Should You Standardize Your IT Infrastructure?

Consider for a moment the phone on your desk. More than likely, your phone is identical to the phone on the desk of your cube neighbor, which is also identical to the phone that the company president uses. The same model of phone for each employee in an organization makes good business sense, both from a budgetary and usability perspective.

Can you standardize IT Infrastructure? graphic

Standardization is nothing new in an office setting. Your filing system, the setup of employee cubicles, and even the way certain tasks are performed are all standards established by your business in the interest of productivity.

The same is true for your IT environment. Businesses that apply standardization to their IT infrastructure enjoy increased productivity as well as a decrease in downtime caused by technical issues.

MSPs and Standardized IT

Standardized IT environments are common in large corporations, where uniformity of hardware, operating systems, and software benefits hundreds of employees, often across multiple office locations. Small-to-medium businesses, by contrast, often don’t attempt to create a standardized IT infrastructure, believing it to be out of their reach. This is where a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be invaluable.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) can bring IT expertise to businesses that may not otherwise be able to employ a dedicated IT staff. Because the MSP helps to oversee the IT infrastructure for a business, they perform a vital service that’s more than just fixing issues. They can provide guidance in equipment purchases, head off major problems before they occur, and help small businesses to find ways to streamline their processes.

As part of a managed services offering, a standardized IT environment eases the burden on IT staff and produces a more compatible, better-structured work environment for your employees.  Uniformity in your infrastructure, equipment, and configurations allows your Managed Service Provide (MSP) to:

  • Quickly troubleshoot common problems
  • Monitor for known issues
  • Provide a shorter resolution time
  • Trigger updates to operating systems and software on a specific schedule
  • Provide rapid response in a disaster recovery scenario
  • Minimize costs
  • Suggest improvements and upgrades where needed

Small to medium businesses often rely heavily on technology in order to stay agile in a competitive marketplace. A standardized IT infrastructure helps to assure this agility by bringing all technology to the same level, allowing all employees to have the same tools at their disposal.

What does standardization look like?

Depending on your business needs and existing infrastructure, IT standardization can take many forms. It’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition, though there are some elements that exist across the board regardless of industry, budgetary concerns, or company size.

Businesses using a standardized IT infrastructure use:

  • Same hardware – not a mix of old and new, PC and Mac
  • Same operating systems – instead of different generations of the same system
  • Same equipment – servers, printers, scanners, copiers
  • Same applications – email, business management software, file sharing services, password managers
  • Standardized policies such as Two-factor Authentication

Standardization provides consistency for all of your processes and employees and allows for a more rapid recovery from issues that may arise.

If the phone on your desk is the only piece of office equipment that is standard across all of your employees, consider working with a MSP to standardize your IT environment. You can improve your company’s efficiency and productivity, normalize your IT expenses, and address issues quickly and completely. As a Managed Services Provider, Lieberman Technologies can help your business to do all of this and more. If you’d like to explore the concept of a standardized IT environment in your business, give us a call.