1. Provide Regular Training
The velocity of technology change is staggering, the exponential rate of change will not slow down. Cutting edge ideas and solutions quickly become passe. Sure, your IT team has plenty of experience, but their skills are eclipsed at the rate of technology change. If your business wants to remain competitive and secure, your IT team and users require training.
Do not rely on your IT team updating skills on their own; instead, provide effective, career building training opportunities. Include a mix of classes, certifications, conferences, or onsite training.
Investing in your people is an investment in your business. The more your IT team knows, the more support they can provide.
2. Implement Modern Systems Achieving Your Business Goals
Implemented correctly, modern systems yield higher business value, easier to use, and inherently more secure. Unfortunately, there is widespread usage of obsolete and downright dangerous systems in use. According to Statcounter, almost 10% of systems are still running Windows 7 with about 15% using the current version of Windows 11. Microsoft officially reached the end of support on January 10, 2023, for Windows 8.x and all its predecessors.
Empower your entire organization with solutions that achieve your business goals and objectives. This is a mix of hardware, software, and cloud solutions fit-for-purpose. The planning and costs might be staggering; however, long-term productivity, technical and cybersecurity maintenance, and management will reflect your investment.
3. Include IT In Business Planning Processes
Technology and cybersecurity are an indispensable part of virtually all business operations, yet many companies fail to include the IT team in strategic, operational, and functional activities. Instead, IT is often the last to be included then scrambles to provide solutions. Ultimately, this delays implementations and leads to cost overruns. Worse yet, IT is not consulted during the budget process leading to significant errors in solutions purchase, life cycle, and cybersecurity costs.
Conversely, include IT in business processes, creating an atmosphere of teams working together to solve common business challenges. Move the conversation from tactical responses to strategic solutions. Build a trusting relationship embracing the Business-IT relationship balanced with empowerment and responsiveness. This relationship results in no surprises or scrambling to implement new systems.
Be collaborative within the IT team; ask appropriate questions, seek input from individual IT contributors. Get feedback on strategic implementations, tactical planning, and technical solutions. The more you include them, the more empowered they feel to speak up and help the tech side of your business run better.
4. Bring in Extra Support When Necessary
Empower your IT team when additional support is required due to specialty projects, workload volumes, or to manage non-productive tasks. One might view this as undermining your team, it actually shows support and understanding. It is also a great learning opportunity when your team is exposed to new skills supported by third party providers.
You can work with IT outsourcing companies like ISOutsource to get general or specialized help temporarily or on a longer-term basis. Manage your team’s workload, helping them stay focused and prevent them from being overworked.
5. Establish Clear Processes
Every business team should have a set of clear processes. This describes exactly what is expected along with how to proceed in different situations. Your IT team can support business units to establish clear processes. For instance, contingency planning. Your processes should include how to manage incidents like a ransomware attack? Which systems need to be restored first? How are backups handled? Is there insurance to cover any losses?
Empowering your IT team through effective process management outlining, identifying what needs to be done and by whom. Obviously, it is up to your team to fill in the specifics, but you can help create guidelines. Become a supportive part of the team and you will discover new confidences in your IT team and share useful thoughts about how things can improve.
6. Create Dynamic Teams
As a business owner, imagine how you might feel if you had to handle every single task yourself? Odds are, you are not an expert at IT support, accounting, marketing, sales, and so on. Therefore, you hire people with the right skill set for those roles.
Consider your IT team, is it comprised of generalists or specialists? Smaller organizations with small IT teams are most likely staffed with generalists. These teams are challenged when addressing complex issues, specialized systems, or new technology.
Create a balanced, yet dynamic team composed of generalists and specialists depending on business requirements and budgets. For instance, if you use both Linux and Windows, build expertise in both Windows and Linux. Sure, they all know how to do some of the same things, but a dynamic team can handle much more and feel comfortable leaning on and learning from each other as needed. Constantly evaluate team skills ensuring alignment with business requirements; consider augmenting your team with 3rd party support.
Want to help empower your IT team? Contact ISOutsource today to learn how we can help.