You can think of technology operations as a broad category of processes or requirements that keep a business running. Members of your company’s IT team are almost always involved in these aspects, although other departments often play crucial roles, too.
“If it’s been a while since you’ve updated your technology operations, now is a great time to strongly consider doing that.”
Enhancing them for your current needs helps technology better support your business. You can also measure the return on investment (ROI) of these updates, letting you see if they pay off.
1. Cyberthreat Detection
If IT team members mention that their methods of conquering cyberthreats are too reactive, that’s a sign it’s time to improve how your company spots issues that could threaten its network. Even the hardest-working cybersecurity professionals often need support to screen for network threats. For example, some are undoubtedly false alarms. But what if workers spend too much time assessing those and miss the real dangers?
Many of today’s cybersecurity tools for threat identification feature intelligent capabilities that learn what constitutes “normal” network traffic. They then alert IT professionals about anything that strays from what’s usual or expected. You can also find tools that automatically categorize potential incoming threats according to severity. That way, IT teams know how to prioritize their efforts and prevent catastrophes.
Improving cyberthreat detection with more advanced technologies can strengthen your business by making it more resilient against malicious intruders. The best way to calculate the associated ROI is to measure how many more genuine threats your cybersecurity team can notice and tackle with help from technology. Another option is to measure the average time spent on finding new vulnerabilities versus managing the known ones.
2. Customer Service and Help Desk Requests
Improving what happens once people reach out for help could be another crucial aim as your company updates its technology operations. For example, maybe you already have a trouble ticket system that employees use when encountering error messages or other tech-related woes. One possibility for updating those associated operations would be to have the tickets automatically go into different inboxes based on subject or severity.
Technology can also help companies achieve better customer loyalty through aspects like website information. For example, if a company has an excellent support section on its site, customers may discover they can find the answers they seek there rather than waiting to talk to a representative on the phone.
“Similarly, introducing a live chat or chatbot feature could cater to people who dislike making phone calls or can’t do it when they need assistance.”
Making progress with customer service and help desk communications could make issue resolution happen faster. It could also help companies collect and analyze more data about the most common problems or the most effective ways to solve them.
Having such information could help a business grow by raising satisfaction levels. Measuring ROI could happen if enterprises track resolution times or quality ratings are given for assistance received.
3. Emergency Power Resources
A sizeable part of running a successful business requires planning what to do if the worst happens. Generators and uninterruptable power sources can keep essential aspects of your company — such as a data centre’s servers — operating during power outages. However, if you do not regularly test how those resources would function during real-world requirements, or have not ever done so, update your practices with load bank testing.
A load bank verifies the power source’s rated output capabilities before real-world use. The National Fire Prevention Association — which has a standard for emergency and standby power equipment — requires monthly testing for these systems.
Become familiar with the possible load bank configurations to learn which one is most appropriate for your business. If you have the space available, a stationary model may be the most convenient solution. However, some portable models weigh less than 100 pounds. You can feel confident in the ROI of updating your operations like this because these tests ensure your emergency power sources will function correctly when you need them most.
4. Report Generation
Regardless of the kind of business you run, the ongoing operations likely require reporting. Maybe your human resources leader wants a breakdown of the company’s most productive teams over the last 60 days. Perhaps someone else needs specifics on a department’s expenditures and how they changed since the start of the year.
Various solutions on the market can help people save time, increase accuracy and make information easier to digest. Addressing the weaknesses associated with report creation starts with knowing what they are. Do many team members complain about how it’s difficult to source the content they need? Perhaps executives mention that they’d love if it were easier to grasp the key takeaways at a glance.
After learning about the main struggles, you’re in a good position to explore how technology could help. Give people plenty of time to get used to any new tools. Once they adjust, measure ROI by tracking things like how long it takes to create a report or whether the number of mistakes in the documents drops.
5. Automation-Ready Manual Processes
It’s also wise to look at any technology operations your team members perform manually. Computers can do some tasks quicker or better than humans. Thanks to technological advancements such as artificial intelligence (AI), companies can enhance many processes. Not all responsibilities are automation-ready. That means company representatives must devote ample time to exploring which ones are best suited to it.
Computers typically excel at mathematical calculations, so you might investigate using them for invoicing or budgeting tasks. Pay close attention to parts of processes that limit employees’ available time to do other things, too. For example, maybe technology could cut down on the amount of data entry humans do by automatically recognizing the details on an electronic document and importing them into a complementing tool.
You can measure ROI in various ways. Are employees more productive? Maybe clients mention that they appreciate how your company sends them documents faster than before. The number of manual processes you can automate is growing rapidly. Even if you’re not sure how to implement automation or don’t think your company needs it yet, it’s worthwhile to stay aware of the technological solutions that emerge.
6. Remote and Constant Monitoring
The Internet of Things (IoT) involves connected devices that serve a variety of purposes, ranging from entertainment to workplace productivity. Certain industries have especially embraced the IoT and used the technology to drastically change and enhance their operations.
For example, health care workers can put patients under constant monitoring, which allows them to spot issues proactively. If a person mentions that they often get heart palpitations while lying in bed at night, a physician may struggle to confirm the abnormality during an office visit. There’s a limited window for the symptom to occur. However, a doctor could send the patient home with a wearable that tracks heart activity from home.
Businesses can benefit from improving their operations with remote and continual monitoring, too. For example, an IT professional could see precisely when an employee logs into a network, and from what device. They could also verify when a person attempted to enter a door code to access a server room, even if the person overseeing things is not onsite. Businesses can measure ROI in saved time and increased visibility for a start.
Modernizing Your Technology Operations Increases Competitiveness
These six areas give a useful overview of how your company could take its technology operations to the next level. Although you’ll see many benefits from doing so, better competitiveness is one of the most likely outcomes.
After all, many of these solutions aim to reduce undesirable events and make people more efficient. When workers waste less time or deal with fewer obstacles, they’ll be well-equipped to make meaningful contributions to your business.
—- Lexie is a web designer and IoT enthusiast. She enjoys hiking with her golden doodle and checking out local flea markets. Connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.