Five questions for your Board's IT agenda

With 2020 fast approaching, companies are re-evaluating their business processes and adapting their operations to welcome a more digitalised way of working to be more efficient, help meet security demands, keep up with customer needs, streamline services and become more profitable. Every Board should understand the importance of their IT infrastructure and how much it impacts their workplace environment.

With so many IT products and services, it’s hard to know where to start and what questions to ask. So, we’ve highlighted five key questions that should be on every Board’s IT agenda.

Q1: Are our IT systems fully functioning and how can IT improve our operations?

There’s no getting away from it, businesses depend on their IT, and Board members understand that time is money. So, the alternative question is, how much time is wasted through downtime as a result of your IT under-performing?

Answer: Patch Management

If you’ve invested in your IT it’s understandable that you want the latest versions of your software to be fully functioning, updated, stable and secure. If it’s not, it could impact the performance of your systems and leave your business open to security vulnerabilities. The reality of keeping your IT systems updated and fully operational can be quite tricky. How can you keep up with all the relevant updates that occur on a regular basis and how and when are you going to update the systems without incurring downtime?

This is where a patch management strategy is vital in keeping your IT systems performing at their best, working on the latest software and keeping your devices secure. A good patch management service will ensure that your systems will be updated when required and will address specific bugs or flaws in a product, improve performance and stability and fix security weaknesses. This can also be carried out at a time to suit your business (so if needed, out of core working hours) to keep downtime to a minimum.

Q2: What provision is in place in the event of an unforeseen incident?

It’s rare, but a good business always prepares for the worst-case scenario, such as a fire, flood, theft or even cyber-crime. If someone manages to break or hack into your offices or warehouse and stole your devices or your data, a) how would you survive with all your machines and data gone and b) what would the cost of the reputational damage be of you losing sensitive and valuable customer details?

Answer: A robust Disaster Recovery strategy

We certainly hope it won’t, but experience tells us that businesses do suffer from totally unpredicted incidents that cause significant disruption. Having a Disaster Recovery (DR) & Backup solution in place can not only offer peace of mind, but also access to your recovered systems in seconds, minutes, hours or a day, depending on which DR & Backup service you opt for.

A recent survey showed that 75% of downtime is reported to be due to a power outage. Hardware failure and human error make up the top three. So, even if you’re not worried about protecting your business from a natural disaster, you still need to make sure your business is prepared for an unforeseen incident.

If you haven’t got one in place, a DR & Backup strategy is not an option, it’s a necessity for the Board to consider so we recommend you put a strategy in place as soon as possible.

Q3: Could we survive a cyber-attack?

If you’re not working alongside a cyber security partner the quick answer is, probably not; the odds are stacked against you. According to a recent report by the Institute of Directors (IoD) and Barclay’s 56% of businesses wouldn’t be able to survive a cyber-attack, proving that the impact of a cyber-attack is incredibly severe, and can often destroy a business.

Answer: Working alongside a cyber security partner

We all know that cyber-crime is increasing and the key to battling it is by being proactive. By working alongside a cyber security partner, they’ll be able to guide you through the best ways to prepare for (unfortunately) the inevitable. When looking for a cyber security partner always look to see what accreditations they hold. For example, a CREST accreditation highlights that a company works to the highest ethical standards and provides evidence their security advisors demonstrate a high level of knowledge, skill and competence. These professionals will be able to look for vulnerabilities that your IT Manager simply wouldn’t be able to spot and offer advanced products to help keep your business protected.

Q4: What will it take to exceed our customers’ expectations in a digital world?

What do your customers actually want? 9 times out of 10 it’ll be good quality, fast customer service. So, the other question you need to ask yourself is, how can IT help with this?

Answer: Quality, fast and effective IT services

We all know the frustrations of having to wait unnecessarily, and it only takes the customer to experience it once with your company to make a judgement and not only not use your business again, but to spread the word about the bad customer service they received, whether that’s through word of mouth or via social media. Customers are being educated by e-commerce giants like Amazon and Apple to expect a super slick experience. As a result, customer expectations are constantly rising. Simply meeting these enhanced expectations can be a major challenge for organisations that were not born into the digital-era.

Companies can no longer afford to keep doing what they’re doing, they need to constantly be improving their customer service to exceed their customers’ expectations in an era that demands instant fixes and satisfaction. You can’t deliver what your customer needs if, for example, your end user devices or IT infrastructure is down or under-performing. Being supported by an IT company that can offer reliable, fast, good quality support and remote monitoring functionality, will help keep your business running like clockwork and enable you to provide a fast, effective customer experience too.

Q5: Does our IT infrastructure allow us to thrive in a modern workplace and keep up with our competitors?

Technology is constantly evolving at an unprecedented pace, if you’re not adapting to the latest technologies, your workplace is at risk of being out-dated and the threat of your competitors being dominant in your market becomes a serious issue.

Answer: Digital Transformation

By investing in an IT partner who can offer digital transformation can revolutionise your business and can drastically improve all aspects of your operations. We now work in a digital world and it’s fundamental that your organisation recognises that and adapts.

By using an IT provider that’s been in the business for many years and understands the real issues businesses face in this digital era, they’ll be able to listen to your current IT issues and provide proven solutions to suit your business and enable you to thrive in a new modern working world.

OGL can help with all your big IT questions…

We’ve been working with UK businesses for more than 40 years and have built partnerships with many world-renowned IT vendors and hold numerous accreditations. Whether that’s by being the only Kaspersky Platinum Partner in the UK or our cyber security division, CyberGuard, being CREST accredited, we have the knowledge and resources to help improve your IT infrastructure and cyber security. And this is our primary objective; to ensure all UK companies understand the options available to help them improve their efficiency, productivity and profitability.

If you would like to discuss your options or book a free IT assessment click here.

If you would like to discuss your options or book a free cyber security assessment click here.

Or alternatively, visit our website, or call us on 01299 873 873 and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.

Sources:

https://www.iod.com/news-campaigns/press-office/details/Firms-not-moving-fast-enough-on-cyber-security

https://solutionsreview.com/backup-disaster-recovery/backup-recovery-statistics-know-2018/

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-do-or-die-questions-boards-should-ask-about-technology