Technology has become an integral part of business given that most activities and operations nowadays are centered around the use of technology. For instance, core functions such as communication, marketing and research, which are performed within and by the company, heavily rely on technology devices, such as laptops, PCs, tablets, mobiles and printers to name but a few. However, some businesses have yet to tap into the full benefit of technology, such as blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. Today, we will examine the impact of technology in the workplace.
In most companies, technology-related decisions and initiatives start and end with the Information Technology (IT) department and their staff. Their main functions include installing software for employees, fixing computers and other devices, as well as handling other IT-related tasks, such as telephony and website maintenance. IT departments also deal with IT systems, architecture, and networks, network contingencies and application development. So, focusing only on the former activities undermines the company’s ability to fully tap into the provisions of technology.
Growth and innovation are two of the many benefits enjoyed by a technology-driven company today. Companies that offer services understand this and use technology to their benefit. However, some brick-and-mortar businesses have still to adopt technology as part of their business model. Although it should be noted that many have embraced technology as a way to survive the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
When is the right time to fully integrate technology in your business?
As the saying goes, “The best time to start was yesterday and the next best time to start is now.” The size and capacity of the company may sometimes influence how and what type of technology it adopts. However, the best approach is to conduct an IT audit that gives a full report on the past, present and future potentials of the company’s IT functions and capability.
Types of IT audit
There are many types of IT audit, however, let us focus on the main five:
Systems and application audit: this is an audit that checks that systems and applications used are appropriate, efficient, secured on all levels at the same time valid, reliable and timely.
Information processing audit: this is an audit which verifies that all processes are working well under normal and disruptive conditions.
Management of IT and Enterprise architecture audit: this is an audit that verifies that IT management has developed an organisational structure and procedures that ensure a controlled and efficient environment.
System development audit: this audit verifies that the systems under development meet the objectives of the organisation.
Telecommunication audit: this audit ensures that controls are in place to protect servers and networks from any breach.
An IT audit can be carried out internally if the company has trained and well-equipped employees capable of carrying out this function. However, most companies simply outsource their IT audit activities. Regardless of the option chosen, at the end of every IT audit, a report showing the status of the company’s IT functions, as well as the recommendations, must be provided.
How to embrace technology-related change
As with any change initiative, top management is usually tasked with the responsibility of the planning, enforcing and driving the change. Therefore, the IT department, or those in charge of IT in a business, has to get top leaders on board.
Present the results from the IT audit performed and a defined plan for implementation.
In large companies, top leaders refer to the board of directors while in smaller companies, the owner or the management team needs to be involved in discussions relating to technology, future expansions and delivery.
Develop high-level strategies for implementing the change.
Identify the right IT structure for the company.
Stay up to date with technological trends - this is where frequent audits become relevant.
Track and monitor performance of the current IT structure.
In summary, it is important to note that technology is here to stay and companies need to put in more effort and resources towards upgrading their structures to enjoy optimum efficiency and realisation of goals.
Adapting to IT-related changes can sometimes be overwhelming and cumbersome. We at the OVAC Group can look into your business's current IT structure and recommend areas to focus on. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation