In this month’s blog we are going back to some Information Technology basics. The pace of change in the IT industry never lets up and when you are running a business, fire fighting daily issues, keeping customers happy and ensuring your margins are as healthy as possible, you can’t be expected to keep your finger on the pulse of one of the fastest moving industries in the world.
So, what can you do?
In this article we are going to look at some of the potentially simple changes you can make within your organisation to streamline some of your business processes, maximise the potential of your IT and save time on tasks which don’t have to take as long as they once perhaps did.
Out of date applications within an organisation can present many issues, from security flaws leaving you open to data breaches, to inefficient software which has been superseded by more powerful, focussed and user-friendly versions. Often these upgrades are available free of charge but without a dedicated IT team you may not be aware of the availability of them or the need to implement them. Think about your productivity solutions, operational systems and information security initially as these are likely to yield the most benefits.
Workplace management solutions can alleviate many of the older practices reliant on an IT support team. Connecting laptops to projectors, updating digital signage by going from screen to screen with a USB stick, room bookings and reduced power consumption when rooms are empty or workstations aren’t in use. All can now be controlled from central systems, predicated on user interfaces designed for the layperson, rather than technical support.
The early concerns of cloud are now no more. If you’re still operating an on-premise, server-based solution for your IT infrastructure, you are potentially missing out on cost savings, improved disaster recovery and the huge possibilities opened up by the new generation of collaboration tools. The scalability offered by today’s cloud solutions also means less chance of capex requirements as the solution can be flexed on a monthly basis if required.
Even after a successful IT application implementation, there can be a tendency for legacy systems, after being migrated away from, to be left. Licenses often continue to be paid for, data sits in locations where it is easily forgotten about though workforce changes. This makes responding to data-led questions in this era of stringent data protection even more difficult. Sunsetting an application means removing all of the data you can, in line with your documented retention periods and permanently shutting the system down.