Why Every Business Needs an IT Physical
Why Every Business Needs an IT Physical
Without an IT physical, how do you measure IT success in your organization?
One of the challenges in measuring successful IT is that there aren’t clear KPIs. There isn’t one number that clarifies your IT situation. You might ask your internal IT person or vendor for a status update, but “things are good boss!” isn’t helpful if there are things that you need to work on.
When we ask people what they want from technology, they always say that they just want it to work. They want to know that risks are managed and that they have the right technology.
To get that result, however, there are factors you need to look at. There are processes, planning, and maintenance that need to happen. Those are the details, but what business owners really need is that one metric. How do you know what the health of your IT infrastructure is?
The IT Physical
CopperTree has put together what we call an IT health score, or an IT physical. It looks at the different aspects of IT within your organization and measures the overall health.
How do you stack up against these best practices? What’s the state of your firewall configuration?
The IT physical and health score are effective because every organization uses some of the same technology. Manufacturing companies, engineering companies, law firms, insurance companies -— they all have firewalls, wireless networks, email, backup servers, and printers.
We have best practices for each piece of technology that our clients use. We go through your infrastructure once a month and compare it to those best practices to score the health of your IT infrastructure.
You could be 99% aligned, for example, or 70% aligned. And executives in the organization can use that as the single measurement of IT health.
Getting the IT Physical Health Score
We look at that metric every month and go through the health report every quarter at our vCIO meetings. Oftentimes our clients will look at the page with the score first to see what it is. That’s why the IT physical is helpful for an executive — so they can understand the IT situation in their organization.
A good IT partner will put information in front of you that allows you to make good business decisions. Even people who aren’t IT savvy or comfortable with technology need a way to measure IT and understand what’s going on.
If we give you a score of 87% or 93%, for example, that will come with some recommendations. If you’re at 93%, we might have five recommendations for you to look at to get that score back up.
Ultimately, however, these are business decisions, not technical recommendations. They might relate to new developments in the security landscape, so we’re recommending a different security tool. But we put that in front of you as a business decision with the pros and cons, as well as the cost and benefits.
Taking Responsibility for Your IT Strategy
As we work with our clients, one of the things that CopperTree takes responsibility for is the IT strategy. Our clients look to us to give them good recommendations, and they expect us to stay on top of the latest changes in technology.
One of the best examples of that in recent years has been the changing security standards. There are things that we do today that we just didn’t need to do a few years ago because of the ways that the world has changed.
When there is something new that comes out, we evaluate it to see if it’s something that our clients can leverage. And maybe it is for some clients and it’s not for others, which is why it’s important for us to understand your business and where you’re trying to go.
Working Toward Shared Goals
When we have quarterly vCIO meetings, we discuss technology as well as your business. And when we know what you’re trying to achieve and what the goals are, we can make more effective recommendations and help our clients make better decisions.
When we do our monthly technology alignment visits, we always check to see how your infrastructure stacks up against our best practices. And our list of best practices is really the gold standard of how an IT infrastructure should look.
We have documented best practices for every piece of technology that our clients use, from network infrastructure to server infrastructures and cloud infrastructures. And we know that when we align our clients with those standards and we get them set up in that optimal state, everything will just work and our clients will get the experience that they’re looking for.
CopperTree’s success is tied to the success of our clients. So if we do a really good job aligning your infrastructure and getting it to a spot where it just works, that’s good for you and it’s good for us. We’re spending less time doing reactive support because our clients aren’t calling us. When everything works, it’s better for everyone.