Cara Williams

Recent Posts

IT Strategic Planning for 2021 and Beyond

Strategic IT Planning is a collaborative process taken with clients to understand their business needs and goals, that ultimately allows the IT budget to appropriately align with the organizational priorities. As 2021 is quickly approaching, it’s time to start planning to ensure you hit next year’s IT goals. If you haven’t yet done any sort of strategic IT planning, check out these tips to help get you started before the new year 


#1 – Asset Management  

Identify what equipment is currently performing well and what might need to be replaced to continue ensuring that work operations are happening at maximum efficiency. This step typically involves gathering all your company’s hardware and software inventory information and completing an IT audit. From there, your internal IT department or an MSP like Five Nines can identify and fill in technology gaps to minimize downtime. 

#2 – Document End-of-Support vs. End-of-Life Dates  

An end-of-support date means the product provider has decided to no longer provide a support line, while the end-of-life date is a term to describe when a product is no longer for sale. Knowing and documenting these dates for all of your equipment will ensure future IT audits run smoothly and unexpected surprises do not arise. Surprises can range from compromised data security, decreased productivity, higher maintenance costs, non-compliance issues, and problems with scalability just to name a few.  

#3 – IT Risk Assessment  

The end of the year is a great time to run an IT Risk Assessment. In this process, you’ll look at what was effective and ineffective in your IT infrastructure this yearCreate a series of questions that assess your standards, guidelines, and best practices. Use the same assessment on an annual basis to begin to understand where the gaps are and how to best fill them.  

#4 – Consider your talent  

Whether it’s an IT services partner or an internal team member, decide who you need on your team to execute the strategy you’ve developed for your business. If you’re needing to bring in an external partner or new hire, you’ll want to include this cost in your overall budget and consider what the return on the investment may be. 

#5 – Budgeting  

With remote work being heavily prevalent right now, you should ask yourself these questions: do you feel like the year went smoothly from a technology standpoint and did your workforce transition seamlessly from work to home? If not, you may want to consider budgeting for more equipment or services that could alleviate some pressure from your teams. 

Topics: End of Life, Business Continuity, Strategic Planning, End of Support

Unplug over the Holidays - Leave "IT" to an MSP

The truth is, you can never really unplug from business if your IT infrastructure is not fully supported. With the holiday season right around the corner, we encourage you to unplug over the holidays and leave your technology in the hands of a capable Managed Services team. Continue reading to see what services you could count on by partnering with Five Nines throughout the holiday season and beyond.  


24 / 7 / 365  

Your company’s IT is not an 8-5 job and it never will be. Every single day of the year, it requires 24-hour monitoring so your organization can continue to drive revenue while reducing costs and risks. An on-call engineer is a great resource to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and minimize downtime for your organization. Knowing that your business' technology is being monitored for you will help you and your coworkers really unplug over the holidays.  

Controlled IT Costs  

IT spending is becoming more of a strategic move by most businesses and investing in the right technology is something you must plan ahead for. Your IT team should provide you with 1 – 3 – 5 year budgets so your organization isn’t faced with unexpected costs as you are budgeting for the next year throughout the holiday season. Long-term budgeting and planning will give you peace of mind towards the end of the year as the direction of your IT infrastructure is more controlled and defined.  

Focus on your Core Business  

As the end of the year approaches quickly, it’s essential to focus on the things that matter most before the new year – your core business. Leaving it up to the IT pros has become the common trend when it comes to specialized departments because organizations want to stay more focused on their day-to-day functions and finish the year strong. It can be extremely beneficial to have an MSP worrying about your business technology for you so you can really unplug during the holidays.  

Topics: Outsourced IT, Strategic Planning