Good leaders understand the importance of delegation. Great leaders get feedback from their delegates and incorporate it into action. So, chances are you’ve hired your IT department to handle your technology because their expertise outweighs yours by a fair margin. Whether you’re an old pro or an IT newbie, here are 9 important questions to ask to guide your IT team in their quest to make your life easier.
1. What’s our backup and recovery plan?
Data loss can happen at any time. It’s not an if, it’s a when. Malicious hackers, viruses, power outages and natural disasters are just a few causes of total data loss. Backing up your data is common sense—just like locking up your car when it’s unattended. Be sure your IT team performs regular data backups—and, ensure they have a disaster recovery plan ready to restore your data.
2. How can we improve our network security?
This could be as simple as making sure your employees change and update their passwords on a regular basis or completely revamping your security protocols. The trick here is to balance access with security. If everybody has the same high level of security, your IT department will be flooded with access requests and password resets required so that everyone can get their work done properly. Too little security and they’ll be chasing external threats too much to properly and proactively maintain your computers and technology. Meet them in the middle.
3. How can we help other employees understand IT?
Many IT problems stem from misunderstandings, miscommunications and fearing the unknown. People don’t want to be singled out if they don’t understand the importance of IT policy. If you don’t understand it, learning it or reviewing it with your whole team can be a bonding experience.
4. Are we proactively monitoring our network?
Your connection to the Internet is vital. Keeping out unwanted intruders is even more so. A firewall prevents bad code and bad people from getting into your sensitive data. Firewalls work well as passive protection against intrusions, but it’s only part of a healthy network security program. Much like employing a security guard adds a layer beyond locked doors on a building, proactive monitoring allows your IT team adjust to threats on the fly—and catch problems before they destroy your network.
5. Which piece of hardware should we update next?
Computers are just like any other piece of machinery in your business: they need to be repaired, maintained and replaced. Most IT professionals recommend a rotating series of replacements to minimize budget impact. Rather than replacing all your technology at once, replace one or two pieces every few months for a constant, measured improvement that doesn’t disrupt productivity.
6. Can we move anything to the cloud?
With so many smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices, many companies are taking advantage of cloud computing, where data and programs are securely stored offsite “in the cloud” for access and collaboration from anywhere. Working in the cloud offers flexibility and cuts onsite equipment maintenance costs but might not be suitable for all types of information and data. Contact cloud experts to learn how moving to the cloud can benefit your business.
7. Do we have BYOD policies in place?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a hot topic these days. Rather than staying on the treadmill of updating hardware, some business encourage employees to bring and use their own smartphones, tablets, and even laptops. This can provide excellent advantages to employees who need to work from home or on the road, but without a clearly outlined BYOD policy, you’re putting your network security at risk.
8. Is there any important software we need to migrate?
Software isn’t supported forever. New versions of programs can require fresh installs to keep everyone compatible and secure. Operating systems, like Windows and Mac OS, are the foundation that the rest of your IT builds upon. Ensuring that any programs your business relies upon are compatible with a new OS should be a top priority for your IT team.
9. Are we using IT staff efficiently?
Technology is a broad mandate. Work to ensure you’re giving your team work that fits into their qualifications, keeping your team happy and efficient. Developers should work on code, while troubleshooters should be the ones fixing helpdesk problems with your employees. Too often, IT employees get stuck doing tasks for which they are overqualified, which reduces their efficiency.
Bonus question: What if your IT team doesn’t know the answer?
There’s no harm in calling in a second opinion if your IT staff is unaware of the solution to a problem. Contact the technology experts at SWICKtech anytime to set up your FREE IT assessment. There’s no risk, so contact us today!