What is Digital Infrastructure?
Your business’s digital infrastructure is the operating system of your business. Your digital infrastructure is the applications and technology your business uses and how they work together.
Like a building has an internal structure of supports, electrical, and plumbing, every business has a digital infrastructure that supports and powers what they do. The digital infrastructure impacts the daily lives of every single employee and customer, even if they don’t deal with it directly. Some components of your digital infrastructure include:
- Email and instant message applications
- Marketing automation platforms
- Company website
- Software used to run or program machinery
- Accounting applications and payroll
Why You Need Digital Infrastructure
In the digital age, your business can’t function without a digital infrastructure. There’s some software and technology that is keeping business going. However, many businesses aren’t operating with an optimized digital infrastructure. Often, systems are disparate or out-of-date, which leads to information silos, slowed down communications, more errors, and slower working times for every department.
An optimized, cloud-based digital infrastructure connects every aspect of your company to ensure data flows in real time with consistency between departments and staff. This makes communication seamless and increases the momentum your business has to create products, serve customers, and grow.
How to Get Started with Digital Infrastructure
Since your digital infrastructure is a big part of how your company does business, altering it feels daunting, even when you know there needs to be change. But change, while difficult, ultimately leads to more agility and better communication in your business. Here are some tips to get started with change in your digital infrastructure:
Where are the problem areas in your digital infrastructure? Is there a lack of communication between departments, or is there no central database of information? Since you’ll be investing resources in a new infrastructure, knowing where the problems are informs the right solution. You might take a look at benchmarks for your industry to see how your business compares, or you should bring in an outside agency to audit your current processes. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can see problem areas your staff may not notice.
Once you've identified the problems with your current digital infrastructure, set goals towards fixing them. What does improvement look like? Goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely (SMART). This helps track progress towards fixing the goals. Since training, rollout, and adoption will take time, there should be measurable, incremental progress toward change.
Plan Out Change
Digital infrastructure isn’t an overnight fix. Plan for the change in phases, including what departments will be affected and adequate training with a rollout plan for the new or changed processes. Making changes to the digital infrastructure of your business can take several months or more, depending on the size of your business and what changes are being made. A plan helps clearly layout the changes to your staff and creates reasonable expectations for each step.