Depending on the size, industry and growth stage of your company, you will have unique IT needs that you should take into account before figuring out your vendor options. The increase in major data breaches for companies of all sizes in recent years makes it more important than ever before that your company has a solid IT program in place with controls against hacking and breaches. It is a common misconception that larger businesses are more targeted for data hacks than smaller companies. These are some of the top considerations you should make in deciding whether you need a change in your current IT programs.
1. Consult with a business analyst
If you do not have a business analyst on payroll, this might be a good opportunity to consult with one to find out what gaps exist between your current business issues and IT capabilities. It is the job of a business analyst to help you determine ways that your business may become more efficient through tech solutions that are available on the market.
2. Take stock of employee turnover at your company.
If you have had massive turnover at your company, you may need to close down inactive accounts and clear out files from your system. The absence of these no longer necessary files makes it less likely that they will be corrupted in the event of a virus. Also, if you are anticipating an influx of new hires, you should make sure that you have sufficient storage space for the extra data that they will undoubtedly generate.
3. Trace the third parties who may have access to your company’s data.
If your company works with a variety of vendors or subcontractors, there is a strong chance that your data is being shared outside of the company. This increases the risk of having your data corrupted or stolen by third parties. You will need to protect against this risk with more controls against having data corrupted when it is shared outside the company.
4. Consider upgrades to your company’s current systems.
Even if you have current needs that are being unmet, is it possible to simply upgrade your current systems? This can be a cost-effective solution and may require fewer interruptions to the daily workflow.
5. Find out which systems are outdated.
Even though technology changes rapidly, it could be the case that not all of your tech systems are outdated. If you isolate which ones are more in need of upgrading than others, you can keep your company as efficient as possible without having to get rid of the IT products you already have.
6. Plan for adequate training resources for any IT upgrades.
If you decide that a significant tech overhaul will be in order, then you should also make sure that you are setting aside enough time and resources to train the necessary employees on the upgraded systems. Failure to do so can lead to issues with security down the line because employees will not be properly trained on how to prevent security breaches.
7. Figure out what your budget constraints are.
Before you think about what type of investment you can make in technology, you should consider your budget constraints. This will help guide your decisions in whether to simply upgrade your current systems or replace them altogether. You will waste time and resources by exploring tech upgrades that are simply not a financial reality for your business.
8. Find out what your upgrade timeline looks like.
If your business is about to enter a period of uncertainty in other operational aspects, then this might not be the ideal time to overhaul your systems. A temporary upgrade might be the right fix.
9. Evaluate your current providers.
Take the time to see if you are really satisfied with the products and services provided by your current IT vendor or if it makes sense to make a change to a new provider for an upgrade or better pricing.