As long as you aren’t letting employees save their work on diskettes, give yourself a pat on the back — you’ve at least made it past the year 2003. But how far has your company’s IT strategy progressed in recent years, as big changes have swept the industry? Check out this list of areas to check to decide if your IT plan is outdated.
While a few employees might have a diskette squirreled away in the dark corners of their desk, most of your staff is probably using USB flash drives. These drives are effective and handy, but they have their limits. For example, you can only access the data on the drive if you physically have it on hand.
That’s why more and more companies are moving to cloud storage solutions. Depending on the service provider, cloud storage allows workers to get access to information from practically anywhere. As a bonus, it makes it easy for co-workers to collaborate. So, if you haven’t yet started using cloud storage, investigate its benefits.
With ever-increasing demands for higher profits, many companies have placed an emphasis on performance management improvement. For the IT department, that means making sure all systems are achieving peak performance. It also means being able to diagnose problems and solve them quickly to ensure productivity and a good work flow for other staffers.
It also means empowering employees to troubleshoot problems themselves. Review this aspect of your IT strategy to make sure staffers throughout the company have access to the tools they need to handle small IT problems on their own. That saves the IT staff time, so they can focus on system maintenance, upgrades, and addressing the big problems that arise.
Besides having the most up-to-date encryption, firewalls, and other security measures, make sure your IT security policy isn’t dated. The policy should give specific instructions to employees for keeping their desk computers and laptops equipped with the kind of protections your company wants them to download to protect against malicious software and hackers.
Protect company computers, even after they’re lost, stolen, or sold, by installing drive encryption software on every machine. One other security tip that the IT team teaches the rest of the staff is how to create strong passwords. For example, your IT staff might recommend staffers translate passwords into another language to make it more difficult for outsiders to guess.
Ensure your company has the IT tools it needs to communicate, simulate, brainstorm, collaborate, and create. If your staff still relies on clunky and expensive telecommunication hardware for teleconferences, consider helping them learn to use cheaper options such as Skype, GoToMeeting, or another Internet-based service.
Simulation modeling is an emerging tool that’s gaining popularity in some sectors. The idea is to enable a company’s leadership to develop scenarios and see how they might play out if pursued. This kind of simulation is a powerful way to evaluate several different options facing the company.
From security to the latest software, make sure your company’s IT plan and policy stays on top of innovations and most importantly, empowers the staff to work in a way that enhances the bottom line. If the system is obsolete, that’s the same as putting money down the drain.