Technology is constantly changing - it's one thing that everyone can agree on. And it can be hard to keep up with the changes. Each company is unique, with different needs and goals. So the impact of change is felt differently by each organization.
This constant state of change causes questions to emerge:
"Should we be doing more in the Cloud? Are we budgeting and spending the right amount for IT? Is our business safe from cyberattacks? Are there better tools that we should be implementing? Is our technology helping us be innovative?"
They're all great questions to consider. However, there's a starting point which should be considered first and foremost.
Your approach to technology should be fundamentally and strategically integrated with your business. So start with the question: What is your most important company asset? For this you should focus on what is the core of your business - not the drive to meet company revenue goals or numbers.
For a law firm, confidential client records and legal case notes are crucial assets. For a medical practice, it would be private medical records for each patient. And for a manufacturing company it may be unique intellectual property such as blueprints and technical drawings.
Once you've identified your most important asset, 3 questions arise:
- How do you protect this asset?
- How do you know if it is at risk?
- How do you respond to a threat?
The ultimate question to ask is: What is the BUSINESS IMPACT if your most important asset is lost? And if there is a major loss, then how quickly can your business recover?
Think about it - if your business as a manufacturer of specialized tools is built upon the sales of a popular high-quality drill, then the intellectual property - patents and design blueprints - is an important asset. If those blueprints were burned in a fire, or stolen, how damaging could that be?
Obviously, you would protect such an important asset - make duplicates and archive them, store them in a fireproof and waterproof vault, keep the location locked with controlled employee access, etc. But protection only goes so far.
Unexpected disasters - flood, fire, weather events - can happen to any business. And where there's a will, there's a way - if someone wants the asset bad enough then they will find a way to get it. A threat like this can come from inside the organization at almost any level - often a disgruntled employee - which negates many of the protections. So how would you know if there was a legitimate risk?
Detection is where many companies fall short, yet it may be the most important part of a multi-layered defense against a major business impact. If you are able to detect a threat to your asset, then you can respond. But you cannot respond to something if you don't know it's happening. Detection systems may include security cameras, alarms, sensors, etc. which are great for detecting someone who walks in or picks your locks. But there may be threats more difficult to detect.
In the manufacturing example, the asset is the intellectual property for a popular drill. What is the business impact if a competing manufacturer overseas creates a copy of the drill at a small fraction of the original manufacturing cost and begins to flood the market with a low cost generic version of an almost identical product? If detection of this threat is too late, the response and time to recover may result in an enormously high cost. This is why technology must be fundamentally and strategically integrated with the business.
A strategic and integrated alignment of technology and the business are the foundation and must start with protecting the business’s core assets, identifying risks, and enabling the organization to respond quickly to threats that have an impact on the bottom line. From there, the possibilities for a business to build out are unlimited.
As a full suite IT and cybersecurity firm, Restech can help with your business technology and strategy. Contact us to learn more.