For most companies, although it happens behind-the-scenes, the strength of the organization and operations relies on the IT team. When building an IT strategy for your team or company, consider creating a secure system that updates in real time, processes that easily support the onboarding of new hires, and a clear and transparent budget.
A successful IT strategy will result in a seamless end-user experience and an internal efficiency that gets issues resolved while ensuring that problems are avoided.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you plan or implement your IT strategy
1. Invest time in IT onboarding for new employees
Most HR tasks depend on IT (and vice versa) for onboarding new employees. In order to streamline communication between the two teams, have a clear plan. Establish general rules like having new hires only start on Mondays or Fridays so that the IT team knows exactly what onboarding measures should be taken and when. Create a shared, recurring checklist in Trello that breaks down all the detailed tasks that need to be taken care of prior to the person’s start date, during their first week, and, if necessary, beyond. Having a uniform process sets shared expectations for both HR and IT.
2. Make the IT budget transparent
It’s crucial for IT departments to understand the long-term vision at your company: how many new hires are projected for the quarter, will there be drastic cuts to the budget, is there a move to a new office planned in the near future? Allowing the IT team (or those in charge of IT-related duties) an understanding of the health of a company’s budget allows them to make more strategic decisions when it comes to investing in new systems or software and finding the most appropriate tech.
3. Consider leasing technology instead of buying outright
It’s important to consider the sourcing and management of your hardware and software from the beginning. There are pros and cons to buying equipment outright versus leasing; however, hardware lifecycle management is just as important to your overall IT strategy as it is to the environment.
If you opt for hardware leasing, you’ll keep your equipment modern and get to trade in old computers or conference room tech as new ones come on the market. Leasing will also allow your IT team to track its monthly recurring revenue and to schedule payments that fit into the overall company budget. Alternatively, if your company isn’t acquiring new talent and scaling at a decent pace, then it might make more sense to buy your systems outright. Project the cost per employee and source quotes from different vendors to decide the difference between buying the equipment upfront or leasing. An example of different leasing models can be found here.
4. Move to a cloud-based IT strategy to ensure scalability and increased security
Cloud-based services support a healthy IT strategy as they update in real time and make it easier to calculate your budget. Cloud-based services require licensing, which lend to more predictable budget tracking through scheduled payments. The cloud also allows you to extend your IT standards to other cloud-based software, such as your access control system, alarms, thermostat, and visitor sign-in system. All of these shared functions help with remote teams too, since the technology supports working from anywhere, anytime.
5. Invest in ongoing, company-wide IT training
Maintain extensive user onboarding for all employees. A strong IT strategy involves the ongoing process of educating those outside the IT department. Employees can still log onto their personal email on their work computers and put your organization at risk if they’re unaware about phishing schemes, etc. so keep your IT manager in view of the rest of the office with annual tech sessions. Don’t just keep your IT team out of view except for a tech mishap—create a positive relationship from the beginning and your strategy will improve over time.
Utilizing these 5 tips for an effective IT strategy will set everyone at your company up for success. By integrating IT into the company’s overall strategy, everyone—including new hires—will have the most appropriate technology necessary to do their job as best as possible.