Standardization has always been a norm in an office setting. Consider your workplace for a moment. Your filing system, the setup of employee cubicles, the office phone systems – all might be the same. But, can the same thing be said about your Information Technology environment as well?
I.T. is the center of information exchange and communication. It’s overall influence and span of control is enabled through protocols, nomenclatures, and syntax. This needs to be defined and known by providers and consumers. This is why I.T. may be the most critical component for a business to standardize. It affects everything you do.
Also, universal standards can help in the construction and use of connections and resources for the development of the technologies. Once the standards become the building blocks, they can provide a necessary foundation, allowing for the exchange of interactions and advanced language possibilities.
Consequently, we can say that I.T. standardization is essential to make your systems more scalable, reliable, and easy to use.
Getting to the Argument for I.T. Standardization
Before the Internet established its full presence, there were standards regarding fibre optics, virtual memory, and timeshare mainframes. These standards provided the framework for the development of various systems. Also, it established the scale and the capacity to impact tasks, both simple and complex.
However, there weren’t any universal standards based on protocols that could support a vast network that could support an extensive network of wireless and wired communications. As a result, there was a limit for commercial scaling of computer mainframes and systems.
Nevertheless, all this changed when computing standards were developed. It enabled the cluster intranet and peer networks, which further allowed for the development of email exchange, database access, and evolved the web.
Hence, we can discern that standards allow for the scalability, connectivity and ideal use of technology. A standardized model can help a firm ensure that there is uniformity for all the employees. Consequently, we can see that standardized I.T. environments are more common in large corporations with the uniformity of hardware, operating systems and software. It ensures that training is the same regardless of the location and businesses in different locations can offer the same products and services.
Why You Need I.T. Standardization?
The value of standardization comes in these different areas:
Reduced Burden on the I.T. staff: Your I.T. department goes through a learning curve with every new technology you on board. If there are four different types of anti-virus in your library, think that with every application, you’ll have a different procedure, patching and updating. The required troubleshooting, support skills and online resources will be different for each application. Conversely, if you have one application, there will be just one thing to concentrate at a time, reducing the burden on your technical staff.
Avoid Compatibility Problems: Think if you are supporting 15 different models, it gets difficult to replace parts and match the right part with the right system. Also, if you have a variety of software and hardware, it’ll lead to more conflicts and errors that will be hard to isolate and fix in the long run.
Improve Communication: It’s difficult for your I.T. staff to communicate with frontline employees about troubleshooting issues when there’s no standard. This way, neither side can discuss what they’ve been trying to propose.
What Can You Do to Adopt it?
Buy in Quantity: Many computer vendors change their models constantly. This means that the computer you buy a week ago may be different from the one you are buying now, even though the model number is the same. The new version can have a different network card, hard drive or motherboard. Our team at GRIP I.T., usually recommend companies to put together a larger order when purchasing newer computer systems. Focus your attention on planning and asset tracking to disavow smaller purchases.
Buy Business Models: Look for business models instead of the home models when buying new computer systems. Look for manufacturers that change components less frequently in their machines. You might ask them to freeze your model for six or eight months. This way, if manufacturers are making any significant change in the machine, they’ll notify you in advance.
Plan in Advance: Speaking with a broad cross-section of your employees and departments can help you in the process of writing a new technology plan. This way you’ll exactly know how many new staff members you’ll need during the coming year or if you need any new public computers.
How can MSPs help in standardizing your I.T.?
Usually, small to medium scale businesses don’t have a standardized I.T. infrastructure. This is where a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can bring I.T. expertise for companies that otherwise don’t employ a dedicated I.T. staff. Also, in bigger corporation’s I.T. teams are entrusted with broader responsibilities of building innovations. Hence MSPs can oversee the I.T. infrastructure and fix everyday issues.
At GRIP I.T., we provide guidance in equipment purchases, head off technical problems and help businesses in streamlining their processes. We can help to standardize your I.T. environment, easing the burden on I.T. staff and produce a more compatible and better-structured work environment for the employees. If you’d like to explore the concept of a standardized I.T. environment in your business, get in touch with our team.