Review the state of IT
While you’re likely performing health-checks across the organization’s IT systems regularly, good documentation can often be deprioritized and lag behind other projects. At the end of the year, go through each IT system at a high-level and ensure all documentation is up-to-date and accessible. This includes internal documentation for the IT team, but you may also consider providing end-user instructions to communicate with executive leadership. As the year winds down, it’s a great time to organize and ensure everything employees need from IT can be found and referenced efficiently.
Evaluate last year’s budget and plan for the year ahead. Consider working with the accounting department to analyze how much was spent across all IT services, equipment and subscriptions in 2018. Then, reflect on company goals for 2019 and determine what should be changed or added. Will the same expenses continue into next year, or should they change? Each IT item of significant spend should be analyzed for improvements. Is there a better service out there that makes more sense for the organization? A better cost? Maybe a competitor exists that wasn’t available before. As technology continues to rapidly evolve, it’s important to pivot and evaluate what can be improved year-over-year to maximize the budget and ensure you’re spending smart.
Map out deadlines
Review IT-related deadlines that are important for 2019 and put them on a calendar. Map out the dates for any subscription renewals, software renewals or expiring warranties, and check contracts to ensure these dates are accurate. In most cases, contracts will require a “give notice” period or the terms will automatically renew. Write these down! A visual guideline of important deadlines will help you and the team keep track. In addition, you may consider creating task reminders well ahead of deadlines and share them with stakeholders. The stakeholders will appreciate the forewarning and you’ll have peace of mind that no deadline will sneak up on you or the team. In addition, if you’re looking to change any IT initiatives from the previous year, renewals are the optimal time to pivot to new and better technologies… but planning ahead is key!
Review goals and objectives
Evaluate how the team performed overall and individually in the past year. Which goals were hit, and where did you fall short? Then, review goals and objectives for the upcoming year. Set goals for 2019 to improve not only individual skillsets, but to enhance the strength of the organization as a whole. What new technologies in 2019 can the company adopt? Is there a new software that can be implemented? If so, start technical training and testing as early as possible. This will position yourself, your team and the company for success in the year to come.