The majority of businesses today have some form of IT strategy in place. That plan normally goes beyond the standard use of security software and a nod towards threat management.
It includes the tools and apps that are used to manage daily work, training of staff to use industry-specific software, and developing protocols to ensure the safety of data and the way that is used throughout the business.
When it comes to IT business strategy, keeping up with the advances and challenges has become a lot more complicated in recent years. Not only are we subject to highly sophisticated attacks but employees are also using a range of devices, including their own smartphones and tablets, to deliver on their company’s needs via cloud-based services.
One question all businesses need to ask is how much employees understand about their IT strategy in the first place. How confident is each individual in implementing the processes that are in place?
Creating a Robust IT Business Strategy
The first step is to develop the right strategy that fits your business. This is all about aligning your IT services and systems so they support your business priorities. While this is not always easy to achieve, it allows you to:
- Plan for future changes in your IT service
- Stay in control of the costs of IT for your business
- Ensure you have robust process in place that protect you, your employees and your customers, reducing the risk of disruption to your business
Make Your IT Business Strategy Available
Assuming that you have the best strategy in place, you need to make employees aware of what it is, how it fits into your wider business plan and what everyone’s responsibility is.
One of the big challenges business have is how to protect their data and processes from cyber attack, particularly in light of the new GDPR. Building awareness among employees should be a vital element of your IT business strategy, an ongoing, not a one-off, process.
Your IT strategy needs to be readily available to employees (both online and in hardcopy) and should be written in plain English so everyone understands what is expected of them. If staff don’t know how they are to implement the strategy, you will quickly find gaps in delivery that can eventually seriously damage the efficiency and even the safety of your company.
Ensure Staff Understand the Risks and Their Responsibility
An employee who opens an email link that carries a malware programme is one of the most common ways in which businesses are attacked. These kinds of threats generally succeed because of lack of understanding or knowledge on the part of the victim rather than any malicious intent.
There are greater challenges nowadays, particularly with many businesses using cloud-based services. On the one hand, these give companies much greater flexibility in how they communicate and improve productivity. On the other, cloud IT services also present a challenge to security. If an employee is using their smartphone to access business data, how secure is it? What does that employee need to be aware of when performing their job on a daily basis?
Have Regular Update and Training Sessions for Employees
It’s vital that employees understand what their responsibilities are when it comes to your IT business strategy. There are various ways in which this can be achieved but the onus is on business managers, CEOs and owners to ensure that these processes are implemented.
- Effective onboarding for new staff: Every time someone new starts at your business, a priority needs to be given to providing information and training on IT services and the responsibilities involved
- Available training materials: Staff should have access to relevant IT training either through organised group sessions, online courses or a mixture of both. More problems in businesses are caused by staff who don’t know how to use software or systems safely
- Regular assessments for staff: It’s not enough to provide training and informational updates, business owners need to be sure their staff are taking the training onboard. Assessing staff competency and understanding when it comes to IT services should be a priority
- Options for reporting: You should have the process in place that allows employees to raise concerns or report any potential breach
Most businesses, particularly new start-ups, understand that IT is important. Unfortunately, they either take it too much for granted or fail to put in the appropriate measures to ensure safety and security at all levels. In today’s online world, that can mean putting your business at risk of a cybersecurity breach.
Developing staff so that they are better informed about your IT business strategy should ensure they are equipped to handle today’s cybersecurity risks. That in turn, will keep your business safer.
Here at Cyan Solutions, we can assist with the development of an IT strategy for your business, as well as the implementation. If you would like to find out more and speak to one of our experts contact us today.