The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to rely more heavily on technology. Some companies fared better than others.
Many businesses that had been taking an informal approach to IT strategy discovered their systems weren’t as robust and scalable as they’d hoped. Some may have lost ground competitively as fires were put out and employees got back up to speed in an altered working environment.
To keep your approach to technology relevant, you’ve got to regularly reassess processes and assets. Here are six questions you should ask when evaluating your technology and considering upgrades.
- What are our users saying?Every successful IT strategy is built on a foundation of user feedback. Talk with (or survey) your employees about what’s happened over the last few months from a technology perspective. Find out what’s working, what isn’t and why.
- Do we have information silos?Most companies today use multiple applications. If these solutions can’t “talk” to each other, you may suffer from information silos — when different people and teams keep data to themselves. Shifting to a more remote workforce may have worsened this problem or made it more obvious. If it’s happening, determine how to integrate critical systems.
- Do we have a digital file-sharing policy?Businesses used to generate tremendous amounts of paperwork. Sharing documents electronically is much more common now but, without a formal approach to file sharing, things can still get lost, or various versions of files can cause confusion. Implement (or improve) a digital file-sharing policy to better manage system access, network procedures and version control.
- Has our technology become outdated? Technology that may have been at least passable before the pandemic may now be falling far short of optimal functionality. Look closely at whether your business may need to upgrade hardware, software or platforms sooner than you previously anticipated.
- Do employees need more training?You may have implemented IT changes during the pandemic that employees haven’t fully understood or have adjusted to in problematic ways. Consider mandatory training and ongoing refresher sessions to ensure users take full advantage of available technology and follow proper procedures.
- Are your security protocols being followed?Changes made to facilitate remote or hybrid work may have exposed your systems and data to threats from disgruntled employees, outside hackers and ever-present viruses. Ensure you have a closely followed policy for critical actions such as regularly changing passwords, removing inactive users and installing security updates.
Technology has played a critical role in enabling businesses to stay connected internally, communicate with customers and remain operational during the pandemic. Our firm can help you assess your IT strategy in today’s economy and identify cost-effective process changes and budget-conscious asset upgrades.