Whether you have your in-house IT team, or have outsourced your IT needs to be taken care of by a Managed Services Provider, you need to know what are the possible risks to your business from the IT perspective. Having an IT risk checklist can help you be better prepared for an IT emergency.
In order to assess your IT risks, you need to first know your IT landscape. Answer questions like
- What role is IT going to play in the success of your business
- What areas is IT supporting your business in, currently
- What new roles can you foresee for IT in improving your business efficiency
- Do you have any new technology in mind that you want to implement in the next year
- If you have your in-house IT team, what kind of staff structure do you see in the next year
- If you are planning to expand your in-house IT team, how many team members will you need to bring onboard and what will be the cost associated with this decision
- Would it be more effective and efficient to hire an MSP instead to supplement your in-house IT department
- What is your IT budget for the year
The checklist for your IT risks
The next step would be to create a checklist of your IT risks. At this stage, you should be answering questions like
- What IT risks are most relevant to you? For example, data privacy is a serious concern for a business operating in healthcare, while phishing can be a bigger concern for an accounting firm. Another angle to look into are environmental risks. For example, do you operate in a hurricane-prone area, or someplace prone to wildfires? Make a list of risks most relevant to you and assess the possibility of them happening to you. Such assessments will help you arrive at the key safety measures that you need to take, as a business, to keep your data safe.
- In the worst case scenario, if your IT infrastructure were to fail, how long can you survive before it will be difficult for you to bounce back? Can your business operate without your key IT systems working? If not, how long can you afford to keep it shut?
Whether you have your in-house IT team or rely on an MSP for your IT maintenance, this exercise will help you understand your key IT goals and the possible impediments to them, and help you survive in the event of an IT emergency.