the organization to make their role work.

Axxys realizes that most businesses cannot satisfy all the roles that are required for the IT Department to function at the optimal level required for their business.  So the question is – How can Axxys help? We have the expertise, experience and ability to work with your team in the areas that need attention.

  • NOC – 24×7 Monitoring/Alerting/Patching (Microsoft and 3rd Party)
  • Datacenter – Network Design/Switch and Route Configuration/Wireless/Documentation
  • Cloud – Email/Storage/Compute/Virtual Desktop/Backup
  • Security/Compliance – Policy Management/Firewall/VPN/CyberSecurity Education

Where can we help? We are here to provide the services needed for you to round out your “IT Department”.

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