image-farmer-with-tractorLike Rome, a garden can’t be built in a day. As all seasoned gardeners know, planning is critical for success. Everything must be considered before the first seed is planted: weather, environment, soil, and potential pests (both insects and animals). The same is true for business and the use of IT. A solid IT infrastructure cannot be built overnight. Time must be spent planning with your company’s long-term goal in mind.

Important considerations when planning your company’s IT garden:

What are your long-term goals? It’s difficult to forecast and predict what the future holds. What is your reason for planting? Do you want to reap benefits sooner or wait for higher yield and more profit? The perennial, asparagus, for example, takes 2-3 years to grow. However, once established, asparagus can provide a good crop for 20-25 years! The same is true for planning your business’ IT infrastructure. Where do you want to be 5 years down the road?   Technology is always changing. Implementing important, structural IT changes upfront now can offer key benefits in the years ahead. Be open minded—when it comes to technology, what is not possible today may be possible in the future.

What do you have to work with? When planning a garden, all things must be considered: planting zone, soil, environment and weather. Since 1818, the Farmers’ Almanac has been like a bible to farmers, helping them forecast and plan. When it comes to IT, it’s important to take a step back and see what your company has to work with. What technology tools and equipment do you currently utilize in your business? Is your staff properly trained on using these tools to their utmost potential? Are existing technology limitations holding you back?

Timing is everything. Most gardeners start plowing and planting in the spring to reap a bountiful harvest in the fall. The best time to plant is after the last frost and depends largely on your area’s planting zone. When it comes to technology, our clients have found that the summer is the best time to roll out an upgrade.   Business is a bit slower for our clients during the summer months, and many of their clients are on vacation. Avoiding peak season when upgrading technology minimizes the impact on your business.

Protect against outside intruders. Successful Gardeners use barrier plants to keep pests at bay—plants like marigolds attract “good” bugs that feed on aphids, while sunflowers attract aphids to them and away from other plants. Fences are used to keep hungry bunnies away, and mulch is used to prohibit weeds from growing and stealing vital nutrients and space. When it comes to IT, building strong barriers is also important. Installing firewalls and security software are key to protecting your company’s resources and data.

Continuous maintenance ensures success! The practice of rotating crops to ensure nourishment keeps vegetable gardens healthy. It is important in preventing crop-specific pests and diseases from building up and carrying over from one season to the next in the soil. Ideally, gardeners should rotate a vegetable so it grows in a particular spot only one year out of three. When it comes to technology, implementing a proactive managed service plan keeps your IT healthy and running smoothly.

What is your company’s IT forecast? Let IT Radix be your master gardener so you can reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest.

First published in our April 2015 IT Radix Resource newsletter