It doesn’t take too much time for a technology infrastructure to get out of hand if there is no overarching plan put in place. Cloud tools can be churned through, leaving employees in a perpetual state confusion about workflows, and hardware can end up compatible with some peripherals, but not others.
In 2019, companies churned through about 30% of their cloud apps and had an average of 3.6 unnecessary duplicate apps.
When you have a confusing business technology ecosystem at your Tucson company, it contributes to stress, higher costs, and lower productivity. The answer is to standardize your technology to streamline your user experience.
What is Technology Standardization?
Technology standardization means to mindfully plan and execute your IT implementations so they’re consistent. This can cover several areas, including:
- Cloud tools: Ensuring they’re integrated, can share data, and that you have as few redundancies as possible.
- Hardware: Using standard computer specifications and a replacement lifecycle that reduces compatibility conflicts.
- Security: Using companywide security policies that can be automatically applied across all endpoints.
- Software: Ensuring software is standard for each employee, so all are working with the same tools and that they are all updated according to the same schedule.
Benefits of Technology Standardization
There are many benefits to standardizing your company’s use of technology. Some of the advantages include:
- Better IT security
- Easier team collaboration
- Less employee frustration
- Improved productivity
- Lower procurement costs
- Reduced risk of downtime
- More scalability
How Can You Standardize Your Technology?
Fully Utilize the Tools You Have
Companies often leave certain tools or features in a cloud subscription untapped because they don’t realize what they have available. Then, they end up purchasing and onboarding employees to another application, causing more app switching and less integration.
An example of this is OneNote in Microsoft 365. This application is often overlooked, but it could be used in place of an app like Evernote. It has the same sharable notebook and pages format.
The goal with technology standardization is to make life easier for your team, this means using as few different platforms as possible. This reduces the number of interfaces employees have to learn and improves your data integration and security.
Take Time to Properly Train Employees on Their Tools
Employees can easily be frustrated with a great cloud tool simply because they haven’t been given a chance to not just learn it but become proficient.
Entire workflows can often be transformed for the better just by knowing the tips and tricks of an operating system or program.
Make sure to take the time to train employees properly on tools like Windows,
Microsoft 365, Zoom, Outlook, your VoIP system, etc. Then, conduct another training session whenever a big feature release comes out, so your entire team can benefit and continue upgrading their productivity.
Survey Employees to Identify Needs Gaps
Some business owners make the mistake of not getting employee input when choosing cloud platforms or planning a transition to a new set of tools. This can end up with a lot of stressed-out team members and a drop in productivity.
Before you begin streamlining or consider new tools, survey your employees about their workflows and the applications they work with every day. Get their input on best and worst, pros, cons, and any gaps that might exist.
This insight can improve your overall technology environment and help you choose the best tools for your team and your business.
Create Common Desktop Environments
Employees working with different operating system versions, different core apps, and different interfaces can be a nightmare when it comes to onboarding new employees as well as everyday collaboration.
When making desktop purchases or if you’re considering virtual desktops, you want to think of a “cookie cutter” approach.
This means that for each job or area of responsibility, you have a specific desktop setup, including settings, permissions, and applications. This is helpful when employees move positions and move to a new PC, and it makes the onboarding process much more efficient because all workstations are standardized.
Create Application Use Policies
One way that cloud use quickly gets out of hand in a business is when employees begin using shadow I.T. This simply means they use applications on their own without getting them properly approved or cleared first.
This can lead to security problems, app redundancies, and unnecessary cloud subscription costs.
This is often done innocently enough and because there is no application use policy in place. A standardization initiative can quickly go out the window if you don’t let employees know the applications that can or can’t be used.
Create a clear policy about which applications are approved for use by employees and include a way that they can suggestion other apps they may want to use. This gives them the ability to have a voice, but also keeps your app use under control.
Get Help Standardizing Your Technology Infrastructure!
ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson business streamline your technology through standardization to save money and reduce employee frustration.
We’re here and ready to talk technology optimization with you! Reach out at 520-355-7553 or through our website.
ECN IT Solutions is a managed service provider (MSP) based in Tucson, Arizona that provides full-service, outsourced IT Support for companies across the Southwest. We offer network monitoring and management, cybersecurity, and a help desk with a response time of under 10 minutes. For more information, contact us online or call (520) 355-7553 and we’ll get in touch with you faster than you can believe.