Don’t Forget to Ask Questions! And Other IT Tips

As all businesses become more and more digital, and technology’s disruptive effects are felt across industries, it’s important for CEOs and business unit leaders to keep in mind worst case scenarios.

Technology can help companies streamline operations, improve customer relationships, and develop insights never before possible through innovative data analytics. That being said, when companies invest too quickly in these technologies, they can expose them to new 21st century risks.


1. Data Security: Before looking to build a robust disaster recovery plan, look to how you can prevent disasters in the first place.

As companies start looking to capture more customer, supplier, and employee information, questions of how to protect that data jump to the top of the list. A majority of disasters that shut systems down can be tied back to security breaches, or malicious viruses.

2.  System Failure: It’s a lot easier to talk about pros than cons. Don’t make this mistake, and make sure before signing any proposals, you ask your IT dept/partner how you’re going to be supported in the event off a crash.  

The more value a technology drives for your business, the more devastation it will cause when it fails.  Despite this fact, many companies get so caught up in the benefits of technology, they forget to stop and think about what to do when it fails.

3.  Angry Employees: Make sure as your business becomes more digital you keep an eye on who can see what, and how much risk that information could pose.

The disgruntled employee has always been a concern of management teams and HR departments alike.  In our ever connected world of digital business, they now have the ability to wreak havoc, and potentially access data they couldn’t before.

Preventative Measures

1.  Have your systems tested

The best way to know your security holes, is to have a company come in and perform tests. These tests take a variety of forms, but essentially focus on trying to break the network, and gain access where it shouldn’t be given. The information gained from these tests can help you create better security policies going forward. Companies can also perform disaster recovery and backup tests that run a potential recovery scenario and ensure that all data can be retrieved in the amount of time needed.

2.  Document, Document, Document

Thinking about the types of problems that could face your organization is a good start, but taking the necessary steps to document them into formal plans and policies is 100x better.  Whether it’s your disaster recovery, business continuity (for the difference see this previous post), HIPAA security, or employee termination plans, accurately documenting and distributing to your team will help people stay on the same page.

3.  Ask Questions

When learning about the benefits of technology, some business leaders shy away from asking questions for fear of looking dumb, or offending a partner/vendor.  No matter how good your IT department, your partners, or your process/procedures, it is up to you as the leader of a business or business unit to know the consequences of your IT decisions.  Ask a lot of questions, and if you don’t know what questions to ask, make sure to find a partner who can help define what you’re looking for, and ask some good questions for you.

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