You don’t have to be an IT expert for your business to have success with technology. Knowing that you are employing the right people and that their strategy will really work can be very difficult, especially if you don’t have a resident IT manager. Ultimately, you can save a lot of money by outsourcing your IT needs, reducing what you pay for equipment and training by hefty margins. If you are worried about making the right choice, I have a few tips that can help. There are three primary ways that IT will affect any business, and even a basic understanding is enough to help you know which resource will get things done.
Your IT resources should be able to map out their security plan for you. The important questions to answer deal with three issues:
- How is data secured?
- How frequently am I checked for risks?
- How are updates scheduled and implemented?
Maintaining security requires a proactive approach. Your IT group should partner with you to schedule updates and maintenance when it will least impact business, but often enough to minimize risk. Risk assessment should be routine and included in your general plan. Data needs to be secured according to its risk level. A good IT advisor will help you understand how extra security impacts performance, so you can weigh the pros and cons of any option together.
Security is important to prevent catastrophe, but a solid IT structure will dictate daily performance. Your business will have its own particular set of needs, so you need an IT package that is tailored for you. This means mapping out what hardware needs to be on or off site, how to plan for upgrades, training procedures for employees and IT support and software packages. Are mobile apps worth the investment for your business? Can you outsource servers to cut costs? Planning the structure of your IT is a matter of acknowledging that technology will need to change and budgeting time and money to see it through.
No matter your business, the digital age will pour tons of information into your records. Customer information, sales records, tax records, marketing resources and many other mountains of data will be available to you, and savvy use of that data will help your company thrive. When it comes to managing that data, your primary concern is how the information is accessible and protected. Security aside, you need a reliable backup plan. The ultimate truth in IT is that every system will eventually fail. You want redundancies that do more than store information. You want to be able to run your company from those backups when the worst inevitably happens.
You don’t need to know the different names of hardware or how every software package works. Instead try to understand how the IT plan will impact daily work and how you can tackle emergencies that are bound to arise.