Managed Operations

Not only do you need to think about managing your own internal operations but you should be managing your outsourced IT services as well. For example, are your outsourced partners adhering to your organizations own business requirements for things like security and privacy?

Managing operations effectively typically begins with documentation that is referenced frequently and updated as required. Stale documentation is of little use should a staffing change occur particularly with little to no warning.

Apart from documenting procedures your IT team will need to ensure that systems are effectively monitored and maintained. Management should budget for robust monitoring systems to take into account log files generated by systems. Automating some of this work is crucial especially in small to medium sized enterprises where staff may be at a minimum.

While on the topic of Operations you should take a walk around and physically inspect all aspects of your business. Or consider hiring some third party IT Auditors to inspect your environment. Having another set of eyes inspect deficiencies can reveal risks that you may not have considered previously.

To manage your IT operations more effectively, with a focus on performance enhancement, capacity planning, governance, and IT security, you can take the following steps:

  • IT Service Management: Implementing frameworks like ITIL can help you improve the delivery and management of IT services by establishing clear processes and procedures for incident management, problem management, change management, and service level management.
  • Performance Management: Implementing monitoring and performance management tools can help you identify and address any issues affecting the performance of your IT systems and services, such as poor response times, high resource usage, or bottlenecks.
  • Capacity Planning: Regularly monitoring and analyzing the usage of your IT resources can help you identify potential bottlenecks and plan for future capacity needs. This can include monitoring things like disk space, CPU usage, and memory usage, to identify trends and patterns that may indicate an upcoming need for additional resources.
  • IT Governance: Implementing a framework such as ISACA COBIT can help you establish a clear governance structure for your IT operations, including roles, responsibilities, and decision-making processes. This can help to ensure that your IT operations are aligned with your overall business objectives.
  • IT Security: Implementing security best practices and standards like ISO 27001, NIST 800-53, SOC 2 can help you protect your IT systems and data from threats such as cyber attacks, data breaches, and other malicious activities. This can include measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, antivirus software, and security controls for access and authentication.
  • Continual Service Improvement: Continuously monitoring and evaluating your IT operations and processes can help you identify areas for improvement and implement changes to optimize performance and service delivery. This can include regular performance reviews, customer feedback surveys, and process audits.
  • Communication: Good communication and collaboration between different departments and teams can help to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the status of IT operations and any issues that may be affecting performance. This can include regular status reports, service-level agreements, and incident management procedures.
  • Automation: Implementing automation tools and techniques can help to improve processes by reducing manual effort and increasing efficiency, such as the use of scripting, configuration management tools and cloud-based solutions.

It’s important to note that these are general recommendations, it’s important to evaluate your company’s specific needs and tailor your implementation accordingly. Additionally, it’s important to prioritize and focus on the areas that will give you the most benefit, and be sure to have the right resources and skill set in place to manage the implementation of these optimizations.

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