IT takes up an increasingly large share of operations for many businesses today.
Whether it’s ecommerce systems, protecting and organising data, CRM or an internal network, there are many ways in which IT helps businesses to develop and grow. That also means that IT requires more of an investment than ever before and, like any investment made for the business, it’s important to ensure you’re getting the most from it by making the best use of your IT resources.
Assess your IT needs first and put in place a plan that works best for your IT resources
Every business is different.
The IT you’re investing in should be suitable for the business and your IT strategy, and be aligned with your organisation’s objectives. Two key processes will help your business to assess existing IT and start planning how to work with your resources:
- Carry out an audit of existing IT needs. This should cover every aspect of your IT resources to provide general oversight of software and systems. It should include a review of hardware and inventory, an assessment of system performance, a general security review (including current protection in place), assessing existing disaster recovery planning and identifying key risks to business continuity.
- Invest in capacity planning. This is designed to ensure that there is sufficient IT capacity within the business to cost effectively meet need, now and in the future. It will identify how to secure service continuity, reduce cost and manage the risks that are specific to your business.
Allocate resources to put in place a robust data system
Data backup, management and protection will be fundamental to ensuring that your IT resources deliver value to the business. Migrating to the cloud often represents the most robust option for data management when it comes to best and most cost effective use of IT resources.
Via public, private or hybrid cloud storage you can reduce costs, improve security and ensure availability of data to the parts of the business where it is required. Using cloud storage also ensures data is regularly backed up with failsafes in places should systems come under attack.
Implement an effective IT process/solution that aligns your technology and staff
The right IT solution can considerably improve productivity, give staff greater flexibility and better support the individual roles your workforce is handling day-to-day. It’s essential to align your people, processes and technology solutions with the vision and strategy of your organisation.
Allocate some resource to being cyber security savvy
Cyber security is crucial to protecting your IT and can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Streamline the technology that you’re using and avoid being overwhelmed by cutting edge IT or multiple systems that the business just doesn’t need.
- Regularly audit your digital assets so you know what you have and what it’s worth.
- Invest in disaster recovery planning and be prepared to be proactive in any situation.
- Review basic security, such as password use - “12345” or “password” remain some of the common password choices despite being simple for hackers to crack.
- Restrict access throughout your network – not everyone in the business needs access to every piece of data or IT system.
Invest in the skills of your team
Your staff are a great resource when it comes to optimising an IT investment.
- Make the most of IT skills that staff already have – for example, ask staff to self-assess so that you can see the skills and experience already there.
- Provide regular training – that could be refresher courses for existing skills, new IT skills courses or advanced training.
- Ensure your workforce has strong IT support – if employees know they will get support when they need it they will be more proactive.
- Invest in security training for staff – they can be a very effective resource in acting quickly where there are IT issues.
From audits and capacity planning, to data storage, security and staff IT support, working with a service provider can help to reduce the pressure in-house and enable your business to make the most of the IT resource that it has.