Jun 13

Industry Insights

6 Tips for Effective IT Management

Technology plays a more important role in businesses today than ever before. Having an effective and reliable information technology (IT) system is crucial to the performance and success of almost every organisation. What’s more, a modern, flexible and scalable IT infrastructure enables your company to grow seamlessly and could be a decisive competitive advantage.

However, IT expertise is in high demand, and in many organisations the responsibility of managing systems and choosing an IT partner rests with the finance manager or someone with little IT experience. Often thrown in at the deep end with little or no direction, this can be a daunting position and a lot of time can be spent firefighting technology issues.

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To help any IT manager who may find themselves in this familiar position, we have put together a number of basic principles that should underpin any IT strategy. Check out these six tips for effective IT management.

  1. Give your employees the best tools to make their job smoother and more efficient
  2. View IT as an investment and not a cost; be confident when seeking budget approval
  3. Focus on reducing cyber security risk
  4. Focus on reducing operational risk
  5. Ensure that all aspects of your IT have clear support mechanisms in place
  6. Chose an experienced IT partner suited to your needs

1. Give your employees the best tools to make their job smoother and more efficient

“The wireless is slow” ; “The video conferencing never seems to work when I need it.”

How often have you heard phrases like these in the workplace? Far too many organisations still use outdated systems and applications across the business. This hampers productivity and is frustrating for staff. Perhaps it’s time to fundamentally address these problems so that people can do their job with confidence.

As an IT manager you need to try and understand the business and how people interact with customers, suppliers and each other. Always ask if there is a better way to complete a task. Speak to people in your organisation and look for ways to make processes smoother and more reliable. This will improve both end-user satisfaction and overall business productivity.

2. View IT as an investment and not a cost

An important part of an IT manager’s role is securing investment in technology from senior management. To do this, the IT manager need to be confident in their recommendations when seeking budget approval. This involves researching and presenting detailed options for IT infrastructure upgrades with costs well budgeted for.

Simply treating IT as a cost will mean that you are always firefighting issues and not experiencing the benefits of strategic investment. Convince decision makers to invest in IT by presenting a clear case for how it will enable business growth.

3. Focus on reducing cyber security risk

The growing prevalence and sophistication of modern cyberattacks means that organisations of every size now face greater cyber security risk than ever before. Despite the risks, many organisations fail to implement adequate levels of security to protect their business and data. IT managers should focus on addressing areas such as: email protection; next-generation firewall, end-point protection, vulnerability patching, two-factor identification and mobile device security. It is also important to remember that security is an ongoing process that requires routine updates, maintenance and management, rather than one-off solutions.

4. Focus on reducing operational risk

IT managers should avoid exposing their business to operational risk through a dependency on unreliable systems or services. While using free or low-quality IT services may save costs in the short-term, it can also lead to long-term business and reputational damage if these systems fail and cause system outages. Investing in high-quality IT and security systems as well as regular infrastructure upgrades, will minimise the risk of system downtime and pay off for your business in the long-term.

5. Ensure that all aspects of your IT have clear support mechanisms in place

Staying on top of a well-functioning IT environment also requires managers to ensure they have formal support processes and agreements in place that meet the needs of the business. Take the time to examine every aspect of your IT and review the service level agreements that are in place with your outsourced partners.

For example, if you can’t afford to be offline for longer than a few hours, does your disaster recovery service have a recovery time objective of two or twenty-four hours? Things go wrong when you least expect. Review supports and agreements in advance and plan for the worst to avoid unpleasant surprises when an issue inevitable does occur.

6. Chose an experienced IT partner suited to your needs

Even the most well-resourced and experienced IT manager will require some support from external partners. Choosing a managed service provider is a huge decision for a company, with the right partner capable of transforming your business for the better.

At Novi, we adopt a partnership approach with our customers - offering strategic advice on technology investment, always looking ahead to the next potential threat and constantly reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of systems. The significant benefits of this approach span the entire organisation - from enhanced productivity and strengthened security to reduced costs and improved reputation.

There are many elements to effective IT management, but by focusing on these basic principles, IT managers can ensure that technology enables, rather than hinders business growth. If you would like more insight into how IT can transform your business, contact Novi today.