Top 5 Best Practices for IT Managers
A successful business doesn’t just use their IT infrastructure to automate their operations, processes and workflows, it underpins everything that they do.
The goal of the IT Manager, therefore, must be to ensure that their IT environment continues to maximise business productivity, whilst minimising costly downtime. The first step – follow these popular best practices!
“A well organised IT infrastructure is the backbone of a great business”
At Dufeu IT Solutions, we’ve spent more than a decade working alongside local businesses across the UK, building and managing IT infrastructure, providing advice and supplying support services.
If we’ve learned anything in that time, it’s that IT Managers need to be organised, future-focused and in touch with what’s going on in the world of technology – or hire external team that is!
We’re here to help you keep up with best practices and learn from others that have used technology to successfully grow their business.
Here’s our Top 5:
1. Develop a scalable IT strategy that aligns with your business goals and objectives
Regardless of your business type, size or IT set-up, your infrastructure should always be designed to align with your organisation’s vision and objectives.
For example, if your company’s primary goal in 2023 is to strengthen your customer services, leading to repeat orders and referrals, an IT Manager should be considering how their systems can support that aim.
We think that a winning IT strategy should respond to your general direction of travel as a business, but also set out your vision for the future and how it can help to deliver overriding business objectives.
The IT needs of one business, are entirely different for the next – should you choose to work with an IT support provider, ensure that they spend time reviewing your IT set-up and needs, but also understand where your business wants to be in the next, say, 2, 5 and 10 years. It’s by understanding where you want to get to, that you can build a responsive strategy that works.
2. Stay protected and secure
Technology, software, apps and systems are constantly evolving and becoming obsolete, so that means IT Managers need to be on the ball when it comes to protecting and securing their IT environment.
Hackers are getting smarter!
Regular vulnerability scanning, for example, is a proven process that can help you to identify potential security weaknesses. It’s used as part of a security management system to identify and report vulnerabilities in web applications, servers and firewalls.
By regularly scanning and reviewing your infrastructure, you can identify future threats, weaknesses or areas that need monitoring. This mitigates the incidence of costly security breaches.
Some businesses also use penetration testing (or Pen). This is a cyber-attack simulation launched on your own computer system.
The simulation helps discover points of potential exploitation and tests your breach security. It’s a very effective way of controlling and minimising costly and damaging attacks on your IT environment before it happens.
What about Cyber Essentials Certification?
Cyber Essentials is a government-backed scheme that can help to protect your organisation, whatever its size, against a range of the most common cyber-attacks.
A self-assessment option gives you protection against a wide variety of the most common cyber-attacks. Any vulnerability can make you susceptible to unwanted attention from cyber criminals.
Read more: About Cyber Essentials – NCSC.GOV.UK
Certification gives you peace of mind that your defences will protect against the most common cyber-attacks, simply because these attacks are looking for targets which do not have Cyber Essentials controls in place.
Is your server leaving you exposed?
Vulnerability management is a big issue for IT Managers.
For example, from 10th October 2023, Windows Server 2012 will stop receiving regular patches and any further critical security updates from Microsoft.
If you’ve relied on these security patches, fixes and updates, you will need to consider how best to organise and manage the transition.
Dufeu IT Solutions can help you to consider different options, and to plan how best to protect your infrastructure against future cyber-attacks and security breaches.
3. Work with an experienced IT solutions provider
Sometimes, businesses opt to work with an IT solutions provider to help them do the things that they do, but in a more structured way.
The decision to work with an IT provider is an important one, and its essential you consider what you need before making any final decisions.
You may feel that you want an IT expert on hand to provide daily support, or a structured project package that can be budgeted for.
Whether you need first line support (basic/common assistance) or third line support (covering advanced technology-specific issues), Dufeu provides continuity and advice to suit your IT needs – all delivered by our friendly team!
Having someone to lean on means your business can continue to work at its fullest capacity without costly and disruptive downtime. And you can afford to take that holiday.
4. Make sure you have a back-up plan
IT Managers must always a plan for the worst-case scenario!
With detailed back-up plans in place, covering things like disaster recovery, breakdowns, and data compromises, you will always maintain control.
If you can’t be there to manage a situation, such as during holidays or sickness, make sure your staff and/or IT support provider can take control on your behalf.
An IT environment should not depend on one individual – it needs to run smoothly, efficiently, and not be person dependent.
So, make a back-up plan to cover things like outages, security breaches and data loss, but also make sure that you test it so you can fix any problems.
5. Always be on the lookout for better ways of working efficiently, automating processes and securing cost savings
An IT environment needs to run smoothly, but also cost effectively.
The job of the IT Manager is to make sure its IT services are running at optimal performance levels. If mistakes are regularly being made, or there is potential for saving costs by minimising errors through better use of IT services, then it’s time to look for some support.
Things like automating processes, utilising at third party support and better organisation of IT infrastructure can only ever be a positive decision – leading to significant cost savings, service improvements and benefits across the business!
If you’re short on ideas, looking for inspiration or just want to discuss how best to plan and organise your IT systems and services, Dufeu loves to talk.
We always follow best practices (just check out our ISO accreditations!) and would recommend that your own business does the same to protect its IT environment and investment.