Out with the old, in with the new. Let’s talk about IT practices to avoid.
Are you holding on to habits you know are harmful, believing in facts you know are myths, or managing your information and technology operations like its 1999? It’s time to modernize and transform your IT and cybersecurity operations into business-enabling teams rather than following outdated technology practices.
The key to creating a disruptive, transformational change is as close as an internet search. Of course, the simplest of searches yields a million results, with the top hits being paid placement, diminishing the value of the results. You could turn to your mentor, favorite leadership site, or blog writer; however, you might end up with more opinions than actionable steps. The true answer for transforming old, outdated practices into modern, effective IT programs is three-fold. Keep it simple, be strategic, and become business-centric. Easy, right?
It would help if you looked outside your organization to transform it into a modern IT department. Quit trying to solve your problems by yourself. Reinvent yourself by leveraging the Cloud, Modern Cybersecurity, and updating your IT and cybersecurity maintenance programs. Connect with IT Strategists from ISOutsource to lend a helping hand.
1. The Cloud
We are surprised by how often we hear, “Is the cloud safe?”. It’s time to get past the fear of the Cloud and boldly embrace it. Consider the following steps to evaluate if it’s time to loosen your grip and consider the power of the cloud:
Workloads. Before any cloud decision, the first step to exploring cloud options is to fully understand your organization’s business requirements, workflows, and solution management. Other key (not inclusive) steps include:
- Defining your goals. Create a clear understanding of your cloud goals aligned with your business requirements. Identify workloads and workflows conducive to the cloud environment, then establish success criteria for individual activities and overarching cloud initiatives.
- Creating an implementation plan. Do not attempt to move all solutions and workloads at once. Create a plan to identify, test, transfer, validate, then repeat with new workloads.
- Getting organizational buy-in. Organizational change management is one of the most complex parts of any new program. It would be best if you had the support of executive leadership and key stakeholders to validate that your cloud strategy aligns with business objectives.
- Create a go-live and maintenance strategy. Integrate business requirements and procedures into a cloud-based technical solution strategy that spans implementation through ongoing maintenance. Your business’s first strategic approach ensures alignment and buy-in.
- Vendor Due Diligence. Not all cloud services and providers are created equal. Your strategic plan should include business and regulatory requirements. A vendor management program with a formal due diligence exercise will surface vendor strengths and weaknesses; an entire due diligence exercise will reveal the vendor’s cybersecurity ratings and contingency response.
- Financial Modeling. Consider the total cost of on-premises, hybrid, and cloud solutions when creating your cloud strategy.
- Advertised Cloud Benefits.Some cloud hyperbole is true if you leverage it correctly and manage it as closely as your on-premises solutions. Cloud solutions can offer significant performance upgrades, lower costs, simplified maintenance, and improved user experience.
2. Strategic Cybersecurity
AKA Governance. It’s time to move beyond the custom cybersecurity program you evolved over the past few years. Consider implementing a strategic cybersecurity plan that leverages industry standards and frameworks with solutions designed and purpose built for modern threats and vulnerabilities.
- Complexity Breeds Vulnerabilities. Legacy cybersecurity programs implemented over the past few years without strategic alignment with standards or common frameworks tend to be overly complex, difficult to manage, and costly.
- Align with Business Requirements. Legacy cybersecurity programs tend not to align with business requirements resulting in employees seeking solutions outside your organization’s boundaries (creating new issues).
- Consider Modern, Next Gen Hardware and Solutions. Get past the “way we always have done it” mentality, especially if you have a hybrid environment mixing on-premises solutions with cloud solutions.
- Don’t Design it Yourself, Don’t Outthink the Market. No matter how many training certificates or years of experience you have, it takes a team of industry professionals to successfully create strategic programs. Partner with vendors that know current trends and the latest cybersecurity solutions.
3. Ignoring Routine IT Maintenance and Management
How many systems in your environment are being ignored because of maintenance and management licenses and service agreements? How many systems are running old operating systems because of the inability to update installed software? These practices create untold risks and vulnerabilities within your environment that could lead to catastrophic losses. The outdated IT practice of accepting the status quo for maintenance and management must stop.
- Reset. Create a strategic plan aligned with business requirements. Create operational budgets that address the actual costs of IT and create a show-back model aligning costs to business outcomes.
- Avoid Creating Tech Debt. Keep your systems updated and tie the tech department back to risk and business impact.
- Stop Being a Black Hole. One of the biggest problems plaguing organizations is the misalignment of IT and business operations. IT doesn’t align its operations and cybersecurity directly to business outcomes creating conflict. Business doesn’t seek out IT because it doesn’t understand IT. This cycle must be stopped. IT is a business function; its craft is technology and cybersecurity; IT leadership needs to behave like modern leaders and step up to the business table to become part of the conversation.