The heart is the engine of life. Your heart beats and it delivers oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. Without it, you cannot survive. Many will debate what the heartbeat of a business is—its customers, its culture, its purpose or something other. I’m biased, of course, but my experience at IT Radix tells me that most businesses these days are dependent on technology to help it survive. The combination of computer technology with the Internet has helped make businesses more reliable, efficient and grow. Without it, it’s often difficult to get things done.

Every human body is generally alike at its core. The same is true with technology and business. Every business needs to be able to sell its products and services and then, ultimately deliver them and be compensated for doing so. Behind the scenes, there is production, accounting, and more. While we do not have the luxury of being able to select our own body parts, when it comes to computers and technology we can. Businesses can choose to keep all their computer technology in-house or, now with the wide-spread proliferation of network and Internet bandwidth, it may live in the cloud or it may choose some combination of both.

In making these choices, each business or organization must consider how it operates to ensure that business doesn’t come to a standstill when the inevitable Murphy’s Law strikes. For example, since communications, such as email and phone services, are critical to most organizations, we often recommend considering hosted or cloud-based email and VoIP systems. Why? These cloud-based systems are extremely reliable and are accessible from anywhere. Most have redundancies built-in that allow for communications to continue even if a portion of the system is down—theirs or yours. This resilience is difficult for many businesses to build affordably.

While email and voice communications are a common business requirement, many businesses have technology requirements that are unique to them. As a result, for many businesses, the use of in-house servers and the like is not going away. The application software that a business or organization uses to provide its goods or services quite often needs to be local to their operation. For example, some of our bio-pharma clients have monitoring programs to collect data in their labs. Our HVAC clients use monitoring systems to ensure their clients’ environmental controls are functioning properly. Our financial services clients use software to analyze data and make decisions and more. In some cases, this software can be run on servers in the cloud, but not always. More and more, we’re seeing a hybrid of in-house and cloud-based solutions to meet the business requirements efficiently.

Regardless of whether your business’ applications and data are in-house or in the cloud, you need a network to connect everything together. Like the arteries and veins that deliver blood throughout your body, a network delivers electronic information to your computers, smartphones, and more. The network includes the physical cabling in your office and the cabling outside your office that connects you to the Internet, the short-range Wi-Fi signals in your office and the long-range cellular broadband signals used by cell phones and more.  Just as with the actual computers and software, ideally you want redundancy and resilience built in.

Need help navigating all these choices?  We’re here to help.  In computer science, a heartbeat is a periodic signal that verifies normal operation of the computer system.  In business, IT Radix’s purpose is to help your business succeed by ensuring that your business’ technology heartbeat is healthy—steady and ready at all times.
First published in our March 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter