I’m sure that you’ve all entered your Fantasy Football teams by now and as the Premier League is in full swing, I thought I’d share with you how the most played sport in the UK is akin to your IT infrastructure.
(And yes, I know the offside rule, so I feel more than qualified to talk about football.)
Let’s start off with you. Yes you.
I’m guessing you’re in charge of something to do with IT – are you a CFO who’s looking for more information about managing risk? Are you a CIO looking to improve efficiency and present IT as an investment rather than a cost? Either way, it makes you the owner. You devise the strategy. You manage all the moving parts. You keep the team afloat.
Speaking of which, all successful football teams have strength in every position, there’s no weaknesses.
- The goal keepers and defenders are the protectors: the layers that stop the other team (the bad guys) from winning. This is your cyber security plan and procedures – no part should be missing or you’ll have weaknesses that cyber-threats can get around. Furthermore, they need to be up-to-the job or you might find yourself looking at an own goal, pay attention to innovations in cyber security and ensure that your strategy is up to date and implemented correctly. Perhaps you'll need outside support from the experts to devise the best strategy. That's where managed services come in, and a team like SysGroup can advise on what will help you the most.
- Midfielders: the playmakers of the team who aid the strikers and the defenders. These are your up-time and availability, they keep everything ticking over. Having a strong midfield means that your defenders and your strikers are supported, and that your organisation isn’t under-performing in any way.
- The strikers: GOOOOAL! There's nothing better than successfully landing a new client or contract because of your excellent reputation and track record of data security and reliable service. Maintain your business reputation and ability to 'score' more goals by investing into managed IT services. A MSP takes the guesswork out of your IT strategy, taking care of behind-the-scenes things like security updates and network monitoring, so you can focus on being a superstar in your sector.
- The substitutes: the most underestimated people on the pitch. Injured player? Sub them off. Simple as that. Without them, you’d be a player short and why would you put the team in that sort of position? So, let’s say one part of your infrastructure is down, for example you’ve made a large system change to your CRM and it malfunctions. You don’t carry on with the missing data and corrupt system, you’ll want to sub in previous version quickly and efficiently. This is where back-up and disaster recovery come into play and they will save your organisation in times of need. A football manager wouldn’t wait until a player is injured to realise that he needed subs. So, do as Guardiola would and get yourself a strong bench ready for if the worst were to happen.
All the players are managed by a… well…. Manager… obviously. The manager takes care of the day to day operations, providing you with updates, reports, plans. Meaning you can focus on more pressing business activities. In this case, the manager role would be fulfilled by a managed IT company – a company you can trust to be an extension of your team.
But that’s not all that your IT is made up of, that would be oversimplifying it way too much! So let’s take a look at the wider picture.
The match is hosted at a stadium. In this league they’re often gargantuan structures with all modern curving architecture. Enough to seat thousands as well as have changing rooms, hospitality areas, private areas, public spaces and more.
This would be your cloud. Whether it’s public, private or hybrid… this is where all your data, systems, infrastructure would be hosted – you’d have private, even more secure areas as well as places easily accessed by the whole organisation. Everything would have its set place, just like in a stadium.
Finally, just like any good football manager would tell you; training is absolutely essential. Training in cyber security, training in how to optimise your use of the cloud and education about how a managed IT provider brings about efficiency, cost savings and better resource allocation...all of these are ways that training can help you to use cloud hosting more efficiently and better protect your company from cyber threats.
So really when you think about it, being responsible for the IT and being responsible for a Premier League football team is not all that different. Tell that to your colleagues next time they catch you checking match results during the workday...