4 Ways Your Small Business Can Improve IT Processes


Maintain Sanity and Security For Your Business Without Breaking the Bank

When dealing with IT management for business support and growth, many small businesses are forced to do more with less, which can actually result in poorly-designed security measures.

Simple and effective steps and strategies that are also budget-friendly can have a huge impact on a business’s position in their industry market and allow leaders to focus on more pressing business matters.

The following tips provide examples of how several organizations are taking such aggressive results-oriented action:

 1. Improve Security Methods

Businesses often require employees to remember several different and complex passwords, which also need to be changed regularly according to company guidelines. To remember the passwords, employees often write them down and then store them somewhere to refer to later. These methods create a higher risk for security breaches for the business.

At All Star Automotive, in Baton Rouge, employees in every position throughout the company needed to log in to several different applications to perform their jobs. Each employee needed to remember log-in credentials for nine or more applications, which became frustrating. The solution? Single sign-on.

By implementing a single sign-on solution, employees no longer have to remember several different credentials. They simply log in once and the single sign-on system takes over the log-in process thereafter, initiating an automatic log in to all the applications and systems for which the employee is authorized.

 2. Reduction of Helpdesk Tickets 

The IT department is often inundated with calls from users requesting help with issues that are simple, but are time consuming. This takes time away from other more technical projects that the IT department could be focusing on.

At Lifestyle Hearing, based in Canada, user accounts for employees needed to be created and controls put in place by the IT department. By automating their account management system, the human resources department now has controlled access through a web-based form to create an account that allows the company to easily enter the employee’s information, define their profiles and which systems they need access to.

Since HR now handles all account management tasks, the IT department has saved substantial time and is able to focus on other issues.

3. Timely System Updates and User Management

Managing end-user accounts for up-to-date access and accurate information can be difficult. These tasks are often performed manually and consume a large amount of time for IT employees.

At Springs Global of Fort Mill, South Carolina, information in the IT database was often inaccurate because information would only get changed when someone had noticed a difference and made the appropriate modifications.

To alleviate these issues, an automated account management solution was implemented to synchronize their HR system, Cyborg, with Active Directory each evening. This, in turn, populates other internal systems such as SharePoint, help desk software and the Exchange Global Address List. With changes made each night, employee information is now current and up to date.

 4. Delegation

Account management can be a time-consuming task for IT employees, and can take them away from working on higher level projects. Though the task could be handed off to other to the least experienced employees within an organization, this can cause a security risk.

Springs Global faced this situation and wanted to find a way to provide help desk administrators the ability to perform certain active directory tasks without giving them elevated rights. By automating its account management, the company now uses a “forms” system that allows HR employees to make minor changes, but not have elevated rights in the domain so that the systems remain secure.

This is done through several digital forms that allow HR employees to easily enter only the requested information in order to reduce error and ensure security.

By taking these four actions, leading organizations in a variety of market sectors have actually streamlined their efficiency and achieved measurable results, while saving time and money and securing access to their critical information.

These simple solutions mean long-term improvements for any organization making the changes and can improve overall operation of IT throughout a system.

Image: iStockphoto

About The Author

Dean Wiech is managing director at Tools4ever. Tools4ever supplies a variety of software products and integrated consultancy services involving identity management, such as user provisioning, role-based access control, password management, single sign-on and access management, serving more than five million user accounts worldwide.