6 Key IT Questions to Ask in the New Normal
To keep your approach to technology relevant, you’ve got to regularly reassess processes and assets. Doing so is even more important in the new normal. Here are six key questions to ask to assess your company’s current IT health.
1) What are our users saying?
Every successful IT strategy is built on a foundation of plentiful 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.
2) 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.
3) 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.
4) Has our technology become outdated?
Along with being an incredible tragedy and ongoing problem, the pandemic is accelerating change. Technology that may have been at least passable before the crisis 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.
5) Do employees need more training?
You may have implemented IT changes over the past few months that employees haven’t fully understood or have adjusted to in problematic ways. Consider mandatory training and ongoing refresher sessions to ensure users are taking full advantage of available technology and following proper procedures.
For example, at Fahrenheit Advisors, we have provided a “Lunch and Learn” training series centered around IT topics for employees. Employees listen in while they eat their lunch in the conference room when we are in the office or enjoy remotely at their home office joining via a ZOOM call. Past presentations include data management software options for our internal use or within a client engagement, software integrations to assist with accounting functions, automation of accounting processes like payables management, and enhanced reporting abilities utilizing data visualization tools.
6) Are your security protocols being followed?
Changes made to facilitate working during the pandemic may have exposed your systems and data to threats from disgruntled employees, outside hackers and ever-present viruses. Make sure 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 COVID-19 crisis. Our firm can help you assess your IT strategy in today’s economy and identify cost-effective process changes and budget-conscious asset upgrades.
Reach out to us to assist with your company’s needs assessment in order to identify additional resources you may need to feel well prepared as you develop your IT strategy- Experts@FahrenheitAdvisors.com.