How to Create an IT Strategy in 2021

How to Build an IT Service Management Strategy in 2021

Think Layered and Proactive

When most business owners and executives think of “IT Service Management”, things like office software licensing, new workstation setup, password changes, troubleshooting problem printers, and the like come to mind. IT Service Management is about more than creating support tickets and getting friendly, timely, responsive support. The other half of IT Service Management is often invisible, it is the proactive maintenance in place to prevent technical problems before they happen and the security strategies that your organization has in place to prevent data loss, hacking, malware, ransomware, and other types of security breaches that put your business at risk. 

An effective IT Service Management Strategy addresses and anticipates the everyday needs of you and your staff while keeping your data and networks locked down and protected from accidental loss and enterprising cybercriminals. To build an efficient and cost-effective IT Service Management Strategy, it is crucial to plan with proactive maintenance in mind. It is equally important to strategize for layered, proactive security. 

With layered, proactive strategies in place, your organization will:

 

  • Need less reactive support (i.e. tickets for problems with software and equipment), because preventive care has addressed concerns before they have grown into problems.
  • Have less need for containing security breaches, because you will have significantly reduced your security risks in the first place.

Below we have outlined the most effective strategies that we have found to meet the technology, support, and security needs of the changing office landscape. This is based on industry best practices as well as our 18+ years of experience as a managed service provider in the Greater Denver Area. Because we support a variety of small to medium businesses and organizations across multiple industries, we have to stay up-to-date on data security, communication, and support. We hope that the strategies identified below are helpful for you and your organization.

If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your organization’s IT Service Management Strategy, contact us today, we are happy to help.

Support Solutions: Proactive and Reactive

Proactive support can have a huge positive impact on your organization. When your IT support team engages in proactive support by consistently maintaining your IT systems, then the end-users- you and your staff- experience fewer issues in the first place. This means that less time and productivity are sacrificed to troubleshooting, which means reduced IT support costs for your business.

Some examples of effective, proactive IT support include:

  • Patching of operating systems and business applications
  • Active monitoring and remediation of antivirus software
  • Active firewall monitoring and maintenance
  • Timely system upgrades to ensure the latest software versions are in use, instead of legacy systems

Although effective proactive IT support will reduce how much reactive support you need, the truth is that even with all the proactive support in the world, things will still break from time to time. Sometimes it’s the system, sometimes it’s Microsoft, sometimes it’s your line-of-business applications. The questions to consider are… When you have a problem, how quickly does your IT team respond to your challenge? How quickly can they resolve the problem once they are aware of it?

When you are building your IT Service Management Strategy, response time and resolution time are the two stats that answer the key questions above. This is a measurement of the reactive service you are receiving. By the time issues are brought to the attention of your IT support team, you and your staff have already lost valuable time and productivity. Whether you are working with an in-house IT support team or a managed service provider, these measurements are relevant and your IT Service Provider should be able to quote these stats. 

Layered, Preventive Security Solutions

By now, most people accept that antivirus software is a smart move. Unfortunately, thinking that their security concerns have been addressed, many small to medium businesses stop there. 

Hackers don’t stop there. 

 

From phishing and smishing to social engineering, wifi hacking, and beyond, there are many different ways besides viruses and malware for hackers to worm their way into your company data. The most common vulnerability is actually your staff. No matter how smart and well-meaning your organization’s staff are, without the right training and safeguards in place, they could be putting you, your business, and your clients at risk.

 

The answer to today’s complex information security concerns is a layered approach to security. 

 

You want:

  • thorough Security Awareness Training for your staff to reduce your risk
  • backup and disaster recovery solutions for when data is accidentally or maliciously lost
  • remote monitoring and maintenance to catch and correct anomalies in your network and workstations before they become issues

For more information on how to build your comprehensive, layered information security strategy, download our free security checklist. 

 

Current Solutions for Remote Workers

The pandemic era has created even more opportunities than ever before for opportunistic hackers. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the massive shift from the office to working from home has left a lot of businesses scrambling to adapt their operations, since home networks and systems are more exposed and vulnerable than ever before. 

Here are some sobering statistics to give you an idea of the scale of this issue:

  • The FBI has reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic (IMC Grupo)
  • 1 in 5 organizations have experienced a security breach caused by remote workers (Malwarebytes)
  • Remote work has caused the average cost of data breach to go up by $137,000 (IBM)
  • 47% of employees identified “distractions” as the reason for falling for a phishing scam while working from home (Tessian)

 

If your organization staff are working from home, even just some of them, part of the time, then your data and networks could be at risk. Layered security solutions with security awareness training at the top of the list is critical.

Looking for a Managed Service Provider?

We help our customers with their day-to-day support needs and we also help them improve all areas of security with scalable solutions so that they can attain high productivity levels for their teams while keeping costs under control.

For a free consultation and IT security assessment, please contact us today. We know what it’s like to run a business, and we know your time is valuable.  

We can:

  • Learn about your business
  • Give you some ideas on what improvements you can make right away
  • Provide free advice on your approach to IT security

And if you’d like, we can show you where and how we can help.