There are few topics that elicit more yawns than documenting IT policies and procedures. So, most small and midsize businesses never bother with them. And more often than not, that leads to problems at some point.
When policies and procedures are documented and implemented properly, they improve efficiencies and reduce business risks. And those are results that business leaders can get excited about.
Here are a few area where policies and procedures could benefit your business:
Network security – Define the monthly or bi-weekly procedures your IT team undertakes to reduce the chance of a successful attack on your network. These typically include anti-virus updates, software updates, and operating system patches.
Data security – Develop data security policies for users. Then, you need educate users on the how and why of the policies to improve compliance and reduce the risk of your business data falling into the wrong hands. Data security policies can include things like not emailing data to or from your personal email address and not storing data on a personal Dropbox account.
Smartphone data ownership – If companies pay the monthly access fee for employee’s personal cell phones in exchange for employees using them for business, it creates ambiguity around who owns the data. If you develop clear policies from the start, it reduces the chance of conflict when an employee leaves the company.
One of the challenges to writing IT policies and procedures is that many IT teams have very little experience with developing them. That is why it can be beneficial to work with an outside consultant or someone on the operations side of your business that can guide them on the right way to create policies and procedures.