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5 Keys to Assessing IT Performance

April 29, 2021

5 Keys to Assessing IT Performance

Information Technology (IT) is mission critical.  Day-to-day operations are completely reliant on IT.  Corporate success and IT success is inter-dependent; now more than ever. Time to assess IT performance for your business.

How is your IT department doing?  Do you really know?  Can you accurately assess?

Absolutely.  You can assess your IT department by knowing the right questions to ask; and how to evaluate the answers.  These are 5 keys for assessing IT performance.

Key 1:   IT Strategic Direction

Question: What is the strategic direction of IT?

Answer: Does your IT team talk in operational terms, or are they engaged in deeper conversations about corporate mission and long-term goals? 

Strategic IT concerns are long-range plans that align with future organizational needs:

  • Technology Architecture
  • Capacity
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Productivity Improvements
  • Leveraging New Technologies

Operational discussions are:

  • Closed Incident Tickets
  • Viruses Contained
  • Computers Replaced

THE ZEPHYR NETWORKS SOLUTION:

The Zephyr Networks Technology Success Partnership Program offers a dedicated “Virtual Chief Information Officer” (vCIO) to drive strategic conversations with IT.  Our vCIO can:

  • Provide timely IT recommendations
  • Offer ideas that increase productivity
  • Identify risk mitigations strategies
  • Develop strategic IT relationships
  • Budget planning

Key 2:   IT Risks

Question: How are risks identified and addressed?

Answer: In IT, three things are certain:

In IT, three things are certain:

  • Business Changes
  • Technology Changes
  • Emergence of New Threats and Risks

How is IT keeping up with these certainties? Are they identifying and addressing these issues proactively?

Risk management is more than monitoring. Risk management includes:

  • Systematic, Recurring Processes
  • Manual and Automated Reviews
  • Standards/Best Practices Assessments

THE ZEPHYR NETWORKS SOLUTION:

Through the Zephyr Networks Technology Success Partnership Program, we offer a dedicated “Technical Alignment Manager” (TAM). The TAM continuously monitors your systems against Best Practices. TAM monthly responsibilities include:

  • Testing
  • Report Reviews
  • IT Health Assessments

Key 3:  IT Disaster Recovery

Question: Will the disaster recovery process work when needed?

Answer: Ransomware is the single biggest threat to IT systems. If a ransomware attack occurs, disaster recovery is the last resort for restoring operations. Cloud based storage and services are not immune.

Is your IT Team able to provide:

  • System backup frequency, integrity and testing?
  • The time to system recovery?
  • Recovery Drills – including success/failure summaries?
  • A secure offline location for system backups?

THE ZEPHYR NETWORKS SOLUTION:

The Zephyr Networks Technology Success Partnership Program dedicated “Virtual Chief Information Officer” (vCIO) and “Technical Alignment Manager” (TAM) are dedicated to ensuring backup and disaster recovery standards are successfully applied.

  • Extensive Standards, processes and disciplines are implemented for backup and disaster recovery.
  • A centralized services team monitors backups; identifying any issues.
  • Periodic testing of the system recovery process is performed.
  • The backup process is hardened to protect it from bad actors.

Key 4: IT Best Practices

Question: What are IT Best Practices and how are they enforced?

Answer:

IT teams spend 90% of their time reacting to service requests.

That’s right. Your IT team is 90% reactionary.

That leaves little to no time for problem prevention and proactive systems management.

The result is a lack of best practices. Engineers install, maintain and troubleshoot based on individual experience – not accepted documented standards. There are many risks:

  • Often there are multiple ways to configure a system. Has the chosen configuration been recorded? Does it meet manufacturer guidelines?
  • Vendors update regularly. Are those updates being applied correctly and to all affected systems? Are the updates vetted before being applied?
  • Training “on the fly” can create conflicts with vendor protocols and potential security gaps.
  • Consistency can be difficult for new staff members and those taking short cuts to meet deadlines.

THE ZEPHYR NETWORKS SOLUTION:

The Zephyr Networks Technology Success Partnership Program dedicated “Technical Alignment Manager” (TAM) is rigorously aligned to the Zephyr Networks Standards Library. This library contains our collective wisdom and best practices amassed from over 20 years of IT management.

Best practices include:

  • Manufacturer Recommendations
  • National Standards
  • Compliance Requirements
  • Regulatory Requirements
  • Peer Best Practices
  • Industry-Specific Requirements

Standards include:

  • Security
  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Scalability
  • Capacity
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Systems Configuration
  • Documentation
  • Maintenance

Key 5: IT Documentation

Question: Is system documentation current and comprehensive?

Answer: Monitoring and documentation are 2 different processes. Documentation is actual, printable documents. It is an often over-looked area of critical importance.

Why document?

  • Resolution time – allows support personnel to resolve issues quickly and accurately
  • Knowledge transfer – avoids reliance on singular IT staff who “know everything”
  • Security – acts as a secondary monitoring system that alerts IT to configuration changes that may cause a security threat
  • Change management – can detect changes and rollback to prior versions when required
  • Better decisions – identify potential issues with ample time for research and resolution

THE ZEPHYR NETWORKS SOLUTION:

The Zephyr Networks Technology Success Partnership Program dedicated “Technical Alignment Manager” harvests hundreds of mission critical network details. Zephyr Networks documents everything in a secure encrypted database created specifically for this type of documentation. As new systems are deployed, changes are made or new details are learned; documentation is updated.

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