When the year is coming to a close, it’s the perfect time to plan for the future. Most businesses begin the year with the hope of growing and improving operations. So much of how a company operates depends on technology. So, it makes sense to look to your IT for areas of optimization. A year-end technology review provides an opportunity to look at several areas of your IT. The goal is to take time to focus on improvements you can make to boost your bottom line, as well as what tactics to take to reduce the risk of a costly cyberattack. A recent study by Deloitte looked at digitally advanced small businesses. Small businesses that use technology strategically are well ahead of their peers. Here are some of the ways they excel:
- Earn 2x more revenue per employee
- Experience year-over-year revenue growth nearly 4x as high
- Had an average employment growth rate over 6x as high
The bottom line is that companies that use technology well do better. They are also more secure. According to IBM, businesses with an incident response plan reduce the costs of a data breach by 61%. Using security AI and automation can lower costs by 70%. This year-end, take some time to review your technology with Wahaya IT. This will set you up for success and security in the coming year.
Considerations When Reviewing Your Technology at Year-End
A year-end technology review aims to look at all areas of your IT infrastructure. Security, efficiency, and bottom-line considerations will be the key drivers for future initiatives.
When technology policies get outdated, people stop following them. Review all your policies to see if they need updating to reflect new conditions. For example, if you now have some staff working from home, ensure your device use policy reflects this. When you update policies, let your employees know. This gives them a refresher on important information. They may need to remember certain things since onboarding.
Disaster Recovery Planning
When was the last time your company did an incident response drill? Is there a list of steps for employees to follow in the case of a natural disaster or cyberattack? Take time to look at disaster recovery planning for the new year. You should also set dates for preparedness drills and training in the coming months.
IT Issues & Pain Points
You don’t want to undergo a big IT upgrade without considering employee pain points. Otherwise, you might miss some golden opportunities to improve staff productivity and well-being. Survey your employees on how they use technology. Ask questions about their favorite and least favorite apps. Ask what struggles they face. Let them tell you how they feel technology could improve to make their jobs better. This, in turn, benefits your business. It can also help you target the most impactful improvements.
Privileged Access & Orphaned Accounts
Do an audit of your privileged accounts as part of your year-end review. Over time, permissions can be misappropriated. This leaves your network at a higher risk of a major attack. You should ensure that only those that need them have admin-level permissions—the fewer privileged accounts you have in your business tools, the lower your risk. Compromised privileged accounts password open the door to major damage. While going through your accounts, also look for orphaned accounts. They are not in use, so it would be best if you closed them. Leaving them active poses a security risk.
IT Upgrade & Transformation Plans for the New Year
If you make IT upgrades and decisions “on the fly,” it can bite you. It’s best to plan out a strategy ahead of time so you can upgrade in an organized way. Have a vulnerability assessment performed. This gives you a list of potential problems your company should address. Eliminating vulnerabilities will improve your cybersecurity. Planning allows you to budget for your upgrades and avoid unplanned expenses.
Cloud Use & Shadow IT
Review your use of cloud applications. Are certain apps hardly used? Do you have redundancies in your cloud environment? A review can help you cut waste and save money. Also, look for uses of shadow IT by employees. These cloud applications are being used for work but have yet to be approved. Management may not even be aware of them. Remove this security risk by either closing the accounts or officially supporting them.
Don’t forget to look at the customer experience of your technology infrastructure. Go through your website and contact process as a customer would. If you get frustrated by things like site navigation, your customers and leads may be too. Include optimizations to your customer-facing technology in your new year plans.
Schedule a Technology & Security Assessment Today!
Wahaya IT can help you with a thorough review of your technology environment to give you a roadmap for tomorrow. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Article used with permission from The Technology Press.