It’s only our third episode, so we are just getting into the swing of things with podcasting. So, as you can imagine, we are super excited about all the topics we want to cover in 2021. But, before we open that door, we thought it would be fitting to end the year talking about what you should be thinking about for your IT plans now that 2020 is wrapping up. We’ll give you a checklist of things to consider as you plan your tech for 2021 and think about what you accomplished in 2020.
First and foremost, consider your accomplishments in 2020. It’s been a tough year for everyone personally, professionally, as employees, as business owners as technology professionals. You were likely called upon to move mountains and you most likely pulled it off too. Did you have to get your company set up for remote work on a dime? Did you have to ramp up your security? Was training users on a whole new way of using technology something you accomplished? The pandemic changed a lot of things and now some of those things may be permanent. We talked about that in episode 1. As you think about 2021, what paradigms of technology are you going to keep in place because they actually work. What do you want to build on? Maybe your security infrastructure for remote work could use some attention. Maybe your users could use some more training. If you are doing government work, especially aerospace, you are definitely going to have to focus on CMMC certification, you can’t ignore it.
Other areas to consider:
- Take inventory and retire older hardware. It’s very tempting to set it and forget it. Anything over 3-5 years old should get some love and attention and maybe be retired.
- Review your software and cloud expenditures, we talked about that in episode 2, and make sure you are actually using what you pay for. It’s way too easy to subscribe to this and that. Before you know it, you are spending thousands of dollars on software and services you used once or twice.
- Next, evaluate your processes and the software running them. Is it time for an upgrade or to just rip it out and go with something new?
- Look at your infrastructure. Does your closet wiring need some love? I can’t tell you how many times we run into server rooms and closets where the wiring is a mess of spaghetti that makes it impossible to troubleshoot in a pinch. Make 2021 the year you clean it all up.
- Look at last year’s list and see what’s left and what got pushed for whatever reason.
Finally, sit down and consider your business goals. Not tech goals, but business goals. Once you know what those are your company in 2021, do a thought experiment and do it with your bosses if that makes sense, and determine if your IT projects are in line with those goals. Are you using the rights tools? Do you have what you need to bring your company to the next level? Are you on par or ahead of your competition when it comes to technology? Are you facilitating the growth of your company with technology? If your not, then tech is just going to seem to be in the way. You would be surprised with how quickly budgets get approved when what you are proposing fits with the goals of the business.
So, to summarize, look at what you accomplished and be proud of that. Look at your hardware and what can be replaced. Evaluate your software and cloud expenses. Look at your physical infrastructure and what can be cleaned up. Look at open and unstarted projects from last year and finally line up your IT projects with your business goals.
Like I said before, we are super excited about 2021 and all the possibilities in technology, business, and podcasting. We hope to see you there and that you join us on our journey and hope that we can provide some value to your business and technology endeavors. Have a happy, safe, and memorable New Year’s and we’ll see you on the other side in 2021.