Review Your IT Strategy Plan and IT Planning Process
By now, there are probably very few out there who haven’t felt the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic – something that is still keeping roughly a third of the world’s population on mandatory lockdown with no end in sight. In addition to dealing with a workforce that is suddenly remote, you’re also likely coming up against a variety of budgetary freezes that seem like they couldn’t have come along at a worse possible moment.
Despite these challenges, we sincerely believe that it’s as good a time as any to be routinely evaluating everything you’re doing – particularly when it comes to your IT strategy. We affectionately refer to this as a spring cleaning and we’ve been encouraging all of our clients to take a closer look at not only their cybersecurity strategy but also the entire technology sides of their businesses as a whole. Not only is it something you should be doing on a regular basis anyway, but it’s also maybe the best chance you have to make sure that your organization can actually accommodate what is quickly becoming the “new normal.”
How to Make the Most Out of Your “Spring Cleaning” Opportunity
Use this as an opportunity to reach out and contact the various IT vendors that you’re working with to conduct what is akin to a quarterly review. Secure the times with each of your IT vendors to not only review your services but how they tie into your great business strategy and longer-term support needs or objectives. Take a closer look at everything you have in place with each vendor and, more importantly, evaluate if they’re a ‘must have’ or ‘like to have’. Ask yourself, did the services of your provider fulfill what you’d hoped for and try to identify what is working and, most importantly, what isn’t. All of this is a great chance to really understand both where your strategic gaps are and where your upcoming opportunities may exist, too. At the same time, don’t forget to reconcile all of the various subscription services that you might be paying for, or software and hardware-based assets that you’ve licensed in the past. With all of the layoffs and furloughs that have occurred recently, the chances are high that your needs today are very, very different than they were eight weeks ago. There are plenty of opportunities to save money here – all you have to do is know where to find them. For some cost-saving ideas, here’s a previously written article about the subject that may be of interest;
This not only puts you in the best possible position to plan accordingly once things return to normal after COVID-19 but can help establish contingencies in the event that working remotely will be a longer-term reality.
Don’t Forget Your Cybersecurity Strategy
Another area of your business that you’ll want to pay even closer attention to during your spring-cleaning process comes down to cybersecurity – a topic that has only become more important over the last few weeks and increase in coronavirus themed scams.
Just because the world is at a veritable standstill, doesn’t mean that malware and intrusion attempts are no longer a relevant concern. If anything, things just got even more dangerous than they already were with so many of your employees working from home. Yes, you can make sure that your own network is behind a firewall and is protected by sophisticated cybersecurity technology, but can you really say the same from your employees who are now working remotely and connecting to that network by way of their personal devices? Do you know whether or not an employee is adhering to security best practices, or are they still working under a false sense of security?
This is why IT spring cleaning is a perfect chance to be addressing not only your overall cybersecurity strategy but to also tackle those “odds and ends” projects that you’ve always wanted to accomplish but never really got around to in the past. After you’ve had a chance to make sure that your employees are still aware of (and are following) all of the latest best practices to protect both themselves and your business from cybercriminals, work your way through your “To-Do” list and complete as many of those projects or ‘low hanging fruit’ type initiatives as possible.
All of this can add up to a much stronger cybersecurity and business continuity foundation to come back to once COVID-19 has finally left us for good.
You Should Be Looking Outside Your Business, Too
Finally, you’ll definitely want to use the current situation with Coronavirus as an opportunity to reach out and establish contact with the people who matter most of all- your clients. It’s very likely that a lot of your clients are having just as difficult a time as you are right now, if not more so. You may have even already stopped hearing from certain folks who were among your most reliable partners in the past. That’s just the impact COVID-19 has had on the world. Now is the perfect opportunity to review your services with those important accounts to help position your services as a ‘must-have’ rather and position yourself as a true partner to your clients. Even if you only talk on the phone for a few minutes, reach out to every client and make sure that they’re happy and ask how you can help them through this stressful and frustrating time. It goes a long way to remind clients that you’re out there and will do to minimize their losses as well as provide some semblance of permanence. It’s a simple step that may very well mean the difference between success and failure for your business once everyone finally gets back to work.
All in all, let this serve as your reminder of how important it is to just make sure that your IT strategy and related components are being reviewed on a regular basis and that you choose the best partners that are focused on your continued success. Even though times are tough and budgetary freezes are commonplace, all of these are great ways to not only make sure that you’re still making the most out of your IT investments but that you’re capitalizing on every opportunity to better position yourself for the future, too.
If you’d like to find out more information about how to make the most out of your current situation and review your IT strategy in a more actionable and forward-thinking way, terrific – that’s exactly what we want for you, too. In the meantime, please feel free to refer to some of our previous articles regarding IT Spring Cleaning that we’re hoping will help;
Budget Freezes, Covid-19, UFO Sightings & Killer Bees: Why There's No Time Like the Present to Review Your IT Strategy
At your convenience, I'd suggest getting in touch with either myself or one of my associates at TSI so that we can learn more about your organization and how we can help make the most of these challenging times.