We get it: IT isn’t always the most exciting part of running a business, especially if you aren’t naturally technically inclined. With that said, IT is an irreplaceable part of running a modern business and is something that all business executives should understand to some degree. Listed below are the top ten IT questions a business owner should be able to answer. Learn the answer to them as they apply to your own IT sector and your business will be better off for it.
Question#1: Is our Security as Good as it can be?
Few aspects of your business’s IT sector are more important than its security. For businesses whose day-to-day operations rely on their IT network – as many modern businesses do – having their network compromised for even a brief period of time can be devastating.
Unfortunately, threats do exist, and these threats come in a variety of forms. The good news, though, is that the technology and processes available to counter these threats are extremely capable at keeping your business secure. The question that you need to be able to answer, then, is whether your business is employing these technologies and processes as best as it can. If the answer to this question is yes, then great! If not, you may want to reevaluate your business’s IT security.
Question #2: Can We Make Use of the Cloud?
Cloud computing is a powerful tool for modern businesses, allowing them to outsource their data storage and computing needs to an off-site server. In many cases, not only does cloud computing make a business’s network more functional and reliable, it actually saves the business money.
With this being the case, evaluating whether or not your business is making the best use of the cloud is an important question to answer.
Question #3: Do we have Backup Systems in Place?
While you always hope that your main servers never go offline, there are scenarios where you may have to rely on backup systems. Whether your main network has been disabled from a complex cyber attack or a simple power outage, your business needs to be able to carry on.
Backup data can be stored either in a physical location such as on flash drives or on the cloud, and many businesses also have backup servers in place to keep their network up and running if the main servers go offline.
Question #4: Do Our Online Practices Put us at Risk?
Some businesses are more at risk of their network becoming infected with malware or other malicious code simply because of their online practices. As a business owner, you must examine the online practices of your employees and ensure that they are not putting your business at undue risk.
In most cases, a little bit of care, precaution, and common sense will keep employees from accidentally downloading malicious software. Just make sure they understand the gravity of the situation.
Question #5: How Much is our IT Sector Costing Us?
It’s important to understand just how much the IT sector of your business costs. While there are numerous reasons why it’s important to know the cost of your IT sector, one of the biggest ones is that it allows you to look for areas in which you could be saving money.
When it comes to IT, outsourcing some services is often more affordable than doing them in-house. Knowing the cost of your IT sector and thoroughly breaking it down allows you to compare your costs against other options that are available and see if there are places where you could be saving money.
Question #6 What Tools are Available?
Every year, new tools and technologies are rolled out. These tools are revolutionizing the way modern businesses are run, but if you’re not making use of them you could get left behind.
Periodically, it’s important to analyze the tools that are available and compare them against the tools and technology your business is currently using. Staying up-to-date on the latest tools that are available will help keep your business on the cutting edge.
Question #7: Do We have a Technology Plan?
If the answer to this question is no, then a technology plan may be something you want to look into. A good technology plan serves as both a blueprint for your current technological infrastructure, a manual for how to handle certain scenarios, and a plan for the implementation of new technologies in the future.
Having a technology plan in place allows you to easily share critical information with key employees and can be especially useful in a crisis situation.
Question #8: Is our IT Staff Being Fully Utilized?
Your IT staff are a valuable part of your business, capable of helping with far more than just fixing tech issues as they arise. As a business owner, figuring out how to best utilize your human resources is a key part of your job, and your IT staff is no exception.
How IT staff are able to best contribute differs from business to business, so it’s important to step back and analyze how they are being used. Are there any areas where the expertise of your IT staff could improve your business? If so, fully utilizing them could prove quite valuable.
Question #9: What can we Afford to Automate?
Automation is all the rage in the 21st century, but as every good business owner knows, not everything can be effectively automated. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of processes within a business that can be automated, and doing so not only saves the business money but often makes the process more effective.
From top to bottom, analyze the processes within your business and determine which ones warrant exploring automation as an option.
Question #10: What Technologies are our Customers Using?
Successful businesses must go where their customers are. This means determining which technologies your customers are using and figuring out the best way to match those technologies so that your customers are completely comfortable interacting with your business.
For example, if you find that Facebook is your customers’ preferred medium, you may want to consider beefing up the amount of IT resources you put towards increasing your business’s presence on Facebook. In short, understanding the technological trends of your customers is one of the best ways you can effectively model your own approach to IT.
At the end of the day, the better you understand your IT department and how it is structured, the more effective your business will be. Need assistance addressing any of the above questions? We’re here to help! If you would like to learn more about the services we offer geared toward helping businesses drastically improve their IT sector, we invite you to contact us today.