Is a Technology Infrastructure Review on your Santa List this Christmas?
The room falls silent.
Did that happen?
You thought it was the most wonderful time of the year. Or it was when you walked into the room.
But there is always one joker in your team that thinks their gift is hilarious.
While everyone around you is opening up thoughtful gifts like the latest Jamie Oliver cookbook… a pair of scotch glasses, or some Happy Socks…. you’re staring at some tea towels. What the? Tea. Towels.
And not the fancy ones from Country Road. These plain, red-checked tea towels are from the sale bins out front of The Reject Shop.
I mean, why bother? But as the year draws close, you can look forward to a few weeks off along Ninety Mile Beach. You’ll toss the tea towels in the boot. They can dry the salt water off the kids’ feet as they come off the beach.
You look up. And see the rest of the group inspecting and comparing their Kris Kringle (KK). For many teams, KK typically kicks off the Christmas party (or the old reverse Kris Kringle at the Intuitive IT offices. See the About page to see photos of this in action). The city is abuzz with Melbourians flocking to restaurants and bars across town. Oversized ornaments and decorations hang from tram lines, and Santa takes up residence in Fed Square.
After a full year and no lockdowns (can you believe it?), 2022 is drawing to a close.
So now is the perfect time to review your technology for 2023 and ensure it’s optimised for your success.
Conducting an annual end-of-year review allows you to check your overall IT systems. And review plans and tactics to improve cybersecurity.
Melbourne businesses can benefit from improving their use of technology to gain a cutting edge over their competitors. A Deloitte study looking at the outcomes of businesses that had improved their technology found:
- 2x more revenue per employee
- 4x annual revenue growth
- 6x average employee growth rate
Technology helps business win and stay secure. According to IBM, businesses with an incident response plan can reduce the costs of a data breach by 61%. You can lower costs by 70% by leveraging AI security and automation.
So, before heading to the pub, take some time this festive season to complete a technology review with your IT team or managed service provider (MSP).
How to review your technology
Firstly, you should consider some goals for your review and what you’d like to achieve with your IT systems. Things to consider include security, efficiency, and costs. This can help shape future initiatives and investments.
Review and update IT policies
It’s essential to have modern and updated IT policies for your employees. When neglected or appear out of date, many employees will choose to ignore them. For example, if you have some staff working remotely, ensure your device use policy includes this. Of course, when you update or introduce new IT policies, ensure its communicated widely and conduct training if required.
Is your disaster recovery plan current?
Ask yourself, when did your business complete an incident response drill? How do you expect your employees to respond following a natural disaster or cyberattack if you don’t remember? Do they have a list of procedures or steps following an incident?
Review your disaster recovery plan and commit to dates to complete drills in the new year.
Ask for feedback on IT systems
Before allocating a budget for an IT upgrade, you should stop and ask for employee input. Honesty, you want only to undergo a costly upgrade if you have looked at current employee pain points. Listen, think of it this way, it’s an opportunity to engage with your teams and help improve productivity and their well-being.
One way to gauge feedback is by surveying your employees. For example, you can ask about their favourite applications, what roadblocks they face, and how they feel technology could make their jobs more efficient. Then armed with this feedback, you can ensure your business makes meaningful IT system improvements.
Check privileged access and orphaned accounts
You should audit your privileged accounts as, over time, crooks can steal permissions – exposing your network to a heightened risk of a cyberattack. You must ensure that employees who need admin-level permissions have them. But it’s far better to have less privileged accounts to lower your risk. Compromised privileged accounts password create a whole world of pain, damaging your business significantly.
And while reviewing your accounts, be on the lookout for orphaned accounts. It would help if you closed these because they’re inactive, as they pose an operational security risk.
As part of your strategy, take time to consider what upgrades you would like to implement in the next year. You should also perform a vulnerability assessment which will give you oversight of potential problems that need to be resolved.
By including this assessment, you can eliminate security vulnerabilities and avoid costly unplanned expenses in the next twelve months.
Are your employees using shadow IT?
Your employees may be using unauthorised cloud applications. Sometimes, it’s an innocent mistake, but you likely did not approve of them. You must remove and close these accounts as they are cybersecurity threats (if you don’t wish to support access).
Review cloud applications
Are there any cloud apps that are used infrequently? Are they any redundancies in your cloud environment? Reviewing all your cloud-based applications can help you save money and reallocate funding to other projects.
Look at your customer’s user experience (UX)
It’s an excellent opportunity to view your customer’s user experience with your digital assets. Look at how customers interact with your website and thoroughly examine each step in their journey. And if you’re getting frustrated with your site’s navigation, no doubt so do your clients. Poor UX results in high bounce rates and loss of customers who never return.
Need help planning your IT review?
We get it. It’s a busy time of year, so let us help you with your annual technology review and plan for the future. Contact us today for a free consultation.
About the author
Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.