Essential IT Tools
Every position in every company has a certain toolset that is required for them to operate at peak efficiency. An IT Department/Team is no different. However, unlike other departments, the tools required for peak IT efficiency continue to change rapidly. Tools that were available only to Fortune 500 are now available to the small business, however, few organizations are taking advantage of them.
At the core is to have an Enterprise Level Ticketing System which is the clearinghouse for all other tools. Selecting an integrated environment will provide enormous gains in efficiency and set the stage for further efficiencies down the line. Oftentimes IT staff will become “attached” to certain tools which, on a micro-level, might make sense. However, at the macro-level (companywide) an integrated solution will provide a far greater time and money savings. Today’s top solutions all integrated with today’s top ticketing systems.
With a complete ticketing system there is transparency into the activities of the IT Department. Management can see ticket volume and activity, IT can identify trends or patterns, and the business, can make fact-based decisions based on real-life activities.
How to deploy?
The best option for a small business is to outsource the initial setup of these various toolsets and then require the outsource vendor to provide both upfront and ongoing training and support. This allows you to get the tools up quickly and provides your team fast access to help as they master the tools and further work to maximize their impact.
Many companies make the mistake of allowing their own IT staff identify, select, and install tools on their own. Since this is a one-time activity, it is not the best use of time and money. Remember, when they are doing these activities, they are not doing the day to day activities which you rely on to keep the rest of the business operating optimally.
What are the core tools should we have?
- Ticketing System
- Anti-malware including integrated Anti-Virus and Anti-spyware
- Email Filtering: Anti-Spam and Anti-spearphishng tools
- Data Backup
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Solutions
- Mobile Device Management
- Network, Device, and/or Cloud Monitoring
- Security Monitoring
- Intrusion Detection / Prevention solutions and other Security Monitoring Solutions
- Vulnerability Detection Systems
Consider Partnering with a company that can do the initial deployment, training, and then manage the licenses for you.
This minimizes the administrative headaches (translation – saves you money) around license management that every organization faces. In most cases, you can get those licenses from a Managed Hosting company for the same or less than you could procure yourself and you get a partner to lean on when you have questions, truly a win-win situation.