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Foundation I.T.

If you’re reading this, chances are you run a business or company of some kind. You probably have a team of people dedicated to making sure your company runs smoothly and efficiently. If that’s the case, then it’s very likely that your company is already operating on a functional I.T. level.

That functional level, however, might not be enough when it comes to some of the tech services needed to keep your data safe, and your company moving.
All companies run on some level of technology services from the simple (email and internet) through to complex cloud I.T. solutions that serve millions of clients a day (for example, amazon.com).
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If you’re reading this, chances are you run a business or company of some kind. You probably have a team of people dedicated to making sure your company runs smoothly and efficiently. If that’s the case, then it’s very likely that your company is already operating on a functional I.T. level.

That functional level, however, might not be enough when it comes to some of the tech services needed to keep your data safe, and your company moving.
All companies run on some level of technology services from the simple (email and internet) through to complex cloud I.T. solutions that serve millions of clients a day (for example, amazon.com).

Technology is a good enabler when implemented and used correctly, but it can also serve a higher purpose. A purpose that can allow you to build on, trust and depend on. But, before it can do this, you need to get the foundations right.

So, what is Foundational I.T.?
Foundational I.T. is – at its core – the baseline of technology needed for a company to run their business.
If you take an example – let’s say a doctor (GP) or dentist their I.T. footprint will look something like this:

  • Communications
  • Web site
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Phones (desk and mobile)
  • Other marketing systems (Email, SEO, SEM, AdWords, additional channels etc.)
    Office 365 or Google Workspace
  • Internal Systems
  • Client management or client booking
  • Patient management
  • Finance or payment
  • Compliance
  • Backup (onsite and offsite hopefully)
  • Intercoms
  • Cameras
  • Drug dispensing
  • Suppliers’ systems
  • Order systems for equipment or supplies
  • Patient referral systems
  • X-Ray, Scans and other systems
  • Tax and Legal
  • Online Financial Services (Like Xero or MYOB)
  • Support and services systems

and so on.

All of these systems serve a purpose for the day to day operations of the business from marketing and sales to service delivery, client management and operations.
When you look at this example, you can see a lot of systems, but what you can’t see are the foundations that these run on. The foundations being access, security, data and the ongoing day-to-day management of these.

So, a question for you.
As a business owner, do you know what your baseline is right now? And is it working for you?

With the above example, you can see that access, security and data are implied for almost every item on the list. Staff are either accessing a system that performs a particular function or accessing a communication based tool of some kind. When it comes to core services that your company depends on, you need the foundations or pillars in place to be successful, compliant and to build on.

The Pillars of Foundation I.T.

  • Access
  • Security
  • Data

and the important part .. Management ..

(Noting that there are more here including a Zero Trust Architecture etc – but more on those later).

Pillar 1 – Access
Access to your client’s confidential data, patient records, financial records, intellectual property and other data is paramount and needs to be included within your Foundation I.T. This is one of the most exploited areas of access and one of the most overlooked areas by most companies.

Access to complex systems that hold data, change data and also can (directly or indirectly) communicate or distribute data are super important as – if mis-configured or not managed effectively, they will break a business.

Access to external systems for orders, tax, financial and other legal information that the company holds is also important as these are the internal and commercial workings of any company.

A breach in any of these can bring a business to its knees or worse (think client, reputation or legal consequences) if not managed effectively and holistically as part of a businesses overall I.T. strategy including the right policies and operation processes in place.

Pillar 2 – Security
Security is essential to keeping your company safe from external threats. But it’s just as important to guard your company’s data from internal threats like employees who have access to important data, human error, mis-management, or just dumb shit. Security is a foundation within itself that should underpin every system, process, and procedure for your company and it needs a consistent focus and review – at least annually.

Most company owners think about security as data protection or asset protection, but these are just two items held within the treasure chest. There are a lot more.
We will cover security in another series of articles, but, in the meantime, your security footprint needs to have a holistic and strategic approach to implementation and operation and it needs to encompass your entire data and access flows from end to end.

Pillar 3 – Data
The value of most companies is the clients they serve and the data they hold. As a business owner, client and company data needs to be managed including the collection, retention and destruction per the laws of the country(s) you operate in, and as per policy or legislation.

For our Australian audience, as a business owner if you haven’t read these then now would be a good time to do so.

  • https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/essential-eight
  • https://www.ag.gov.au/rights-and-protections/privacy
  • and for the people in the medical space
  • https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/administrative-record-keeping-guidelines-for-health-professionals

Even if you have the best systems in place for the protection of your data, accidents and mistakes will happen, so as a business owner, you need to be prepared to deal with these issues, recover from them (if required) and – where possible – mitigate risk.

How Simple Shift Digital can help you

Our Foundation I.T package encompasses these pillars and puts the foundations in place that you can build on.

Pillar 1 – Access. We proactively monitor access to the systems and data that your company holds and works with and to external systems, access points, distribution points, core and edge security points.

Pillar 2 – Security. The solutions we employ are best in class, proactive, include a high degree of automation (to minimise human error) and – just work.

Pillar 3 – Data. Our Foundation I.T. package includes data management and backup solutions for either google or the Office 365 clouds and options for server backups to a secure encrypted cloud location that is certified (for medical/patient data and beyond).
In addition to this, some of our Foundation I.T. packages come with technician support included (Bonus).

All of this is underpinned by a seasoned professional team that deals with small to medium businesses as well as enterprise and government-level systems, applications, and networks.

We do a lot of this work, and time and time again, we see that the fundamentals are missing and the foundation on which most businesses run, is .. not the best.
So, let us help you today.

Please reach out and get in touch or visit our Foundation I.T. services page for more information.
You can book in a call, or – if you are in sunny Melbourne, Australia, we can touch base for coffee.

by Scott Malpass

Scott is an outgoing entrepreneur with a passion for making a difference. He is the owner and CEO of two companies - Aquafruit Media and Simple Shift digital. He currently consults with The Australian Government in technical/business roles and has been active in the I.T. industry for more than 20 years. His approach to problem-solving is often outside of the box but backed up with sound industry practice and an outstanding work ethic. His motto is simple. "Life is short- make it count."