Every IT Road Map includes a series of projects.
The success of your mission hinges on constantly evolving IT systems, designed and managed according to the following business-impacting criteria:
- Improving efficiency
- Lowering risk
- Strengthening Compliance
- Optimizing security
- Reducing costs
Think of each as a concrete justification for moving forward.
Organized by technology category (hardware, software, server, and network), each initiative gets implemented according to a timeline prioritized by low, medium, and high risk.
The following menu applies to an Atlanta-based healthcare database solution provider, a client with 100 employees, and many pieces of older infrastructure.
Fortunately, they have an in-house IT expert (CTO) who wants to evolve (and partner) with ProviDyn for co-managed IT services.
While every journey differs in focus and scale, ProviDyn guides each client through a strategic IT Road Map with most, if not all, of these popular plot points and estimated professional services fees.
Some are cited as ranges, while others are so cut and dried, an exact number appears.
Fees are not listed if the conversation is just beginning to take shape. And some "punch list" topics are intentionally omitted because they're completed.
We are not estimating hardware or software costs. These commodities are best quoted in real-time using world-class wholesale distributors like Ingram Micro and Tech Data.
Lastly, we are not quoting any monthly subscription services.
1 – Windows 10 Home to Pro License Upgrade
Although widely practiced (more by default than intent), combining Home and Professional versions of operating system software is not recommended.
Microsoft doesn't authorize home versions for business use. Plus, these non-compliant machines don't properly integrate with Active Directory. This mismatch is a security risk and the source of many integration headaches. A simple software key upgrade is all you need.
General set-up fees are $150.00 per user.
2 – Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) Proof of Concept
WVD is a premium solution for gaining maximum control over your corporate assets and intellectual property. The deployment is efficient and timely, making it perfect for heavily regulated industries like finance and healthcare.
Although an operating expense has many advantages over capital expenditures, some clients get sticker shock when considering the monthly fees. So you should only invest if you're convinced potential operating fails will exact a more costly toll.
The following factors affect the monthly cost:
- Storage Accounts (File Storage, Performance Tier, Redundancy, Data Volume, Snapshots, Additional Syncing Servers)
- Windows Virtual Desktop(Pooled Users, Peak Concurrency, Off-Peak Concurrency, Usage Hours, Multi-Session, Medium Workload, CPUs, GB RAM, etc.)
- Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Free Tier, Standard Directory Objects, User Forest Hours, Resource Forest Hours)
- Virtual Machines (CPUs and GB RAM) x Hours, Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server, Pay As You Go, Transaction Units, Bandwidth)
Not only can the services be deactivated at any time, but your IT provider can also manage all of the technical nuances – during the trial and thereafter if you make a longer-term commitment.
Would you like to test the waters before making a big commitment? If so, a proof of concept makes a lot of sense.
General set-up fees are $4,000.00 to 5,000.00.
Learn More: WVD Cheat Sheet
3 – Workstation Migration to Azure Active Directory (AD)
If you want everything already included in Microsoft 365 Business Standard, plus advanced cyberthreat protection and device management, it may be time to upgrade to Microsoft 365 Business Premium.
In addition to Intune, BitLocker encryption, and Azure Information Protection, Microsoft 365 Business Premium also has fully installed Office applications across multiple devices, hosted email, and online file storage and sharing.
A project of this nature includes the following responsibilities:
- Make sure the latest version of OneDrive is installed and logged in on each machine
- Migrate user data from the server(s) and backing it up to OneDrive using Known Folder Move
- Set up Intune to manage BitLocker encryption of devices, enable Data Loss Prevention, and configure Known Folder Move to OneDrive
- Implement self-service password resets via Azure AD
- Remove each machine from the Active Directory domain and join each to Azure AD before migrating each user's profile and documents to the Azure AD profile
- Update new user documentation to include OneDrive configurations
- Update new machine checklist to include joining to Azure AD, installing OneDrive, and establishing BitLocker encryption
Learn More: M365 Product Comparison
General set-up fees range from $17,000.00 to $19,000.00.
4 – Redundant Network
Everyone would love to have a network without any single points of failure. However, this isn't always realistic when on-premise network equipment is involved.
It's also not realistic even with 100% of your applications in the cloud and two Internet connections for redundancy. Class A office buildings, Network Operating Centers (Cloud Hosting Facilities), and ISPs are vulnerable to infrastructure, facility, and power outages.
Although the following project never advanced (because the client migrated their onsite equipment), understanding the following variables will help you better appreciate all of the moving parts:
- Install a high-availability Bigleaf SD-WAN Appliance
- Install and configure a high availability client firewall
- Renew the service contracts on existing switches
- Install an additional Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
- Test and verify that a network outage will not result from the failure of one of the following components: (UPS Devices, Meraki Firewalls, Network Switches, Bigleaf SD-WAN Appliances)
Learn More: How Bigleaf Works
General set-up fees range from $3,000.00 to $4,000.00.
5 - Migration to Microsoft Business Voice
Are you ready to say goodbye to your premise-based phone system? If it's over five years old and becoming more cumbersome to manage, you're in luck.
The marketplace is overflowing with cloud-based VoIP options, AKA Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Some of the more prominent names include Ring Central, Nextiva, Vonage, and now Microsoft.
Although this service has been around for a while, Microsoft Business Voice making a big push to gain market share.
The move makes sense. After all, voice is just another application traveling over your network, so it nicely dovetails with all the other Microsoft goodies your MSP manages for you.
The following specifications are being reviewed as a replacement for an aging Mitel IP PBX Phone System:
- Yealink IP Conference Station
- Yealink Wireless Microphones
- Yealink IP Desk Phones
- Yealink Common Area IP Phones
- Microsoft Teams Rooms Licenses
- Microsoft 365 Business Voice
- Domestic Calling Plans
- MSP Tech Support for Voice Services
Learn More: Microsoft Business Voice
General set-up fees range from $15,000.00 to $17,000.00.
6 - Cyber Security Awareness Training
Annual Cyber Security Awareness Training used to be the norm. Once a year with a live instructor was more than adequate. However, the threat landscape is getting exponentially worse every year, driving the demand for ongoing and dynamic computer-based instruction.
Catastrophic data breaches animate news headlines every day, with 95% of the incidents attributable to human error.
The more advanced security gets, the more “human” people seem to get when responding to phishing emails and random pdf attachments. (Some people have never met a strange link they didn’t like to click on.)
ProviDyn enthusiastically recommends (and administers) Proofpoint Security Awareness and KnowBe4. Both offer ongoing cybersecurity awareness training with periodic phishing simulation.
Learn More: Proofpoint Security
General set-up fees range from $500.00 to $1,000.00.
7 - Security Event Alerting
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is an advanced security monitoring and alerting tool that captures zero-day vulnerabilities that are so new; they elude traditional firewall and anti-virus solutions.
Deployed based on the number of major nodes in your enterprise, SIEM casts a wide scanning net across all of your IoT devices and gives businesses a time advantage when it comes to detection, response, and remediation.
Every SIEM solution includes a Security Operations Center (SOC) staffed with engineers who scour every imaginable corner of the Internet to identify anomalies.
General set-up fees range from $2,000.00 to $3,000.00.
Learn More: Connectwise SIEM
Although I reviewed seven essential projects, the number of items is subject to change, up and down, over time. Needs are never static. Initiatives are also organized differently for different clients.
Are you clear on your immediate IT priorities? What about six to twelve months from now or twelve to eighteen months out?
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like the related content in our free eBook.