Is it Time for an IT Checkup?

Given the rapid changes in information technology capabilities, it is important to set aside time each year to ensure that key components of your IT systems are aligned with your organization’s overall goals and objectives.

Begin by defining your goals for the year in areas such as growth, new and/or improved product and service offerings, customer experience and expectations, and talent attraction and retention. After defining your core business drivers for the upcoming year, evaluate how your existing IT capabilities can assist you with achieving these goals.

Consider the following four components and ask yourself how these can be best utilized to meet your objectives:

Software Applications

Application software is the most fundamental element of all IT components. Software systems provide business process and decision support capabilities.

Have you recently reviewed your key business applications and supporting process capabilities in accounting, operations, sales and human resources? Do you have the best reporting and dashboard tools to assist managers with improved monitoring and decision making capabilities?

Hardware Systems

Hardware is the most commoditized part of any organization’s IT systems, but it is an essential element for a reliable and functional organization.

Do you have the right servers, workstations, computing and storage capacities, and internal and external communication capabilities in place to best support your computing needs? Are you taking advantage of the latest cloud-based resources to deploy and manage IT systems?

Security Capabilities

With the increased dependence on IT capabilities to achieve business goals, any disruption such as a data breach or a system hack could bring an organization’s operational capabilities to a halt.

Have you recently assessed your cyber and information security readiness, and developed and tested incident response and business continuity plans?

Resource Concerns

You can have the best IT systems in place, but without proper ongoing support resources, your systems will fail to deliver promised results.

Have you recently conducted a critical review of your existing internal and external resource capabilities to ensure your ongoing support and system improvement efforts are set up in a way to best leverage technology’s fast changing landscape? Do you have the right IT vendors and solution partner relationships in place? Are you effectively managing such resources?

Information technologies and related resources consume a significant portion of most organizations’ capital and operational expenditures. Managers and business owners are advised to perform an annual review of these four key components to ensure their IT systems are highly aligned with their organizational objectives.

Sassan S. Hejazi can be reached at Email or 215.441.4600.

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