Hardware Refreshes, Employee Education and Content Management All Top of Mind for Commercial Real Estate Companies this Year.
“The purpose of Systems Thinking is to frame and solve problems for creating desirable futures,” says Pearl Zhu, author of “Problem Solving Master” (2018). IT road maps are systems that can save a company both future time and money.
This is how managed service providers like PTG in Greenville approach IT for clients — many which are in the commercial real estate industry. “It’s important to have a 12-month IT roadmap that supports you and your team to stay competitive in the marketplace,” says PTG’s CEO, Reed Wilson.
What goes into a successful CRE IT road map?
It’s probably easiest to divide your needs in half. First, what hardware is going to make your people most productive in 2021? Then, what software and network configurations do they need to effectively communicate and manage content?
Companies that had a clear road map last year were able to adjust seamlessly to the work changes caused by quarantines and a sudden increase in remote work.
To accomplish the first part, PTG likes to get clients on a predictable IT refresh schedule. After IT performs a hardware audit on all current PCs, servers and firewalls, leadership can agree on a refresh schedule that replaces critical hardware before it breaks down or is unable to receive patches and updates. Simple request forms can be created for employees who are due for new PCs to put in the details an engineer needs to ensure proper delivery. Planning PC refreshes a year out helps with annual IT operating and capital budgeting.
For communication, employee training is often overlooked. For example, many organizations adopted Microsoft Teams last year to keep remote employees in the loop. If employees are not offered training on new platforms, change management becomes a logjam.
PTG’s free two-week Teams intro training, “Become a Teams Ninja,” was used by hundreds of organizations to smooth the transition to Teams.
Also, when adopting new software and apps, network security is something that must be a part of every adoption decision. Many first-time Zoom users last year were surprised how easily their meeting rooms could be hacked when they neglected to password-protect them.
Companywide password policies and enforcing multifactor authentication org-wide are examples of security measures that can be added to an IT road map.
Another aspect that CRE companies should consider is deploying regular phishing tests to every employee.
Business email compromise scams are a $24 billion a year criminal enterprise. Getting employees to identify sophisticated phishing attempts in a test has been shown to reduce a company’s risk by up to 95%*.
CRE companies should also make sure that content management is organized and streamlined. PTG recently helped a client sync a SharePoint content library with users’ OneDrive accounts. “This is an invaluable function that will be used repeatedly to streamline my work,” the client replied in a review left for the engineer.
Starting the year with a comprehensive IT road map helps organizations reduce costly downtime by avoiding many of the IT issues that catch less prepared businesses off guard.
To learn more about IT roadmaps for the CRE industry, visit https://info.goptg.com/cretech.
*According to a 2019 University of Maryland study.