The ideal time to plan for the future is when the year is drawing to a close. Businesses usually start the year with the hope of growing and improving their operations. Technology dictates much of how businesses operate. So, it makes perfect sense to identify areas of optimization in your IT.
A year-end technology review gives you the chance to look at various areas of your IT. The goal is to take time to focus on improvements you can make to boost your bottom line along with the tactics required to lower the risk of a costly cyberattack.
The reality is that organizations that make use of technology generally tend to be more secure and do better.
Take some time this year-end to do a technology review in your organization with either a managed IT provider or your IT team. It will be a great way to set your organization up for success and security in the coming year.
What Are the Key Considerations When Reviewing Your Technology at Year-End?
The goal of the year-end technology review is to look at all areas of your IT infrastructure. Efficiency, security, as well as bottom-line considerations will be the key drivers for any future initiatives.
I. Technology Policies
People usually stop following technology policies that get outdated. So, review all your policies to see whether any of them require updating to reflect new conditions. For instance, if you now have some staff that work from home, ensure that your device use policy also reflects this.
Don’t forget to let your employees know when you do update policies. It gives them a refresher on important information. They might have forgotten some things since onboarding.
II. Disaster Recovery Planning
When did you last have an incident response drill in your organization? Is there a list of steps employees are required to follow in case of a cyberattack or natural disaster?
Set aside time to do disaster recovery planning for the coming year. It can also be a good idea to put dates in place for preparedness training and drills in the coming months.
III. IT Issues and Pain Points
It is never a good idea to go through a major IT upgrade without taking the employee pain points into consideration. Otherwise, you might end up missing some golden opportunities for improving staff well-being and productivity.
Survey your employees on their use of technology. Ask questions about their favorite and least favorite apps. Learn about the struggles they face. Find out how they feel technology may improve to make their jobs better. In turn, this will benefit your business. It will also help you target the most impactful improvements.
IV. Privileged Access and Orphaned Accounts
Part of the year-end review should be doing an audit of your privileged accounts. Permissions can be misappropriated over time, which can leave your network at a higher risk of a major attack.
You should make sure that admin-level permissions are only granted to those that need them. The fewer the privileged accounts in your business tools, the lower your risk. Compromised privileged account passwords open the door to disaster.
You should also look for any orphaned accounts while going through your accounts. These should be closed because they are no longer in use. Leaving them active poses a serious security risk.
V. IT Upgrade and Transformation Plans
Making IT decisions and upgrades “on the fly” can end up biting you. It is best to plan out a strategy beforehand so that you can upgrade in an organized way.
Have a vulnerability assessment done. It will give you a list of potential problems that your organization needs to address. Eliminating vulnerabilities helps improve your cybersecurity. Planning ahead helps you budget for upgrades and avoid unplanned expenses.
VI. Cloud Use and Shadow IT
Review how cloud applications are used in your organization. Are there some apps that are hardly ever used? Does your cloud environment have redundancies? The review will not only help you in reducing waste but also saving money.
You should also check for employee use of shadow IT. These are essentially cloud applications used for work purposes but didn’t go through approval. Management might not even know about them. Eliminate this potential security risk by either officially approving them or closing the accounts.
VII. Customer-Facing Technology
It is also important to look at the customer experience provided by your technology infrastructure. Go through your website and contact process just as a customer would.
If you find yourself getting frustrated by things such as website navigation, then your leads and customers may be too. Ensure that optimizations to your customer-facing technology are included in your new year plans.
Schedule a Technology and Security Assessment Today!
SME can conduct a thorough review of your technology environment to provide you with a roadmap for the future. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation.