Grant McGregor News

Why IT Cannot Be a Reactive Activity

November 26 2018

So much of the IT activity we all undertake is reactive – often it takes a malware attack to prompt us to upgrade our security software or a broken hard drive to make us think seriously about backups. Which is exactly why your IT approach shouldn’t be reactive.

We’ve all witnessed with horror the lack of preparedness of some organisations, including the NHS, to malware and computer virus attacks. Perhaps we’ve even fallen victim to such an attack ourselves.

Most of us probably understand the problems that failing to appropriately back up our data can create – whether it’s as a result of a lost phone or laptop, an aging hard drive that fails taking everything stored on it with it, or even the accidental deletion of key files or applications.

The worst example of computer malware impacting UK life in recent years was probably the WannaCry virus in 2017 which ground great swathes of the NHS to a halt. Its impact could have been significantly reduced had affected organisations kept their computer operating systems up to date.

Keeping a record of the systems and software being used and details about when they need to be upgraded is a vital part of good IT management – it helps to protect the organisation not only against the vulnerabilities that hackers and other criminals love to exploit, but also against equipment failure.

This is why taking a reactive approach to IT isn’t sustainable long term – it is costlier in the long run – trying to shut the gate after the horse has bolted always is – and it leaves the organisation open to serious risks and failures.

Instead, planning ahead can help to reduce cost as well as to protect the business and present opportunities for improvement and efficiency. These benefits can be easily achieved through the development of a comprehensive IT strategy.

What’s more, your IT strategy will help minimise disruption and cost if the worst does happen.

Addressing failures, thefts, outages and user error should be as simple as putting a well-thought-out plan into action. When you have defined your IT strategy in advance, it is exactly that easy.

This is what makes taking a proactive approach to IT so beneficial for a business.

• threats are reduced,

• you avoid the cost and disruption of failures and other problems,

• systems run more efficiently,

• your people get to focus on the tasks in hand,

• opportunities for greater efficiency or profit-boosting activities and tools are identified,

• training is kept up to date, and

• when something goes wrong, everyone understands what to do.

As we’ve discussed, the starting point for taking a proactive approach has to be the development of an effective IT strategy. We know from our work with small and medium-sized businesses in the Edinburgh area and across Scotland that many small businesses don’t have an IT strategy in place – and this could be resulting in a great waste of money and effort.

That’s why Grant McGregor consultants have developed a five-step guide to help organisations who haven’t yet developed an IT strategy – or who wish to update an existing IT strategy – to confidently develop a successful IT strategy that helps your organisation to attain its goals and drive profits.

Download the guide: ‘The 5 Key Steps to an Effective IT Strategy That Helps You Drive Profits’.

Or reach out to us here for more personalised help and advice.

Developing an IT strategy doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time, but it could have a decisive impact on your business. It is the vital first step towards taking a more proactive approach to IT – and all the benefits and cost savings that can deliver.

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