Starting to plan for the future is the ideal time of year to do so. Businesses typically begin the new year with a goal of improving and expanding their operations. Technology plays a significant role in how a business runs, so it makes sense to assess your IT for optimization opportunities.
An annual technology review provides you with the chance to evaluate multiple aspects of your IT. It is essential that you allocate time for improvements that will boost profitability. Furthermore, you'll learn strategies you can employ in order to reduce the likelihood of costly cyberattacks.
Deloitte recently conducted a study on digitally-advanced small businesses. Their study revealed that smart use of technology is an invaluable asset to these enterprises, with numerous ways they excel.
- Earn two times more revenue per employee
- Revenue growth since 2013 has been nearly four times faster.
- The average employee growth rate was more than six times higher.
Companies that leverage technology effectively perform better. They're also safer. IBM estimates that businesses with an incident response plan can reduce the cost of data breaches by 61%, while security AI and automation can cut costs by 70%.
Take some time this year to review your technology with your IT team and managed IT provider. Doing so will enable you to be successful and secure in the coming year.
Things to Consider When Assessing Your Technology Year-End
A year-end technology review should examine all aspects of your IT infrastructure. Future initiatives should prioritize security, efficiency, as well as bottom line objectives.
People often cease adhering to technology policies that are outdated. Assess all policies to determine if they need updating to reflect changing conditions. If your employees work remotely, make sure your policy on device use takes into account this fact.
Let your employees know when you make changes to policies. It gives them the chance to review important details you may have overlooked after they arrived.
Disaster Recovery Planning
What is the most recent incident response drill your company has conducted? Are there steps employees can take in case of cyberattack or natural disaster?
Make time to plan for disaster recovery in the new year. Additionally, set dates for drills and training to prepare yourself ahead of time.
IT Problems & Pain Points
It is not wise to upgrade your IT system without taking into account employee concerns. Otherwise, you could miss out on great opportunities to boost staff productivity and wellbeing.
Survey your employees about how they use technology. Ask them their favourite and least favorite apps, what issues they encounter, and how technology could enhance their job. Doing this will benefit both you and your company by helping identify the most efficient improvements.
Privileged Access and Orphaned Accounts
As part of your year end review, audit all privileged accounts. Over time, permissions can become misused, leaving your network more vulnerable to major attacks.
It is essential that admin-level permissions are only given to those who truly require them. Your risk increases the more privileged accounts you have in your business tools; compromised passwords could potentially cause major destruction if these passwords are stolen.
While auditing your accounts, make sure to look for abandoned accounts. These should be closed as they no longer contain activity and could pose a security risk if left open.
IT Upgrade and Transformation Plans for the New Years
Making decisions based off urgency when upgrading your IT systems can backfire. Planning ahead helps ensure informed decisions are made, leading to successful upgrades that take place promptly.
Conduct a vulnerability assessment. This will give you an overview of potential issues that need to be addressed for improved cybersecurity. Plan ahead to avoid unexpected expenses and budget for upgrades.
Shadow IT & Cloud Use
Evaluate your cloud application usage. Are there apps that are rarely used or redundancies in your environment? An audit can help reduce waste and save money in the long run.
Additionally, you should be on the lookout for shadow IT uses by employees. These cloud applications may be utilized at work but haven't been approved by management and could potentially pose a security risk. To eliminate this danger, close any accounts or officially approve them.
Technology That Focuses on Customer Experience
You must also take into account your customers' experience when designing and developing your technology infrastructure. As a customer, consider taking time to explore your website and contact form from their perspective.
Site navigation can be an aggravating experience for you and your customers or leads. Start the new year off right by optimizing customer-facing technology in 2019.
Get Your Technology & Security Assessment Today
Start planning for tomorrow by having our experts conduct a comprehensive review of your technology environment. Contact us now for a complimentary consultation and learn how we can assist you.