In-house IT departments are often forced to take on a break-fix methodology instead of working proactively due to the large volume of work they are responsible for. To prioritize the achievement of business goals, organizations need to look beyond the day-to-day transactional IT and toward long-term strategy.
This need is why Coretelligent offers clients Virtual CIO (VCIO) sessions which provide an organization’s in-house IT with the leadership and guidance needed to make critical IT decisions. VCIO sessions are an opportunity to discuss the state of your IT infrastructure and how to make improvements so that it’s proactively supporting your operations.
Like all strategies, your IT strategy is not a set it and forget it process. To ensure your IT roadmap is aligned with your business initiatives, you should reevaluate it at least once a year. At Coretelligent, we regularly evaluate our clients’ IT infrastructure and make proactive recommendations to keep them secure, compliant, positioned for growth, and aligned with their business goals.
Here are five topics that you should address with your IT Partner in your next strategy session:
Year-over-year cybersecurity attacks and incidents continue to increase and with more companies shifting to a permanent hybrid or work-from-home policy, more vulnerabilities are uncovered every day. Without the proper infrastructure, remote work environments can present substantial security risks. Coretelligent stays abreast of cyber threats and compliance regulations in our client’s industries. We make recommendations to address these threats as well as client-specific vulnerabilities.
Endpoint security is critical with the transition to a remote workforce. Your IT partner should be monitoring your infrastructure including your endpoints for cybersecurity incidents and running regular vulnerability assessments. During your strategy meetings, they should make recommendations on how you can improve your endpoint security with tools like endpoint detection and response (EDR) platforms and security awareness training. If your IT partner is providing user security awareness training, ask if they are validating the effectiveness of that training with phishing testing.
In an ever-changing regulatory and security climate, firms that attempt to meet the obligations set forth by regulators by utilizing manual processes can quickly cause inconsistencies that are not easily discovered without a full audit of systems and processes. However, Coretelligent’s VCIO sessions provide strategies for aligning your policies, procedures, and systems with regulatory standards.
Proper access management is the foundation of cybersecurity and compliance. Your IT partner should regularly evaluate your current IT strategy and create a plan to close any compliance gaps. This includes reviewing and updating your data governance policies and procedures.
3. Cloud Strategy
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to cloud strategy. Many organizations take a multi-cloud approach, having a combination of public and private cloud solutions. Depending on your business needs, you may need a hybrid cloud model with some systems on the cloud while others remain on-premise. With a variety of combinations, how do you know which cloud strategy is right for you?
Ultimately your cloud strategy will depend on your operations, data, business goals, and budget. Coretelligent’s consultative approach to cloud solutions ensures that client’s cloud strategies and solutions are built around their current and future business goals. If you have questions about scalability, mobility, and availability, the cloud is a topic you will want to discuss with your IT partner.
4. Collaboration Platforms
Daily operations rely on employees’ ability to communicate efficiently. Coretelligent provides clients with recommendations for collaboration tools that will optimize workflows. In some cases, clients may be able to reduce costs by consolidating to one collaboration platform.
Your IT partner should make recommendations that increase productivity while maintaining security and compliance. Is your firm subject to compliance standards requiring communications archiving? Having an IT partner familiar with your industry and compliance standards helps ensure that you are securely archiving emails and video conferencing communications.
5. Business Continuity
In addition to optimizing your IT infrastructure for security and operational efficiency, Coretelligent uses time during your VCIO session to discuss business continuity. We evaluate the systems and procedures you have in place in the event of a breach or disaster and then make recommendations on how to improve them.
When was the last time you reviewed your disaster recovery plan? Have you tested it? Your IT partner should help you review and update your disaster recovery plan. They should ensure your backups are secure and accessible even during a disaster. Does your IT partner regularly maintain an asset inventory? Maintaining an accurate list of your assets and their locations is often required by regulatory agencies.
A Comprehensive IT Strategy
Not all IT teams or MSPs have the expertise to provide meaningful recommendations for your IT infrastructure. Too little experience could result in purchasing unnecessary or insufficient tools which can cost your business money. Organizations looking for long-term success must move away from the break-fix methodology.
At Coretelligent, strategy comes standard. We have years of experience developing IT roadmaps for firms in highly regulated industries like financial services and life sciences. Looking to improve your security, migrate to the cloud, or need support with IT planning and strategy? Coretelligent is here to help! Contact us to learn how Coretelligent can help your business.