3 things to consider when creating a digital strategy

The future is never set in stone… and after listening to employees and learning from the experience of the last year or so, in many cases businesses are preparing for and adapting to a new model of office/remote/hybrid working. By reviewing your current IT portfolios, plans and procedures, you can be confident that you’re investing in scalable tech that will flex to your new working landscape – and with the safeguards in place to ensure the company’s data remains safe and secure.

Step 1: Review your current tech

It’s a huge task, but conducting a tech audit for your business will reveal IT activity – from where devices are located and how often they are used, to which devices are to be upgraded, updated, repurposed, or retired – as well as the solutions, processes and protocols that do or don’t work – setting you on a clear path to planning your new working environments.

One solution that can help you see the current performance of the solutions you use is IT Asset Management software, NetSupport DNA… 

Discover what you have…

NetSupport DNA starts by discovering the PCs and SNMP devices on the network and then deploys itself onto them. It will constantly monitor the network and identify any new devices that join, providing the option to automatically deploy an agent for future management.

It then monitors and tracks from one central point – so no more manual searches or surprises.

Track and monitor its use…

Once installed, it goes to work collecting detailed data, helping you to gain a summary of all activity – even for specific users. The Efficiency View is a great starting point to see at a glance how your technology is being used.

  • Hardware/software inventory – View hardware/software for a single device, department or bespoke group to see details such as unused PCs, PCs with the lowest spec, disk space, software usage and more. You can also view and record accounting information (purchase details, lease and maintenance plans and much more) for every PC.
  • Software application metering – Monitor which applications, programs and even store apps staff use (or do not use), plus any renewal dates.
  • Spotlight feature See more details about a selected PC (e.g. any applications, services, websites and processes in use), all in a single glance.
  • Energy/print usage – Stay informed of how many PCs are left on out of hours, where print costs are generated – and, most importantly, how these costs can significantly add up over time.
  • USB usage – View which company-issued USBs are used the most/least.
  • Alerting suite – Monitor hundreds of scenarios and receive warnings when problems occur − or, better still, before they occur, such as when a particular PC/server is struggling, where licence usage counts are reaching limits or when software has been uninstalled from a PC.
  • Data protection/GDPR tools – Identify whether software you have installed is compliant, where any sensitive information is stored, prevent data breaches and support individuals’ rights by easily identifying and archiving/removing data history.
  • Reporting tools – Create custom on-screen and print-optimised reports reports in minutes for individual devices, users, departments and dynamic groups – for a clear illustration of the data.
  • User Management – Locate and manage users, including tracking of user acceptance forms, history of changes and changes to custom user details.

Maximise it…

Maximise your investment, so you can enjoy all its benefits and reap the rewards.

  • You can identify which PCs are upgradable, which ones need to be replaced and which ones could be more effectively deployed elsewhere – avoiding unnecessary purchases.
  • Reduce unnecessary spending on software licences that aren’t needed or have very low usage − as well as avoid potential fines for using more than you own. Or, re-distribute software to other users/departments that have demonstrated high usage levels.
  • Set Power Management policies to allow selected PCs to be set to power off automatically and back on – all at once, or in stages – the next morning. In addition, “inactivity policies” can be applied, allowing rules to be applied for systems to sleep, log out or power down if they have been inactive over a period of time.
  • After seeing exactly where your print costs are being generated, re-allocate/review printing funds accordingly.
  • Re-deploy unused USB memory sticks to other staff and review the USBs in high use to check they are are appropriate for their use (i.e. memory space).
  • Avoid lost productivity with remote support tools, allowing IT teams to support users with issues via remote control, audio chat, messaging and more.

Streamlining your company’s software solutions

In the course of your technology review, where it’s uncertain which solutions should stay or go, ask the question: would anyone notice if it were gone?

Other considerations may include whether the solution is device agnostic, or using cloud storage to make data more accessible, as well as flexibility in tools for remote and on-site working.

It goes without saying that security will need to be the cornerstone of any new technology setup for hybrid working, rather than added as a bolt-on afterwards. Data will need to be fully protected regardless of the location that any given employee is working in, so ensuring that security and encryption measures are talked about from the start will reinforce their importance as discussions progress.

Going beyond reviewing the technology that just ‘gets the job done’ is also beneficial. Forward-thinking companies are also looking at how it can support them in other areas such as communication, wellbeing, remote working, and more.

Step 2: Voices around the table

For your strategy to roll out successfully, you’ll need your discussions to include staff representatives from every team or department. Managers can’t just assume that because the job is getting done that some aspects of the tech currently being used aren’t a major headache for those doing it.

Including all key stakeholders ensures all ideas are heard, highlights problems and gives staff some ownership of the coming changes.

Step 3: Training – don’t skip it!

Staff must be trained on new technology so they don’t just become familiar with it but can understand its full potential and use it productively. This way, you can ensure your investment is maximised.

Of course, training costs money. A successful balance tends to be 1:1 – roughly the same budget to buy the technology should also be applied to professional training.

Seeing those costs laid out on paper can be off-putting, but it’s a false economy to skip it and risk reducing both the impact and potential benefits that any new systems can deliver.

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