Microsoft SMB Blog

Featuring business and technology insights from Cindy Bates
02/08/13 Posted by Cindy Bates It’s time to give your technology a performance review

You probably don’t think twice about conducting performance reviews with your employees, but when was the last time you gave your technology a performance review? Just as it makes good business sense

to evaluate how employees are performing and how they can improve, it also benefits your business to regularly assess how technology investments are serving the business and whether changes can be made to move your business forward.

When evaluating your technology and how well it supports your business objectives, I recommend that you structure the process by considering the following three technology priorities:

Productivity and collaboration – Consider how your technology enables employees to get things done, share information and work well as a team. Solicit employee feedback on where they experience bottlenecks in workflow and inefficiencies in their daily work tasks. Do the programs they use integrate well with respect to internal and external communications? Also, examine how well employees can communicate with one another and if they have a difficult time knowing when their colleagues are available. Depending upon what you find, you may want to explore enhanced productivity solutions that work across tablets, PCs and the phone to help your employees work better and smarter.

Mobility – Think of mobility, or the ability to work from anywhere, as a spectrum. If your business falls on the lowest end of the spectrum, then it lacks any capabilities to allow employees to conduct work outside the office. The highest end of the spectrum characterizes businesses that give employees secure access to the business anytime, anywhere and from nearly any device. Where does your business fall on this spectrum? You may have many of the tools that promote mobility, but still need plans and policies in place to facilitate smarter, more secure, remote working. Or, perhaps you could be leveraging existing remote capabilities to access a wider talent pool in disparate geographies.

Security – If only securing your business were as simple as locking up your office each night, right? Security is indeed multifaceted, thanks to the ever-changing and increasingly complex world of digital dangers. What measures does your business take to guard against security breaches, and do they include protection such as anti-virus software and malware removal? Have you considered the role cloud-based technology can play in improving your security? Do you have a plan in place for how you will respond in the event of a security breach? If these are solutions and processes not yet explored or implemented within your business, a performance review of your security measures can help point you in the right next direction.

I realize I’m only scratching the surface when it comes to explaining how to evaluate these three areas of your business’ technology. The good news is that now I can point you to a resource that will further assist you in assessing your technology – the Microsoft Assess Your Tech eGuide. This is a great resource for any SMB decision maker wanting to leverage business technology to the fullest, but needing a little direction when it comes to taking tangible actions in this area.

After taking a look at this e-guide, let me know what you think. Any areas where you want to see your business improve? Any areas where you’re pleasantly surprised to see that your business is faring pretty well? Please share in the comments below.

Read post
Cindy Bates on Twitter
Microsoft for Work Blog See all Microsoft for Work blog posts

Info Center
eGuides. Support resources. Business development articles. Read everything you need at the Small Business Info Center.