Resource-strapped IT teams are constantly being asked to do less with more and demonstrate their value in hard dollars. Fortunately, some seemingly small and not-so-obvious changes can have significant impacts on efficiency and productivity at the office.
By setting out to solve some issues before they cost the company money, IT becomes a more proactive agent of office efficiency while showing sensible concern for the bottom line at the same time. Here are three ways IT can make the case to management that a problem avoided is a problem solved.
Upgrade technology before it fails
Business owners may balk at replacing office equipment that “still works,” but that’s a pretty low bar for a company that intends to remain competitive. They’re likely only considering the price tag of the replacement equipment and not the hidden costs of waiting to react to a system failure.
Downtime due to technology breakdown takes a big toll. You still have to pay your now-idle employees, and opportunities missed while things are being fixed means lost revenue. Plus, customer dissatisfaction caused by a service interruption can have even longer-term consequences, potentially causing irreparable damage to the brand.
Regularly audit network connections
When businesses want to increase productivity, they typically first look for wastage of employee time. One big, often hidden culprit is your network. A print job that disappears or email that’s not going through keeps employees from doing their jobs and can indicate a bigger problem.
You can avoid this by performing a regular network audit. It will help you uncover the incorrect configurations that lead to equipment downtime, spyware that’s sapping your bandwidth, and security vulnerabilities that can have far more catastrophic consequences if not addressed. Audits should be conducted annually at minimum, though the nature of your businesses may require greater frequency.
Prepare best practices on technology use
You spend months procuring, provisioning, and launching your technological tools. How about spending a little time teaching employees how to correctly and appropriately use them?
Whether through a webinar, a written document, or other method, establishing a set of best practices can help circumvent issues that will tie up company time. Polices should first establish that the company owns and controls all the computers, mobile devices, and other equipment. They should also outline rules about what employees can install on work devices, their role in backing up their data, and security best practices.
But this shouldn’t just be a list of “don’ts.” Also show users know how to get the most out of their tech, whether it’s walking them through the latest hardware features or navigating the subtleties of a new CRM. Doing so will ensure the tool does its job - helping the employee do theirs.
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