How does a business leader define an effective IT department? Effective IT departments operate efficiently, drive the business forward, and ultimately ensure that as technology plays an increasingly tangible and vital role in business operations, the right solutions are in place.
An effective IT department employs solutions and procedures to manage overheads, increase productivity and prevent any user downtime, to simplify projects and processes. This means not just fighting fires and meeting and maintaining the business IT requirements, but adding substantial value and having a visible and significant impact on both business operations and the bottom line.
Here are 3 secrets of effective IT departments, with advice from leading industry insiders.
1. Be Proactive
- Understand the business objectives
- Collaborate with stakeholders & other departments
- Be proactively involved in analysis and planning
- Identify potential issues before disaster strikes
- Anticipate obstacles & complications
- Employ smart, working solutions
For IT to be able to enable business outcomes, you first need to understand the business objectives. An IT Department that has a good grasp of where the business is going and what the requirements are should also be involved in collaboration with other departments and effective communication with stakeholders.
Being proactive means identifying potential issues and vulnerabilities and bringing to the table solutions before disaster strikes. A proactive IT department knows how to analyze the business needs, anticipate obstacles and complications and address them with smart solutions.
By being proactively involved in analysis and planning, IT can then suggest effective solutions and processes that work.
What the experts say
“Anticipate what your network and systems may do, and plan for it. This is a broad call to arms – preparing for malware threats, doing back-ups, having automated systems, doing capacity planning, knowing your baseline behaviors to detect anomalies, etc.”- Azmi Jafarey – Named 2013 CIO of the year by Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech
“If IT isn’t involved in when leaders are thinking about problems, then IT will wind up on the order-taking end, without a say in how to best implement a solution that works with the current systems and business goals. Not being involved and being on the end of “go implement this tool” means they likely won’t keep the lights on well because the solution picked by an executive may not be the best solution for the organization.”- Sara Gates – Founder and CEO of WiseGate
2. Stop and Sharpen the Saw
- Identify worthwhile training courses and seminars
- Subscribe to useful newsletters and content platforms
- Follow industry thought leaders & companies on facebook and twitter
- Allocate time monthly to researching new software solutions and methodologies
- Analyse your current software and hardware and set refresh cycles
- Reduce costs by implementing software that offers multiple features and operational benefits from a single solution
There is the old analogy of the woodcutter who is sawing for several days, he says he is too busy cutting down trees stop, but as he continues he is dulling the blade and becoming less and less productive. Stop. Sharpen the saw!
We are in an age of constant change and technological acceleration. The quality of your decisions and the effectiveness of IT’s ability to source and implement new and superior solutions relies on updated knowledge, training, and an awareness of current methodologies and new technologies and products.
This means sharpening the saw in terms of updating not just your knowledge, but also your tools. Which includes minimizing the hardware and software you support.Effective IT departments weigh up the cost and time implications of continuing with outdated software, hardware, procedures and policies and make forward-thinking decisions.
The inability to update and make changes creates inefficient IT departments. Because outdated hardware and legacy software solutions are more time-consuming and difficult to maintain. This means increased support calls, unnecessary costs and wasted man hours and resources. The most effective IT departments understand why it’s vital to refresh hardware, update their knowledge and processes, and to employ the right software solutions.
3. Measure and Report on the Right Metrics
- Clearly define your IT goals in terms of measurable metrics
- Identify solutions that simplify or automate management and reporting
Pearson’s Law says “that which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” The most effective IT departments clearly understand their roles and responsibilities, and importantly, they measure their effectiveness.Having clearly defined IT goals is vital, employing systems that simplify and consolidated reporting on these goals is just as important.
Clearly defining what projects and processes you need to execute, monitor and maintain, and being able to report on the success or failure is crucial. It is just as important to weed out irrelevant metrics. Once you know what your core IT goals and measurables are, for example, number of user endpoints that are backed up and encrypted, PC refresh requirements and timetables, OS Upgrade requirements and timetables etc, you can find solutions that give you the right metrics and simplify and automate reporting.
What the experts say
“Instead of concentrating on vanity metrics that make your team look good or appeasing management, find metrics that measure your priorities. Ensure they are few and measurable. IT teams that can concentrate on solid & big priorities, without being distracted by other ideas, keep a rhythm toward completing smaller tasks and should be able to move quicker and be more effective.”- Daniel Jeffries – Founder of Newmind Group
Get it Right With Cibecs Complete Endpoint Data Protection
Undoubtedly one of the most important IT roles, and defining goals of an effective IT department is protecting end user business data.
Attempting to recover lost files, or entire data sets when a computer is lost or stolen, is one of the most important, time consuming, expensive and frustrating tasks that IT departments need to deal with. If the business files aren’t recoverable, it means huge consequences for the business that can include massive impact on productivity, opportunity loss, legal action, and financial penalties.
Cibecs is a complete solution for simple and secure business data protection.
Cibecs equips business IT with industry-leading endpoint data backup and Data Loss Prevention(DLP) which includes local file encryption, remote wipe and geo-locate. IT can easily migrate users to new operating systems or hardware, and prove Corporate Governance Compliance. Cibecs is easy to deploy, implement and centrally manage and includes simplified consolidated reporting.
Automate & Centrally Manage End User Backups
By employing an automated user data backup solution that’s centrally managed, your department can ensure that all business data can be recovered in the event of loss, effectively protecting data according to Corporate Governance Legislation, and saving time for both IT and users when it comes to restoring files or migrating users to a new machine or Operating System.
Secure User Data with Local File Encryption
Securing data on user computers from unauthorised access is one of the most vital IT responsibilities. Not only is it a non-negotiable requirement in terms of adhering to data protection legislation and regulations, but unprotected data leaves your business at huge risk of reputational damage, financial repercussions and data theft.
Employing a single, separate solution solely for local file encryption means unnecessary additional work for IT, wasted time on maintaining, upgrading, deploying and monitoring different solutions, and a higher risk of complications and failure. Instead, to be effective, IT needs a single solution that includes multiple data protection features and specifically automates both data backups and file encryption on user devices.
By employing a data protection solution that ensures automated local file encryption, where end user data is encrypted at a file level on the user’s machine, IT completely removes the risk of any unauthorised data access and theft. All business files on every user’s machine are then automatically encrypted and completely secure.
For a business IT Department to be effective, you need access to simplified, consolidated reporting on a central dashboard. This should make monitoring and managing data protection across all users, departments and even different servers or branches, fast and simple.
With Cibecs you have central access to these consolidated reports and you can anticipate any data loss vulnerabilities. You can also generate or automate an emailed business report for stakeholders, illustrating the effectiveness of your business data protection strategy.
An effective IT department needs to be equipped with actionable metrics on a consolidated dashboard that makes it easy to identify and quickly address any data loss vulnerabilities.
Quickly and Easily Deploy to your Users
Deploying software to hundreds or thousands of users is a massive task for any IT Department. It’s time consuming, interrupts user and IT productivity and is an expensive undertaking, especially as users are more mobile, and road warriors or remote workers aren’t often in the office.
Cibecs allows for integrated, easy and fast deployment to your user machines from the central console. This means no deployment agent is needed on the endpoints before deployment can take place, saving huge amounts of time and effort for IT. Cibecs has simple wizard-driven configuration and real-time reporting so you can ensure you measure and monitor the project.
Start Your Cibecs Trial
Cibecs is an easy to use solution that ensures your user data backups are automated, centrally managed and secure. With Cibecs, reporting and monitoring your business data protection is simplified and any potential data loss risks can be immediately addressed. Migrating users to new machines or Operating Systems is fast and reliable and IT can generate reports on all migration projects.
Cibecs is a complete solution that includes multiple Data Loss Prevention features, ensuring IT can effectively protect business endpoint data.
Start your Free Trial
Find out more about Cibecs Data Protection