One of the major advantages of working with an IT managed service provider like Tolar Systems is that we can help align your technology with industry standards. But what kind of standards? And how does being aligned with standards help our customers’ business?
We’re going to talk about IT standards and why they matter on today’s blog.
What Are IT Standards?
Standards are the difference between professional IT management and IT services that aren’t so professional. It’s the difference between having a plan, and flying by the seat of your pants.
Without standards, systems can be configured any which way, using whatever equipment is available. Workstations, servers and other technology are selected based on what’s on sale at the nearest big-box retailer rather than defined business requirements. Data is backed up when there’s time, or people feel like doing it. Upgrades happen when systems stop working, forcing an upgrade. Password management is poor to nonexistent. Files get saved wherever there is space, or wherever a user prefers to save them.
Contrast this with a standards-based IT organization like Tolar Systems that analyzes the most common problem areas, defines standards around them and aligns your business systems with those standards. We define standards by looking at industry best practices, any applicable regulations and our own experience working with clients of all sizes, across a range of industries, to define the best way to manage our clients’ IT needs.
Standards are a critical part of how we meet our service objectives, such as:
- Minimizing downtime and enhancing customer productivity.
- Lowering costs of maintenance and upkeep.
- Ensuring systems are compatible.
- Preventing problems.
What Kind of Standards?
At Tolar, we’ve developed more than 200 standards that we use to manage our customers’ IT. A few of the areas we look at include:
- Backups and disaster recovery – How often are systems backed up? If disaster occurs, is there a plan to recover data and get systems running quickly?
- Workstations and data storage – Where are files saved? Is there enough server and storage space available to meet business requirements?
- Network administration – How are proxies and firewalls set up? Are multifactor authentication and strong passwords the rule rather than the exception
- Asset management – Is there a list of hardware, devices and software that are approved for use in the organization?
- Mobile devices – What devices are allowed on the network? How is security managed for those devices?
- Equipment maintenance – IT equipment is sensitive to temperature. How is heating and cooling managed?
The goal with all standards is to ensure that your systems will deliver maximum reliability, with minimum problems. When problems do occur, standards allow us to fix them more quickly. And we believe that when our clients are aligned with these standards, they are able to communicate, collaborate and work more productively.
Why Should I Care About IT Standards?
When Tolar Systems brings you on board as a Complete Care client, we’ll begin the process of making sure your IT systems are in alignment with standards. You should immediately notice an improvement in the reliability of your IT systems.
Over time, you’ll also find that aligning with our standards will reduce the overall cost of your IT. Your equipment will last longer, your business will be more productive, and when problems do occur or you need our help configuring a new employee or even a new office location, we’ll be able to get you up and running more quickly. We don’t have to spend time trying to figure out how your systems are set up – we can just step in and get right to work.
Standards also ensure that as technology evolves, your business is able to evolve too. We’re committed to updating and aligning our standards with the latest technology, without requiring our customers to buy the latest whiz-bang gadget that doesn’t provide proven business benefits. Today, your business may rely on desktops, wireless devices and email. Tomorrow, it might be wearables and automated messaging. Our standards will help you adapt to those changes when the time is right for your business.
Out of Alignment? Tolar Systems Can Help
Tolar Systems’ Complete Care brings standards-based IT management to businesses across the great state of Texas. If you want to lower risk and cost around managing your IT infrastructure by aligning with IT standards, contact Tolar Systems today to learn more.