If you haven’t performed your year-end technology review, then now is a perfect time. And with 2023 presenting soaring costs and financial complications it’s more important than ever that we make sure we have all our IT and cybersecurity needs hammered out, so we can spend carefully and save wisely.
Your year-end technology review allows you to look at several areas of your IT. The main goal of which is to focus on improvements you can make to boost your efficiencies and bottom line. As well as what tactics to take to reduce the risk of a costly cyberattack.
In this blog post, we will be looking at the 7 things you need to include in your year-end technology review.
What you must include in your year-end technology review
There are no hard and fast rules about where you start with these seven points, so just start with what feels the easiest. Remember if you need help from IT professionals, we can do that for you.
1. Technology policies
When technology policies get outdated, people stop following them. Review all your policies on devices used in-house or hybrid and remotely and make sure they reflect how things have changed. For example, if you now have some staff working from home, make sure your device use policy reflects this.
When you update policies, let your employees know. This allows them to update their understanding of how they need to handle devices and IT equipment during their working day.
2. 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?
Now is the time to set up a plan with your office manager and IT provider. You’ll need to discuss and update protocols, train staff and make sure you have the security provisions you need in place to cover all devices.
3. IT and software issues
You don’t want to go through a big IT upgrade without considering employee pain points. Otherwise, you might miss some golden opportunities to improve staff productivity and well-being.
Make sure that you ask your employees what they use and how they use it, as well as what they think is missing. An office manager can do this for you, reporting back to you with the detail you need to work through for the IT provision you need.
You should also look at your software. Is there cloud software that can help make departments more efficient, whilst improving your bottom line? Is there software that will save needless tasks to help free up employees to take on new business, or tackle new ideas? Will alternative software cut your spending and still deliver?
4. Access rights and orphaned accounts
Carry out a full audit of access rights to establish security risks (insider threats) or gaps in accessibility and productivity of staff. This should include “privileged accounts” (those with full admin access). Lowering your risk, by reducing unnecessary access is key.
Overall, insider threats cost businesses £13.4 million globally, according to research by the Ponemon Institute (2022, paper, proofpoint.com). As you go through this process, check on accounts that are no longer in use and remove or reassign them where necessary. This reduces your risk of insider and outsider attacks.
5. Shadow IT removal
Shadow IT is applications and software downloaded onto business devices that haven’t gone through management or cybersecurity approval. Something like Sally from accounts using something else instead of Microsoft Teams for her client video calls.
These need to be assessed and removed as they may pose a security risk unestablished in business protocols.
6. Customer-facing technology
It’s also important to consider your customer experience when it comes to customer-facing technology. This means auditing your website and contact methods. If you get frustrated by things like site navigation, then your customers and leads may be too.
7. IT budget
You may end up with a long shopping list of ideas, but maybe you’ll balance that with some cost-cutting upgrades too. Whether you land it is important to establish a budget you won’t go beyond for your year’s IT spending and implement changes as and when your cash flow allows.
Need us to help you with your year-end technology review?
We are experts in the field of IT and cyber security operating in the central and greater London areas. If you need help conducting your year-end technology review or need some advice on where to start, contact us today and book a consultation for our service packages.