The start of the year is a great time to review technology in your business. With a changing economy, technology can be a tremendous help.
What events frustrated you the most last year? How would a dream computer world benefit you?
These critical questions will assist you in this process:
- Is IT aligned with your organization-wide vision, mission, and core values?
Choose between integrating these into your entire business and hiding them in the employee handbook. Is technology helping you reach your company vision and goals? If you have a core value of teamwork, does your technology encourage collaborative and effective teamwork? For a core value of integrity, are you 100 per cent legal with your software licensing?
- Do you have a comprehensive IT budget?
Take a high-level view when budgeting. Sometimes you need to spend money to save money. For example, $200 can be saved by buying a cheaper computer but thousands of revenue can be lost in productivity due to slow or broken computers. Website hosting in Texas is cheap, but slowly loading websites reduce sales. Personally dealing with tech issues can provide short-term savings, but is your time better leveraged on other tasks?
- Do you have written documentation?
What software licences do you own? What are the critical administrator passwords to your systems and devices? How is your computer network structured?
What hardware do you own? When do warranties expire?
- Other items to consider to reduce risk:
1. Routine maintenance schedules for all aspects of technology.
2. Tested disaster recovery plan-find out your risk now, not when something happens.
3. Reliance on a team of professionals and not a single person.
4. Security: how often are passwords changed? Who is allowed to access what?
If you are unsure about any of these questions, have your computer guru, IT manager, or IT consultant provide answers before it's too late.
- Wim Kerkhoff is an IT professional and UFV BCIS alumni. He owns Chilliwack-based Kerkhoff Technologies Inc, whose Technology Loving Care program provides peace of mind IT management to businesses. Visit www.kerkhofftech. ca/blog or call 604-824-2770 for more technology tips.