IT PLANNING
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What is it?

IT planning and the associated budgeting are becoming increasingly important. Modern businesses require those responsible for managing IT to look at ways of keeping the direct and indirect costs of IT to a minimum.

How does it work?

TEAMnetwork works with our regular customers to establish and maintain an IT plan using a custom developed planning tool. Each customer has their own IT planner which both they and TEAMnetwork maintain.

Each month TEAMnetwork automatically adds license renewals and other key expiry related items. This way our customers know when their anti-virus or anti-spam product renewals are due and can budget accordingly.

Furthermore, we work with customers to add custom entries relating to their view on their network. Everything from scheduling UPS tests and replacing aging backup media through to desktop hygiene and policy reviews is included.

During regular account management visits, TEAMnetwork staff prepare the next 3, 6, or even 12 months' calendar showing all entries. Our customers use this information to prepare budgets and most importantly, complete preventative maintenance so their systems continue to function and meet the needs of their users.

What aspects does it cover?

Each customer's IT Planner includes a wide range of aspects that we believe are essential to successful operation of a modern IT network. Some elements included are:

Product Warranty Expiries

Central to any network are core components and without them, the system may not function correctly. The IT planner includes key dates relating to standard and extended warranty expiry.

Products purchased through TEAMnetwork (see Procure), are automatically included.

Customers have in the past used this to raise an issue in the warranty period that wasn’t considered essential, but was of some concern. Instant cost savings.

Internet Domain Name Renewals

Most organisations have both a website and email domain, with many more have more advanced features. These services require “pointer records” in order to function and must be renewed periodically.

The domain name renewals are included and customers are unlikely to suffer from a loss of email due to an oversight.

Preventative Maintenance

Any interruption to customers' IT systems are likely to have an adverse affect on productivity and profitability. A properly maintained IT system is considerably less likely to cause business interruption.

TEAMnetwork, in conjunction with major IT vendors such as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, has developed a series of best practice preventative maintenance tasks that simply put, keep our customers' IT systems working.

Using the IT Planner, customers schedule, monthly, quarterly, annual and even three yearly maintenance tasks at known quiet times or during periods where weekend system outage does not impact on the business environment.

Compliance

A common issue that regularly comes to the attention of the IT Manager is Compliance. Be it is software licensing compliance, data retention compliance or some other legislative compliance.

Your IT planner can include items that help meet compliance obligations by scheduling regular audits or archival processes. By doing this you are likely to do well in any external audit or government compliance assessment.

Strategy

It is easy for those ‘close to the action’ to be absorbed in addressing "business as usual" activities or implementing tactical initiatives to address business challenges.

Through the IT planner, customers and TEAMnetwork schedule strategic IT planning time near the strategic business planning periods. This enables TEAMnetwork to align the IT network with that of the business. It also helps ensure that this kind of longer term thinking is done.

Our customers often comment that they feel in control of their systems as a result of the IT planner and this strategic planning effort.

Policy and Review

Modern organisations require solid governance and associated policies. Policies, more often than not, establish the ground rules for most operational activities and provide the basis for many compliance related initiatives.

The IT planner can include entries for ensuring regular policy reviews to ensure policies are relevant to the organisation.

Changes in legislation, particularly employment related legislation, require policies such as ‘acceptable use’ and ‘working in a safe computing environment’ and these require regular updates to reflect the changing legal landscape as well as the ever changing business environment.

Conclusion

The IT Planner has been developed in conjunction with our existing customers. The feedback we have received about its usefulness and application has been hugely positive.

We are pleased to be able to offer this free tool for use with our regular customers.