Pick the Right Team Size
Most companies fail to hire enough system administrators and IT staff. There will often be too many tasks to focus on, which may interrupt your infrastructure management work. The converse is also true: you might come across as overzealous and over-zealous with IT staff, resulting in too many cooks in the kitchen. So, what is the optimal size of your IT infrastructure?
It’s important to keep in mind the number of servers you expect. Since years, industry professionals have speculated on the ideal ratio of servers to system administrators. It has been estimated that there is one administrator for every 10 physical servers and 500 virtual servers combined. Among others, SMBs for physical servers average 30:1, while virtual servers average 80:1. The number of servers is only one aspect of the equation. Other variables include the size of the staff, data communication flow, customers and customer groups, growth projections, etc.
Make it Scalable
When you start developing your IT infrastructure, it is important to keep in mind the potential future growth of your business and any existing business plans. While a basic file sharing service might apply to your current 20 employees, in the long run, after adding a few hundred employees, the same system will struggle with additional pressure, disintegrate quickly, and impact your business.
It is important to purchase products that have management scalability, growth potential, and the ability to add functionality in the future. Planning now can help you avoid future switching costs, such as company-wide retraining, not to mention the hassle of lost and unrecoverable data.
With the many cloud services available today, you can adjust costs and features to meet your needs more easily than ever. Cost-effective and labor-intensive cloud systems are extremely adaptable and powerful, and have many other advantages based on scale, distance, and industry with extremely strong scalability.
Keep Processes Intuitive
When setting up your IT infrastructure, establish clear boundaries and processes from the beginning and always choose persistent and traceable fixes. Business owners or managers should avoid the urge to overdesign their systems, set up cheap temporary repair networks to fix problems, or build a lot of tacit knowledge. Business is possible even if you leave the company. Often, the burden of maintaining and remembering all temporary utilities is heavy, and the system is too complex to rest or delegate responsibility.
As mentioned earlier, to maintain business flexibility, when implementing structural changes, create structural guidelines and management procedures for all employees, including yourself.
Take Note of Good Vendor Relationships
When looking for software, services, or IT support, consider the early stages of your relationship as an indicator of future support. Vendors will address similarities in the future if they respond quickly and efficiently when they need IT support, or if they wait hours to reach the first level of four-level tech support over the phone.
Have an IT Infrastructure Expert Build it for You
Planning and implementing IT infrastructure is one of the most important decisions an organization can make. Using a consulting firm can help you gain many years of experience in analyzing, designing, and implementing IT system architectures. Usually, the consultant will design and build an infrastructure that includes everything from a single server environment to a multi-site, high-availability cluster.
With the right professionals, you can also gain valuable partnerships, which are critical to the success of your infrastructure.