Even for a small business, integral business security systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars to implement. With that much money going into a project, it’s essential that you have the right person leading the team. That’s where an IT architect comes into the picture. You might be wondering, “what is IT architecture, exactly?”
What Is IT Architecture?
IT architecture explained proves to be quite simple. Architecture is traditionally defined as the art of designing and constructing buildings. In the case of information technology architecture, this definition is fleshed out further. It’s often summarized as a series of best practices used to direct the creation and interfacing of IT resources. Much like an architect constructs a building, an IT architect constructs systems and solutions.
There are many types of IT architects you could hire, namely, enterprise architects, software architects, and infrastructure architects. Still, the overall goal of IT architecture is to align your technical systems with your business’s objectives. It also ensures consistent and universal delivery of IT designs and solutions.
IT architecture offers a host of benefits for any company that takes the time to implement it. However, the impact on cybersecurity is of particular interest to most organizations. This is how IT architecture can improve your business’s security.
1. Clarifies IT Structure and Strategy With Best Practices and Planning
The guiding principles of information technology architecture focus on aligning IT systems with business goals. At the same time, with IT architecture explained, it also means eliminating silos. In other words, it connects departments with collaborative tools and mindsets. On the surface, these things may seem great for company culture and productivity — but perhaps less important to security.
Upon closer inspection, the thoughtful structure and strategy IT architecture brings to your systems becomes clear. This helps reduce the security risks associated with IT mishaps. These include things like redundancy in data and applications, along with “shadow IT.”
Shadow IT is extremely common and refers to projects that are managed outside of the IT department without its knowledge. Information technology architecture reduces the risks and costs associated with mishaps like shadow IT. It does this by ensuring every internal project is driven by a common goal. It also ensures IT projects are carried out with the involvement and alignment of every department.
2. Ensures Compliance With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation is part of EU law. Yet, these data protection and privacy regulations apply to any company, anywhere in the world. If you plan to accept traffic from the European Union, you must follow GDPR. Since most companies aren’t keen on blocking every visitor from the EU and EEA areas, seeking compliance is crucial.
“GDPR’s seven principles are: lawfulness, fairness and transparency; purpose limitation; data minimization; accuracy; storage limitation; integrity and confidentiality (security); and accountability. In reality, only one of these principles — accountability — is new to data protection rules. In the UK all the other principles are similar to those that existed under the 1998 Data Protection Act,” says Wired UK author Matt Burgess.
Complying with GDPR is no easy feat, but it’s made possible and a bit easier with IT architecture’s help. The GDPR requires an organization to understand every aspect of its data, including why they have it and where they use it. How it is processed, who has access to it, and where it’s stored also matter.
With IT architecture explained, it’s clear that it gives organizations a holistic vantage point. It enables them to assess every aspect of data collection and storage processes. This forms the foundation you need to improve those things in order to achieve GDPR compliance and avoid costly fines. Plus, GDPR-compliance gives consumers greater faith and trust in how a company is handling their information.
3. Improves Adaptability and Enables Quick Changes in IT Systems
Constantly evolving threats lurk around to wreak havoc on your business and its reputation. So, adaptability has become a core principle in every cybersecurity strategy. Information technology architecture is very conducive to quick changes in your business’s IT systems. This allows your company to assess threats, create strategies, and implement upgrades with ease.
“There is increased demand for systems to change quickly to meet rapidly evolving business needs, legislative requirements, etc. Planning for changes can be aided by having a clear picture of the affected system’s relationship to programs being supported, other areas of technology, and so on,” explains the U.S. Department of Commerce.
This same agility can also give your company a greater competitive edge. It allows you to identify new opportunities and changes in your industry. In response, you can rapidly shift your approach, solutions, and service accordingly.
How to Improve Business Security with IT Architecture
Security is a top-of-mind concern for organizations today as they make unprecedented changes. How they work with employees, interact with customers, and market their products is evolving. Regardless of the steps, your company has previously taken to achieve improved cybersecurity, there’s always the next step. IT architecture should be seen as the next big step in the process.
Without IT architecture, not only will your business’s security lag behind industry standards. Your entire company, and its bottom line, can expect to take a hit. Of course, making the transition to implementing IT architecture is far more than a baby step into the modern era. It takes the right professionals on your side to pull it off.
Finding an IT architect is the first piece of the puzzle, which means narrowing down your options. You need the right kind of architect with the right skills to fit your organization’s unique requirements. Contact Locus today for help finding the perfect IT architect to add to your company’s team of experts.