When assessing your technology you should think about five major areas:
What computer and network style will you use: normal ones are peer to peer and client server both can be part or all cloud based. Will your main data be local or in the cloud? What access to your data does your organization need? Think of storage space, speed of access, and whether multi-location access is needed. Do you have a technology plan? If so, it should also talk about replacing or upgrading equipment as well. What are the pros and cons to the hardware needs that you have decided on?
- Business Software Needs
What enterprise systems will you need, such as office suites or special applications for your organization, how do you access the software? On what platforms can the software be run? Does your infrastructure support these platforms?
- Organization Issues
Just because you have a great technology does not mean you will get everyone to use it. Set goals for usage so that everyone knows how serious it is to use of the technology. Develop a policy and procedures for the usage of all of your technology. A good rule is if you plug it in or it uses batteries then it is technology and you have a plan for it.
- Website and Social Media
Some people believe that this should be under marketing, which is mostly true, but you still need to think about security along with several other aspects of them both. Making sure both the website and social media components talk to each other as well as other platforms, can be technical. Make sure there are roles and responsibilities assigned for every aspect of your online presence. You should have a training plan and anyone who posts should understand the organization mission.
- Risk management and security
Most organizations under-invest in this area. You don’t want to be the organization that has to pay millions to fix a data leak or have your reputation tarnished. Always ensure that you have a malware system installed (Antivirus/Spyware) on each client machine. People ask which one out there is best. This can vary with your needs but you want a company that is responsive. Most new viruses are found because something got attacked or infected. You should have a backup/disaster recovery plan in place. It is not good enough to just have your data in two places. You must know how you would retrieve it in a disaster. Are you dealing with personal information such as social security numbers or medical records? Always use complex passwords. For front facing access to your network, such as websites, limit administrative access to them. Patch and update on a regular basis, this will help you stay secure.
In each of the categories you must always think about the price and budget. Evaluating your technology plan on a yearly basis helps you to see that it still is in alignment with your organizational needs.