MY TOP IT TIPS FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
Paul Hayes | Cloud & Operations Director, Cooper Parry IT
It all started for me back in the 90’s when I was asked to join an IT business and sell some ‘IT stuff’. I had a great 17 years there and eventually became MD of that same firm I’d joined as a teenager.
I then joined CPIT in 2016, the company I love. We’re a dynamic business that moves fast, likes to disrupt, whilst also caring so much about our clients and delivering a wow service – there’s nowhere I’d rather be.
With well over 20 year’s experience, now, technology has never been more exciting. The opportunities it brings to transform the way we work, improve client experience and impact cultural change is something that drives me each day. Understanding our clients’ business and sector is a vital part of what we do, because it means we can make informed recommendations around digital change, security and adoption to keep them cutting edge.
Here are my top tips for business owners:
With flexible working being the new norm, our approach to leading and supporting our people needs to be different. How do we stay connected, focused, and most importantly look after the wellbeing of our teams? There’s no quick fix here but technology can play a part. Why not use apps to check-in on individuals periodically and spot early signs of struggle or connect people together to share ideas or kudos?
Pre-COVID I found myself trying to work from home 1 day a week. Now I’m trying to work anywhere BUT home for at least a day a week, and when I do, I reenergise. It’s good for me. Our applications need to work consistently over multiple devices from anywhere, giving our people the flexibility to move around and get fresh air. Why not try having walking-talking meetings or working from different places in your home each day? It all helps. Let’s lead by example.
Relying on technology so much more to communicate and collaborate will mean that some will struggle, so make sure you support them with training. You’re not only looking after them by doing this, they’ll also be more productive. It’s more than likely you won’t be maximising your use of the technology you’ve already invested in, so make sure you consider this and find out how it could benefit and possibly optimise your business and processes. Help your people to understand how you want them to communicate and collaborate – when to use chat, email, video, screen sharing and collaborate on documents – let’s not forget though that talking is best!
We need to lead with 100% trust, so it’s never been more important that we set clear objectives and define responsibilities for our teams. Ensure they’re playing to their strengths and are focused on what they do best. Make sure their technology isn’t holding them back in their role, and if you don’t know if this is the case or not, send them a digital culture questionnaire to find out.
With remote working, we need to be more security conscious, too. Your business data is critical so make sure you protect it. It’s important to know your security and disaster recovery position and also to arm your people to protect your business as they’re your first line of defence.
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