23 May Ask the Right Questions About Your Information Technology (IT) Strategy
Most businesses approach technology as an evolving challenge. You do not want to overspend on bells and whistles you will never fully use, but you also do not want to be left behind as competitors use the latest tech tools to operate more nimbly.
To refine your IT strategy over time, you have to regularly reassess your operations and ask the right questions. Here are a few to consider:
Are we bogged down by outdated tech? More advanced analytical software can eliminate many time-consuming, repeatable tasks. Systems based on paper files and handwritten notes are obviously ripe for an upgrade, but even traditional digital spreadsheets are not as powerful as they used to be.
Do we have information silos? Most companies today use multiple applications. But if these solutions cannot ‘talk’ to each other, you may suffer from information silos. This is when different people and teams keep important data to themselves, slowing communication. Determine whether this is occurring and, if so, how to integrate your key systems.
Do we have a digital asset-sharing policy? Businesses tend to generate tremendous amounts of paperwork, but hard copies can get misfiled or lost. Sharing documents electronically can speed distribution and enable real-time collaboration. A digital asset-sharing policy could help define how to grant system access, share documents, and track communications.
Do we have a training program? Mandatory training and ongoing refresher sessions ensure that all users are taking full advantage of available technology and following proper protocols. If you do not feel like you can provide this in-house, you could shop for vendors that provide training and resources matching your needs.
Do we have a security policy? A security policy is the first line of defense against hackers, viruses, and other threats. It also helps protect customers’ sensitive data. Every business needs to establish a policy for regularly changing passwords, removing inactive users, and providing ongoing security training.
Do we evaluate user feedback? A successful IT strategy is built on user feedback. Talk to your employees who use your technology and find out what works, what does not, and why.
Answering questions such as these is a good first step toward crafting a complete IT strategy. Doing so also can help you better control expenses by eliminating redundancies and lowering the risk of costly mistakes and data losses. Let us know how we can help.