What to Include in a Year-end Technology Infrastructure Review

Considerations When Reviewing Your Technology at Year-End

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. Much of how a business 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 make smart use of  technology 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 employee  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 that have 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 do a technology  review with your IT team or managed IT provider. This will set you up for  success and security in the coming year.

Considerations  When Reviewing Your Technology at Year-End

The goal of a year-end technology review is to  look at all areas of your IT infrastructure. Security, efficiency, and bottom-line  considerations will be the key drivers for future initiatives.

Technology  Policies

When technology policies get outdated, people  stop following them. Review all your policies to see if any of them need  updating to reflect new conditions. 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 gives them a refresher on important information. They may have  forgotten certain things since onboarding.

Disaster  Recovery Planning

When is 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 put dates in place for preparedness drills and training in the  coming months.

IT  Issues & Pain Points

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 wellbeing.

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. You need to close these because they’re no longer used.  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 come back to 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 improves your cybersecurity. Planning ahead  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 are cloud applications that are being used for work but did not go  through approval. Management may not even be aware of them. Remove this  security risk by either closing the accounts or officially approving them.

Customer-Facing  Technology

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, then 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!

We 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.