Business IT can be mapped in a lot of ways using different technologies, this topic is not about what systems you should use for making your IT work for everyone in your organization. This blog will concentrate on what aspects to consider while mapping your teams with devices, and tools they need to use for completing their daily tasks. Considering it from a business’s point of view, security and access of information your team needs.
Before mapping IT let’s think what IT does for our business: IT helps business work online for web access, save information for client, vendors and your own team; make collaboration quicker. It is used by different departments to access and process it for use, saving and retrieving business information using applications, or document files we use day to day. We use IT for communication over emails, phone or shared files. Now depending on your business you may have a few business applications you may be used by everyone in your organization mainly for client tasks, and few which some department or job position need for their tasks.
One more concept we need to review before getting in to mapping your Business IT with your team, is Profiling. A term we would use a few times for mapping systems and users. Profiling means categorization of any specific IT system you want to control. Example, for your team “remote access” profile can be defined knowing how you have your team access your current systems. Do they come to work every day and only complete their tasks on a computer assigned to them, or do you have users who need access to office system from their home to complete work. As a business owner you might want to finish your work in office, yet when you go back home need access to files at work. This can be achieved using a VPN connection to work, remote desktop to your office computer, or using Cloud file sharing software. Knowing different options you want configured for your team a few profiles can be configured. One profile for users who only need to come to work and finish their task, second profile of users who need to work from office and home, third profile for users who are always on the move. You can define as many profiles as you want, yet we recommend not go beyond five.
Let’s look at the process of mapping IT, taking an example of a new member joining your team. Using this example we would review all IT essential systems you need to prepare for him and how profiling of your current systems can help.
When a new member joins he needs a computer to be assigned, depending on his job role the first profile we need to use is for Hardware. Depending on tasks he needs to perform on his computer, different configuration may be required. A finance person would be fine using a computer with 4 GB RAM and i3\i5 processor while an engineer in a manufacturing business might need to have a system with 32 GB RAM and i7 processor or higher. Knowing your business hardware profiles can be configured, and customized. These profiles help in a few things, making purchase decisions when new devices are required, while assigning the right configuration device to the team member when he or she joins, or even when you are thinking to upgrade infrastructure.
Once you have decided on the system, there are specific User Profiles you need to get in place for IT use. For a specific user an account needs to be set up locally on a computer if you are in a workgroup environment or server based domain, once the user is configured he needs access to program for daily tasks, Shared Drive for access to saved files, and printers if any. All of these three factors can help you get a person setup with all tools and access he needs. In the background your IT team would need to configure all of this for you, but this makes management of your systems easy.
To set up profiles for programs you can always divide your system in 3 portions, one basic application list in which you define all application which is required by all the users which could include Adobe reader or standard for PDF, Java, and other basics with business application if any which are common to all the systems. Next you need to get all the applications that your business uses in different departments, most business have CRM systems which are used in different effect or few application such as finance with QuickBooks access, and operations with ticketing system. The last list you need to consider is approved application you want to keep for your team to get installed if they want to use, this could include Free PDF convertor program, if you are using an old version of Office or Skype for video calls. Once you have these 3 lists of applications ready you can create profiles and assign them to users. For data, you may have few shares or many and they can be profiled for department-wise access or depending on job functions. Similarly for printers depending on your business size and location, easy profiles can be created for one location or many.
Once you have a user configured with all the basics, it’s time to look at few back-end controls you would need to get configured for security. There are 4 security types you need to consider in most businesses today. First security aspect we need to review is for hardware, when a user has a computer or laptop he has access to business information in some businesses you might want to control. We met a real estate company recently, their major concern was data security so their leads could not be misused or transferred. While many companies store their information in the form of Excel, or in CRM systems by which information can be exported and easily copied to a USB or Disk. Using hardware security profiles you can control how many people get to only charge their smartphone connecting it to computer USB port and not transfer files. You can control each connection component of your computer if you need to, something your tech team can implement.
Second aspect of security would be remote access which we explained above with profiling, which I would leave out in this section. The other two aspects are data and web security. Today with business solutions from many vendors you can encrypt information on computers, get reports on specific files which were copied or just audited. Depending on your need of securing business data, it can be secured to any level or just audited. The last consideration for security is over web and how your team uses it day to day. Websites are per-categorized with many online web protection tools you can purchase, these categories define website in categories such as Business Sites, Social Media, Adult and Pornographic, Legal Liability, Productivity Loss or others. Web security not only defines what a user can visit or not, it also saves the business from any malicious sites which can cause issues on your business systems. Any time a user goes to an unknown link from his email or web search malicious sites are blocked by default, while having email URL protection provides another layer of security for not getting in trouble.
IT Essentials, solves the problem of mapping computers, to users with all the tools and systems your team would need to go to work and never have a situation where you are not in control of your IT systems. Your business may use in-house systems, or over cloud each system needs to be managed, controlled and mapped for security and access. You would need to use defined systems and processes to meet your end business goal and even integrate your IT to work seamlessly.
We would love to hear from you, if you have any questions or find answers to solve specific business IT issues.
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