With the year soon coming to a close, planning is likely underway for goals for the new year. Technology plays such a critical role in how a business operates and therefore achieves its goals, that it is important to review your technology and how this coincides with both goals and daily operations.
Companies that utilize technology well, do better and are more secure. According to IBM, businesses that have an incident response plan decrease the costs of a data breach by 61%.
This year-end, make sure to do a technology review with your IT team or managed service IT provider. This will pave the way for success and security in the upcoming year.
How does reviewing your technology environment help your business?
Performance Evaluation: Year-end reviews allow organizations to assess the overall performance of their technology infrastructure over the past year. This evaluation helps in identifying what worked well and what didn’t, enabling the organization to make informed decisions for the future.
Budget Planning: Reviewing the technology infrastructure at the end of the year provides valuable insights for budget planning for the upcoming year. It helps organizations allocate resources effectively by identifying areas that require upgrades or improvements.
Risk Assessment: Assessing the technology infrastructure helps in identifying vulnerabilities and security risks that may have emerged over the year. This is crucial for maintaining the integrity and security of data and systems.
Scalability and Growth: Businesses change and grow, and technology needs to adapt accordingly. A year-end review helps organizations assess whether their current infrastructure can support future growth and scalability requirements.
Compliance and Regulations: Organizations likely need to comply with various industry regulations and standards. A year-end review ensures that the technology infrastructure remains compliant and up to date with any changes in regulations.
Efficiency and Productivity: Identifying bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or outdated technology can help improve overall efficiency and productivity within the organization.
Some considerations when reviewing your technology at year-end include:
Hardware Assessment: Evaluate the condition and performance of servers, computers, networking equipment, and any other hardware components. Identify any equipment that needs replacement or upgrades.
Software Inventory: Compile a list of all software applications and licenses in use. Ensure that software is up to date and that licenses are in compliance with usage. Also, make sure that licenses are not going to expire in the upcoming year and that they will remain supported.
Security Audit: Review security protocols, policies, and procedures to identify potential vulnerabilities. Conduct penetration testing and vulnerability assessments to identify and address security risks.
Data Backup and Recovery: Verify the effectiveness of data backup and disaster recovery processes. Ensure that critical data is backed up securely and can be restored in case of a data loss incident.
Network Performance: Assess the performance of the network infrastructure, including bandwidth, latency, and reliability. Determine if network capacity needs to be expanded to accommodate increased traffic.
Compliance and Regulations: Review compliance with industry-specific regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, CMMC, or PCI DSS, and ensure that the technology infrastructure aligns with these requirements.
User Feedback: Collect feedback from employees and end-users regarding their experiences with the technology infrastructure. Identify any challenges they are or have encountered.
Future Planning: Based on the review findings, create a roadmap for technology improvements and upgrades for the coming year. Prioritize projects and allocate resources accordingly.
Documentation: Update and maintain documentation for the technology infrastructure, including configurations, policies, and procedures. This documentation is essential for troubleshooting and continuity.
Training and Skill Development: Assess the need for training and skill development among IT staff to keep them updated with the latest technologies and best practices.