You’ve decided it is time to start making improvements to your IT infrastructure, but where do you start? What takes the front of the list and what can wait?
I have found that these questions can be answered by asking this one question: What is important for your business to keep growing and running? Consider what items will increase your productivity and keep your business from being interrupted.
For most companies these are the top things that should always be in place and in good working order.
- A well setup Domain and Active Directory infrastructure.
- Provides a quick way to add new users to the network
- Gives you superior control over security permissions for shares, files and devices on the network
- Increases overall network security by requiring administrator passwords to add devices to the domain
- Allows you to apply Global Policies to all machines in a given group (Ex. Screen locks after 10 minutes, turn on remote desktop for all machines, apply printers to all machines)
- Group Shares controlled by a file server is one of the best ways to control, manage and monitor data on your network.
- Allows you to control access by user or group to files and folders
- Give you a single place to store files for departments, no hunting files
- Insures that important data is backed up
- A Print server may not seem like a big deal but when you start to have 5 or 10 printers it can be a handy thing to have for your business.
- Allows you to put multiple drivers for multiple operating systems
- Print jobs are stored on the server not on the workstations
- Adding a printer to a PC is easy and controlled
- Efficient way of managing and adding printers
- A good network backbone (network switches) is always important.
- Weather you have 1 or 10 switches, which ones you have is important. If you are running a switch with a max speed of 10MB then you will experience a slow internal network connection.
- When considering switches, look at max speed per port, if they are dumb switches or managed and if they are POE (power over Ethernet) or not. Most IT professionals will always recommend a 1GB network which means that all ports on your switch are 1G max or 1000MB.
- POE is always a good feature to look into because wireless devices and phones can sometimes run off of power from the Ethernet port.
- Firewalls are the MOST important part of your network and can be very basic or extremely advanced.
- Protects from intrusions
- Port scanning
- DDOS attacked
- You can control what your employees can access on the internet
- Some even have reports so you can see users usage of the internet and even sites visited
- Email is one of the most used tools in any company, in most years it is even the most chosen tool to manage projects.
- Make sure that the email is reliable and fast
- Consider implementing a cloud based email solution for less administrative management and more cost effective.
Altogether, your IT infrastructure plays an important part of your business. Always set your goals and then begin making changes in order to meet those business goals.