Your 2019 New Year’s Resolution: IT Infrastructure Cleaning

With the new year around the corner, ’tis the season for turning over a new leaf! The resolution we are recommending to our clients this year? Leverage the inspiration that comes with the new year to look beneath the surface and address the place in your organization that typically needs the most attention: the old IT equipment you’ve accumulated over the years. Now is the best time to scrub that IT infrastructure clean by evaluating what is in your data center, deleting the unused data and freeing up room for equipment that provides value.

Why clean up our IT infrastructure?

The primary reason to maintain a lean IT environment is that it reduces resource requirements. That means cost savings! Cleaning up your systems on at least an annual basis (even better, semi-annual) will help ensure that you don’t end up working on older systems that run inefficiently. Operating on newer systems will enable your people to execute their work more quickly, cutting down on the cost of labor, while consuming less power.

Evaluating your IT infrastructure will also provide a great opportunity to check in on your existing cloud strategy. Migrating any existing assets to the cloud can provide cost benefits and flexibility since it allows your organization to scale up and down with ease. Moving to the cloud will also enable you to regularly upgrade to the latest technology whenever you want versus being tied to on-premise/in-house technologies.

Last but not least, an IT infrastructure clean up will head off one of the biggest challenges facing enterprises: data overload. Organizations carry around data from years ago that is no longer relevant to their business. Investing in data cleanup as part of your IT infrastructure review will help ensure that you only hang on to the data that you can turn into actionable insights while letting go of irrelevant data.

Where do we focus? How do we get cleaning?

We recommend that our clients clean 3 figurative “closets:”

    Network
    It is important to perform regular vulnerability assessment checks to ensure that your network security remains solid. Clean out old, unused, and vulnerable network paths and rules. Penetration testing from outside your network will allow you to determine if there are any holes in the system and patch them up.

    End User Computing
    Conducting a hardware refresh and disposing of old assets will head off problematic issues. Just remember to remove security parameters and wipe all data before disposing of them!

    Security
    Last but not least, it’s critical to complete a security review and refresh all authorizations and access controls that are no longer needed. Your annual IT infrastructure clean up is the perfect opportunity to do so!

Start your new year clean up by base-lining your operating requirements with an audit of your IT policies and existing infrastructure. Once you have this baseline, you can select the tools that will most effectively help you understand whether each of your IT assets are updated and equipped to handle today’s applications. At this point, you can set up a monitoring process to ensure that the clean up becomes more of a continuous loop versus a one-time thing. Throughout this process, remember to be unemotional in your decision making. We often hear from people that they don’t want to let anything go: they “might be able to use that asset at some point!” But letting go of data, hardware, and software that are no longer of use to your organization will keep your IT lean, provide cost benefits, and maintain a more secure operating environment for your employees.

New year, new you! Plan out your IT infrastructure clean up today. Still need guidance figuring out where to start? Reach out to our experts—we’re happy to help!