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The term “IT infrastructure” refers to the hardware, software, peripheral resources and managed services needed for an organisation to operate in today’s technological landscape. These interconnected elements represent the foundation on which companies achieve goals and generate profits. The way IT infrastructure and supporting services are deployed has evolved significantly, leaving companies with outdated infrastructure at a disadvantage. By working with an experienced IT infrastructure services firm, industry leaders can maximise productivity and cybersecurity while reducing overhead.

What types of IT infrastructure are available?

Growing and future focused businesses that need to serve modern customer needs would be well-served to invest in modern IT infrastructure that is secure and agile. So, what is IT infrastructure management? IT infrastructure management refers to the process of overseeing and maintaining an organization's entire IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, networks, servers, and data centres. It involves ensuring the infrastructure's reliability, security, and efficiency to support business operations and deliver seamless services to customers. Organisations that stick with outdated hardware and approaches typically run a higher risk of slow systems that impact productivity, as well as more critical systems failure and cyberattacks that put their key operations and reputation at risk. Network crashes reduce productivity and upwards of 60 per cent of small businesses reportedly shutter within six months of a data breach. Those are sound reasons to embrace the latest technologies and IT infrastructure services. These are three commonly employed types of IT infrastructure to consider.

On-premises IT infrastructure

Traditional on-site IT infrastructure may provide organisations with seamless communications capacity and productivity. This type of infrastructure uses components that include software and hardware within the facility. On-premises systems require designated space and all utilise a significant amount of energy that impacts their cost-effectiveness. Although much of the oversight can be handled remotely, private physical servers usually call for on-site IT infrastructure management as well.

Hyper-converged IT infrastructure

This type of IT infrastructure brings together servers and software involving a distributed approach consistent with a public Cloud. The goal involves gaining a unified landscape driven by the latest software to replace aging on-premises infrastructure. Coupled with IT infrastructure services, the hyper-Converged approach reduces costs derived from space usage, physical maintenance, and energy expenses.

Cloud-based IT infrastructure

This type of IT infrastructure is widely considered cost-effective and delivers enhanced flexibility. Various technology components are pooled together in a virtual private or public network designed to maximise productivity and slim down costs. This architecture remains well-equipped to support the multifaceted approach used by business leaders.

These include in-house staff members, remote workers, and employees who benefit from access to systems and data. In terms of IT managed services, the Cloud-based strategy leverages software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Business professionals who need more detail about the Cloud or another type of infrastructure are advised to contact an IT consulting services firm.

Hybrid IT infrastructure

As the name suggests this approach uses a combination of the above mentioned types of IT infrastructure, and is the most flexible. This allows an organisation to in effect be able to leverage the benefits of each individual environment, as a way to align IT strategy with business requirements and goals. For example an organisation operating in a highly regulated environment may require a mix on private/on-prem infrastructure that is more secure, while leaning on more cloud based infrastructure to run any customer facing applications thus ensuring they can transact with customers anytime, anywhere.

Business benefits from having a quality IT infrastructure

By working with an IT infrastructure solutions provider, an organistation gains advantages that help them level the competitive playing field. Investing in robust infrastructure and IT managed services often results in the following operational and business benefits;

IT infrastructure supports regulatory compliance

Organisations that benefit from global internet connectivity are tasked with achieving and maintaining regulatory compliance. The primary Australian mandate, in terms of sensitive digital assets, is The Privacy Act 1988. This core legislation sets guidelines for the “collection, use, storage and disclosure of personal information in the federal public sector and in the private sector,” according to the Attorney General’s Department. By storing and transmitting digital assets from secure infrastructure, an IT managed services firm can monitor and update the system to comply with current and future government regulations. Check out 6 ways the right MSP can help you ensure compliance.

IT infrastructure improves efficiency

Upgrading from an outdated system to one favouring IT infrastructure services provides obvious efficiency benefits. Older physical networks are prone to crashes that take multiple employees offline. That means business owners are paying otherwise motivated staff members to sip a beverage and chit-chat while they wait to get back to work. This remains an all-too-common and wasteful industry reality. By pivoting to Cloud and hybrid IT infrastructure management solutions, work stoppages are minimised, if not erased altogether.

IT infrastructure provides scalability

The use of traditional, on-premises IT infrastructure makes scalability increasingly difficult. As small and medium-sized operations expand, more equipment must be integrated to increase the physical footprint. Energy bills also rise and companies face the prospect of paying managed IT services professionals to periodically retool the system. The use of Cloud and hybrid infrastructure can eliminate equipment, excess energy, and unnecessary network reconfigurations. That’s largely because the Cloud opens the door to cost-flexible SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS opportunities.

IT infrastructure improves productivity

Onboarding state-of-the-art IT infrastructure improves profit-driving productivity on two fronts. With experienced IT managed services as part of the equation, the shift eliminates costly employee downtime. Paying people to wait for in-house technicians to reboot or fix systems is something of a double whammy. It tamps down the ability to move forward with routine tasks designed to achieve business goals while payroll resources are wasted. When considered from a forward-projecting perspective, Cloud and hybrid IT infrastructures typically increase access to digital assets and speed application usage.

IT infrastructure hardens security

Australia suffers a reported six ransomware attacks every month, and more than half of New Zealand businesses and internet users were hit by a cyberattack in 2021. On a global scale, cybercriminals will cost small and medium-sized enterprises upwards of $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. The tactics hacker employ include phishing schemes, malware, ransomware and denial-of-service attacks.

The good news is that shifting to a next-generation IT infrastructure posture reduces and eliminates certain vulnerabilities. Digital assets can be stored in a variety of Cloud positions. Should a hacker succeed in infiltrating a system, backup data can be stored across Cloud platforms or modestly-sized physical equipment. This facet makes disaster recovery plausible even when hackers believe they have control over a network. Essentially, forward-thinking IT infrastructure supports the determined defences needed to overcome adversity.

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What a sophisticated IT infrastructure looks like

A highly sophisticated IT infrastructure delivers reliable access to users and enhanced cybersecurity protections. With industry-leading IT infrastructure services in place, a business system possesses the agility to grow and shift with competitive demands. A smartly orchestrated IT infrastructure remains scalable and adaptable to emerging technologies. By employing suitable IT infrastructure, thought leaders position their organisations for long-term stability.

Different use cases of IT infrastructure

Traditional, on-premises IT infrastructure sometimes gives business leaders a sense of control over data storage, applications, and backup disaster recovery. This has been proven to be something of a false sense of security. Advanced technologies used in Cloud-based and hybrid operations offer wide-reaching benefits. The following use cases support off-site IT infrastructure transitions.

• Software as a Service: SaaS has been dubbed “software on demand” because it positions companies for real-time solutions. With Cloud-based and hybrid IT infrastructure, an enterprise pays only for the applications it needs to accomplish tasks. Onboarding new software products involve discarding outdated services and integrating better-suited options.

• Data Analytics: Large corporations gather and analyse consumer data to respond to trends and maximise profits. Small and medium-sized outfits often struggle with data collection and assessment. With the proper IT infrastructure and managed support, number-crunching can be affordable and lead to increased profits.

• Cloud choices: Companies have the option to employ three types of Clouds — private, public, and hybrid. Modestly-sized operations usually select public or hybrid Cloud infrastructure because they are user-friendly and relatively inexpensive.

• Infrastructure as a Service: Employing IaaS IT infrastructure eliminates the need for physical office space, energy, hardware, and physical maintenance. Data centres have become far more costly than IaaS footprints, making non-traditional IT infrastructure a more prevalent option.

• Backup as a Service, often referred to as BaaS in tech circles, may involve a managed services provider (MSP) ensuring critical data is backed up regularly. The ability of a third-party firm to oversee disaster recovery necessities such as BaaS makes Cloud and hybrid IT infrastructure a preferred choice.

Does your current IT infrastructure meet your business needs?

Determining whether an organisation’s current IT infrastructure provides adequate support & is aligned to business goals, tasks IT leaders with conducting due diligence. While the operation may be achieving goals and turning a profit, forward-thinking IT professionals may want to assess the following aspects of the IT infrastructure.

Does your current IT infrastructure cater to business goals?

Smartly crafted IT infrastructure bolsters business goals and helps improve services. If existing IT infrastructure proves cumbersome, consider enlisting the help of third-party IT consulting services.

Does your IT infrastructure keep digital assets secure?

Properly aligned IT infrastructure streamlines user access while keeping sensitive and valuable data safe. Businesses of all sizes are being targeted by hackers at an increased rate. If your cybersecurity defences are not top-tier, consider having an assessment conducted and pivoting to secure IT infrastructure.

Is your network cost effective?

Maximising business success involves making prudent, cost-effective investments. That’s why it’s worthwhile to compare monthly and long-term costs against IT infrastructure that utilises next-generation innovation.

Do current metrics support decisions?

Effective IT infrastructure provides insightful metrics that help decision-makers determine the value customers are receiving. Unless your existing posture can deliver precision metrics, it puts your operation at a competitive disadvantage.

How Managed Service providers play into IT infrastructure

When rethinking infrastructure, choosing a managed IT service provider delivers a necessary support component. There are a wide range of MSP firms that handle general and niche IT managed services. In terms of building a partnership with an MSP that syncs with your current and long-term goals, these rank among the top IT infrastructure questions to consider.

Does the MSP offer IT Help Desk solutions?
Does the MSP provide early threat detection and cybersecurity monitoring?
Does the MSP have 24-7 dedicated professionals?
Does the MSP utilise the latest technology innovations?
Does the MSP offer flexible monthly and annual pricing?

The value of IT support cannot be understated. Working with an experienced MSP with expertise in IT infrastructure strategies allows decision-makers to re-imagine their technology utilisation proactively. And around IT leadership, navigating the roles of CIO vs CISO is another crucial aspect to consider for a comprehensive and secure infrastructure.

How CBS can help you with IT infrastructure services?

If you are experiencing business growth, worry about cybersecurity vulnerabilities, or would benefit from improved IT infrastructure, working with an MSP could prove beneficial. At Canon Business Services, our experienced professionals deliver cost-effective IT infrastructure services that provide a competitive advantage. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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