In-house IT teams can be overworked and under resourced. Just trying to get through the day, organizations take on a break-fix methodology. To achieve business goals, organizations need to look beyond the day-to-day transactional IT and towards long-term strategy. Businesses may not have in-house teams with the level of expertise or industry knowledge to make high level IT decisions.

Coretelligent offers clients Virtual CIO (VCIO) sessions which provide the IT 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 road map 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 your IT partner should address in your next strategy session:

1. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has been the theme of 2020. Cyberattacks have been on the rise as confusion around COVID-19 still lingers. Without the proper infrastructure, remote work environments present substantial security risks. Coretelligent stays abreast of cyber threats that affect our clients’ 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.

2. Compliance

Compliance can seem complex, but Coretelligent’s VCIO sessions provide strategies for aligning your policies, procedures, and systems with regulatory standards. Most IT compliance standards are related to data security, specifically how data is stored and accessed.

Proper access management is the foundation of cybersecurity and compliance. Your IT partner should regularly evaluate your current IT practices 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. 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 takes an agnostic approach to cloud solutions ensuring that each solution is focused on client’s specific goals, performance optimization, security, and compliance. If you have questions around 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. For those in financial services, poor collaboration platforms can mean lost deals. 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 need to 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. Whether you are looking to improve your security, migrate to the cloud, or need support with IT planning and strategy, we are here to help! Call us at 855-841-5888 or contact us to learn how Coretelligent can help your business.

Looking to address GxP challenges in your next strategy session? Watch our on demand webcast: GxP Data Compliance: Quality & Speed to learn more about compliance for life sciences organizations.

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