Designing Your IT Strategy for 2021
There are a lot of things to think about when planning your IT strategy for 2021. With a global pandemic and most employees working from home, the beginning of our year looks a lot different than usual. In addition, it is impossible to predict what 2021 will look like for the business world. So how can you design an IT strategy in the midst of chaos and unpredictability? In this article we will talk about three different ways you can effectively plan for the new year: cost savings, work environment planning, and communication.
Cutting costs in the new year is always something to think about, but it is especially important this year. With many businesses struggling, it is important to cover some of the best and most efficient ways to cut costs. Listed below are some of the top ways you can cut costs.
- Licenses: Have you looked at your licenses and subscriptions that you pay for? Are there any that are unused? If so, it may be time to cancel them! This also includes your Line of Business Applications.
- Vendors: Look at your internet service provider options, mobile phones, and gym memberships. If you are a company that pays for these things for your employees, make sure these perks are being utilized. If you pay for a gym membership for your employees and only two employees are going to the gym each week, it may be time to cut that out. For your internet and phone bills, make SURE you know exactly where each charge is coming from and research to ensure you are getting the best price. In addition, look at your computers and phones to make sure they are all turned on and needed. If they aren’t, you may not need to be providing support for them.
Work Environment Planning
Planning for the most effective work environment can be difficult. Ideally, we would like to have everyone in the office collaborating with one another. However, this is not possible due to the pandemic. Most businesses already made changes to their work environment in 2020 – but is this new work environment the best option? It may be time for a change. When thinking about changing your work environment, here are some questions you should ask:
- Can team members work from home / anywhere?
- Do we have the physical items needed?
- Do we have software items needed
- Do we have policies in place that account for this?
- What will it look like for our team members and how will they cope?
Communication with fellow team members has looked very different since March. With most communication being virtual, it is necessary to make sure you have a good plan in place to ensure effective communication in the new year. These are some of the main things you should think about when planning how to communicate:
- Reduced “water cooler” time
- Reduced chatting such as, “How was your weekend?”
- Reduced face to face communication
- Meetings do not look the same via phone
Another thing you need to think about with communication is file sharing. How are you going to internally share all the files you need to access? Are you going to use SharePoint? One Drive? Whatever you choose, make sure all your employees are trained in how to use the program.
In addition, make sure your company has a virtual communication platform set in place. We highly recommend using Microsoft Teams, for these reasons:
- Video chatting for more personal meetings
- Recordings of meetings
- Share screens easily on a one-to-one basis
- Chat functionality can replace “How was your weekend?”
While planning for 2021 can be a daunting task, you can successfully create an effect IT strategy by following these tips. If you need any additional help with designing your 2021 IT strategy, don't hesitate to reach out to our team. We would love to help!