You don’t have to be too much of a salty seadog to know that if you’re heading into uncharted waters, with a forecast for plenty of storms ahead, you don’t want to be in a leaky boat.
Likewise, to successfully navigate the economic times ahead businesses need to ensure their IT platform is secure and reliable.
From a technology perspective, focus should be on the following:
IT equipment needs to work and be suitable for business (not home) use. All hardware should be maintained, with security and firmware patches applied regularly. Equipment should also be monitored so issues can be pre-empted or jumped on quickly should they arise.
Security – Ensure data and systems are secure. Accurate data is essential to ensure businesses run effectively not to mention the reputational or financial damage that could result should systems be compromised. Business grade antivirus software must be used and kept up to date.
How long can businesses work without IT systems or data? How much will it cost businesses in terms of time, safety, reputation and lost revenue if critical systems cannot be accessed?
Core data (including mailboxes) should be backed up as a minimum and businesses should have a business continuity plan to ensure they know the processes required and likely timescales for restoration of systems.
Business owners and managers are generally pretty smart and most should have a reasonable idea about where they see their businesses heading in the current climate.
However, from a technology standpoint, it’s important to take a breath and go back to the fundamentals.
Businesses should ask themselves whether their current technology platform supports their current business vision.
What was right two months ago might now be completely wrong. Businesses might feel comfortable addressing these questions themselves; however, they’ll also likely find talking through options with their technology partner or trusted technology advisor helpful.
Go back to basics. Businesses must ensure they have fundamentally sound and fit for purpose IT infrastructure in place.
Also, they should take a bit of time to stop and assess business governance, process and practice.
With solid foundations underpinning each business combined with a fluid mindset they’ll be in a position to not just navigate the tempest but adapt and grow as opportunities present themselves over the coming weeks and months.