Today, IT systems are critical for most companies, no matter what the industry. This was true before the health crisis and will remain true after it. Anything from a technical glitch, cyberattack or simply the absence technical staff can paralyze operations, putting your company’s reputation and viability on the line.
To minimize risks, businesses need to be proactive and create robust business continuity plans. And since this isn’t an inconsequential matter, the process should involve getting input from seasoned professionals who can help you anticipate the unexpected and plan accordingly.
Why partner with an external firm?
If your in-house IT team is small, this question is easy to answer. Your generalists need to consult with senior experts who specialize in system security, backup and contingency. But companies with larger IT departments may argue that they already have enough expertise on board and don’t need to input from an external firm. And theoretically, this may be true. But it’s important to remember that managed service providers can:
- Provide an objective assessment of your situation
- Share insights gained from other companies and the issues they’ve faced
- Be ready to support your team if a crisis—such as the COVID-19 pandemic—causes a personnel shortage or unanticipated demands on your systems
- Offer 24-hour support, which can prove crucial when an incident occurs
In light of all this, it makes sense to partner with an IT services provider before you face a critical juncture. This will give teams on both sides enough time to discuss needs and risks while everyone is still calm and business is operating normally. But hindsight is always 20/20. If you’re grappling with an unforeseen issue, it’s never too late to call an external provider for assistance.
Still not sure? Consider your cash flows
The Canadian economy has enjoyed a prolonged period of prosperity, but the tides have made an abrupt turn with the coronavirus outbreak. Cash flows are now a serious concern for most businesses, regardless of their size. Working with an external IT firm gives companies access to specialized expertise with round-the-clock availability, without carrying the financial burden of keeping top-level specialists on payroll. Typically, managed services are billed on a monthly basis, so costs are known and there are no surprises.
Infrastructure maintenance is essential
IT infrastructure must be actively maintained to protect business continuity. It’s not optional. Specifically, regular maintenance is required for your servers, PCs and peripheral devices, data backup and system security. Maintenance frequency depends on your business needs and can range from daily checks to quarterly interventions. In some cases, it’s even performed in real time.
If the current crisis has put pressure on your IT systems, you can appreciate how important it is to have all systems running smoothly. When the pressure’s on, the last thing your business needs is a technical glitch or security breach, especially if you offer essential services.
Conversely, if the economic slowdown has created a lull in your operations, this could be the perfect time to reassess your infrastructure maintenance plan and tackle issues you’ve been putting off because of other priorities. That way you’ll be prepared to jump back into action when business returns to normal.
What does IT infrastructure maintenance entail?
Here are a few maintenance tasks that should be performed regularly:
- Server error detection and analysis
- Patches, critical updates and non-regression testing
- Disk space, partition and VM verifications and management, with alerts signaling when thresholds are exceeded
- Server performance monitoring through regular analysis of disk I/O, RAM, CPU and fragmentation
- Backup notification monitoring
- Backup media maintenance and issue detection
R2i provides comprehensive remote support for IBM Power Systems environments (IBMi, AIX, Linux) and x86 environments (Windows and Linux). We work with our clients to determine the most effective way to meet their IT maintenance needs, including full or partial infrastructure management, and short- or long-term assistance. We’ll also discuss whether hosting, cloud solutions or hybrid storage are best for your business.
With many years in the field, our team of certified professionals can help you meet urgent needs and reach your long-term goals. Talk to us about managed IT services today. 1-844-312-3007