6 key IT questions to ask in the new normal

The sudden shutdown of the economy in March because of the
COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to rely more heavily on technology.
Some companies fared better than others.

Many businesses that had been taking an informal approach to IT
strategy discovered their systems weren’t as robust and scalable as they’d
hoped. Some may have lost ground competitively as fires were put out and
employees got back up to speed in an altered working environment.

To keep your approach to technology relevant, you’ve got to
regularly reassess processes and assets. Doing so is even more important in the
new normal. Here are six key questions to ask:

1. What are our users saying? Every
successful IT strategy is built on a foundation of plentiful user feedback.
Talk with (or survey) your employees about what’s happened over the last few
months from a technology perspective. Find out what’s working, what isn’t and

2. Do we have information silos? Most
companies today use multiple applications. If these solutions can’t “talk” to
each other, you may suffer from information silos — when different people and
teams keep data to themselves. Shifting to a more remote workforce may have
worsened this problem or made it more obvious. If it’s happening, determine how
to integrate critical systems.

3. Do we have a digital file-sharing policy?
Businesses used to generate tremendous amounts of paperwork. Sharing documents
electronically is much more common now but, without a formal approach to file sharing,
things can still get lost or various versions of files can cause confusion.
Implement (or improve) a digital file-sharing policy to better manage system
access, network procedures and version control.

4. Has our technology become outdated? Along with
being an incredible tragedy and ongoing problem, the pandemic is accelerating
change. Technology that may have been at least passable before the crisis may
now be falling far short of optimal functionality. Look closely at whether your
business may need to upgrade hardware, software or platforms sooner than you
previously anticipated.

5. Do employees need more training? You may
have implemented IT changes over the past few months that employees haven’t
fully understood or have adjusted to in problematic ways. Consider mandatory
training and ongoing refresher sessions to ensure users are taking full
advantage of available technology and following proper procedures.

6. Are your security protocols being
Changes made to facilitate working during the pandemic may have
exposed your systems and data to threats from disgruntled employees, outside
hackers and ever-present viruses. Make sure you have a closely followed policy
for critical actions such as regularly changing passwords, removing inactive users
and installing security updates.

Technology has played a critical role in enabling businesses to
stay connected internally, communicate with customers and remain operational
during the COVID-19 crisis. Our firm can help you assess your IT strategy in today’s
economy and identify cost-effective process changes and budget-conscious asset