Without IT standards, businesses can face challenges such as managing multiple versions of software, inconsistent workflows, and complexities surrounding administration. By establishing and adhering to standards, businesses simplify their IT operations, align expectations among executives and IT leaders, and improve overall efficiency.
In this article, we’re going to explore what cybersecurity standards and framework you should set up in your business, as well as take a technical deep dive into topics we cover in the first episode of our re-launched podcast, Enterprise Tech Spotlight.
Examples of IT Standards
IT standards don’t just apply to the IT department. Having specific standards throughout your business can apply to a lot of different areas. For example, you should have a standardized operating system. And that doesn’t mean having 16 versions of Windows across all your devices; it means keeping all systems updated and keeping versions that are supported by the manufacturer.
This reduces confusion and streamlines processes, leading to improved end-user satisfaction and reduced helpdesk call volume. Standardizing vendor management is another example, where selecting a limited number of vendors for specific products simplifies the procurement process and enhances support efficiency.
How to Determine Appropriate Standards for Your Business
While it is essential to have IT standards in place, not all businesses should adopt the same set of standards. Each company is unique and has its own needs, and therefore standards must align with industry-specific requirements. Organizations can consult industry groups, research compliance standards, and evaluate common practices among similar businesses to determine the most suitable set of standards. Factors like company size and future growth plans also influence the choice of standards.
Establishing IT Standards
Creating a standards committee with the right leadership is a great approach to establishing effective IT standards. This committee typically includes technology executives, operational executives, frontline workers, and representatives from other departments, such as finance. The committee sets policies and standards, taking into account various perspectives and business requirements. Regular meetings, discussions, and a comprehensive analysis of existing systems and needs are crucial in this process.
Revisiting and Auditing Standards
Technology and business environments change quickly. Events like changing platforms, acquiring another company, or some kind of disaster might require revisiting old standards to align them with your new business landscape. Because of this, it is important to conduct audits and review standards at least twice a year.
Noncompliance with established standards can disrupt operations. When addressing noncompliance, it is essential to have a conversation with the individuals involved, understand their perspective, and determine the underlying justification, if there is one. If valid reasons exist, these should be incorporated into the standard-setting process. However, when noncompliance lacks adequate justification, leaders should emphasize the importance of standards and the potential risks and challenges associated with deviating from them.
Balancing Business Priorities
Finding a balance between different business priorities is crucial when setting IT standards. Finance, IT, and employees often have diverse needs and preferences. Establishing a standards committee with representatives from different departments helps ensure that all voices are heard, mitigating extreme swings in decision-making and facilitating a well-rounded approach that aligns technology with business goals.
InfoSystems Can Conduct Comprehensive and Effective Compliance Assessments
Creating effective, consistent, and unique standards that are tailored to your business needs is crucial for mitigating risks and keeping up with the ever-changing technological landscape. With companies like InfoSystems, you can secure your business, protect your customers, and protect your reputation.
With our professionally managed compliance assessments, you can act quickly on the results. We don’t just perform assessments to “check a box,” we perform them so that business leaders can respond quickly to our findings.