Getting to know your IT systems

Technology changes so quickly these days. Vendors are always touting the new and shiny technology they are selling while reporting that technology that was cutting edge just last year is now old and clunky. Before you get talked into a new technology, you should understand where your IT Systems are first so that you can weigh your options against a knowledgeable baseline.

Some of the easiest data points to gather are your network usage. There are plenty of tools available that will tell you how much data you are transferring over your network and over your internet connection. You can also tell when your peak data usage occurs and what web sites are being contacted.

A little more difficult to quantify is the financial costs supporting the IT infrastructure your company is using. How difficult depends on the granularity to which your finance department tracks IT costs.

For example, there is a financial cost if you host your own IT infrastructure on site. The space it takes up, the power it uses and the impact to your Air Conditioning bill from keeping your equipment at a safe operating temperature all have financial impact. This requires a detailed analysis of the cost per square foot for your real estate. It requires research to see how much power your hardware uses and how much heat each device produces needing additional AC power.

The initial purchase price of the hardware is a capital expenditure. This also includes

A typical small business data closet

the cabling and racks needed to install the servers and network equipment. PO’s and invoices should go through accounting and should be readily available.

There are also the ongoing operational costs, beyond space, power and cooling mentioned above. These are the costs of keeping your IT systems up, running and secure; ongoing vendor support and maintenance fees, IT department costs and software licenses.

Finally, there are the intangible costs of your technology systems. This is a comparison of how much benefit your technology brings to your company’s bottom line compared to how much it is costing. To be honest, this is next to impossible to quantify but in a holistic sense you should be able to see how much your Sales, Fulfillment and Customer Service Teams are using the technology tools to do their jobs. Ask them.

With all this information, you will better be able to see where your IT gaps are and where you are doing just fine. This will allow you to be in the driver’s seat when the vendors come calling with the latest and greatest.

Up next. Is out-sourcing your IT infrastructure for you?

TeleData Select is an independent Telecom Broker founded in Atlanta, GA in 2006 with a single concept in mind: finding the Right Provider, Right Solution and Right Price for our customers — regardless of the telecom communication carrier. As technology changes, our team keeps up with the latest telecom options and service providers so we can truly be an agnostic resource that customers can count on for unbiased advice.