IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

IT Strategizing for the Long Term: 4 Tips Every Company Should Adopt

By focusing on data management and governance, you begin the process of building an IT environment that becomes increasingly efficient and adaptable. By Frank Suglia

After the emergence and initial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations across industries were forced to make significant changes. Under normal circumstances, many of these changes were not the kind that should be thrown together haphazardly overnight.

Nevertheless, in the absence of time and proper training, businesses did what they had to do. For many, these measures meant implementing unfamiliar software tools to bolster remote work or performing a rushed overhaul of their organization’s IT infrastructure to address growing concerns and regulations surrounding data security.

Were the results perfect? No. Could most of us have done a better job? Absolutely.

To be clear, the events of the past few years would have been close to impossible to predict, and nearly every organization suffered from a certain degree of unpreparedness. But one thing we must come to terms with is that the pandemic did not invent data. Many of the digital transformation initiatives that emerged from a collective sense of urgency were, in fact, already inevitable.

Maybe you’ve heard the popular statistic that 90% of the world’s data was created in the past two years. That statistic, including others of similar magnitude, was published in a Forbes article well over three years ago. Now, before you start crunching numbers to determine how much data must exist today by comparison, I’ll save you the trouble: It’s a lot.

No matter what happens in the world, data creation will most likely continue to accelerate. And believe it or not, this is actually fantastic news. By taking a step back and focusing on data management and governance, you begin the process of building an IT environment that becomes increasingly efficient and adaptable. You might even view those unforeseen external setbacks as opportunities to benefit your transformation efforts further.

The real question is precisely how to optimize your IT strategy for the long term. And while each organization will have its own needs that require unique solutions, some universal tips can be built into the foundation of any long-term strategy. Here are four that come to mind:

Clean House

With today’s rate of technological advancement and the aforementioned growth of data, optimizing IT for the long term is as much about implementing new technologies as it is about refining old ones.

While it can be tempting to simply acquire a new software tool or platform out of perceived necessity, it’s critical to first take an inventory of existing processes. This is not only to identify what to eliminate but also to make the inevitable transition from one system to the next as seamless as possible. Transformation in the IT space often requires the migration of large troves of data, much of it sensitive or otherwise valuable. It is crucial to understand how data in your current environment will be mapped to a new one.

In addition to migrating data from one place to the next, this preliminary stage includes migrating people from one system or infrastructure to the next. When planning to integrate new technology, the plan should also factor in the time and effort necessary to properly train employees on tools with which they may be unfamiliar.

ChannelPro SMB Magazine

Get an edge on the competition

With each issue packed full of powerful news, reviews, analysis, and advice targeting IT channel professionals, ChannelPro-SMB will help you cultivate your SMB customers and run your business more profitably.