The new year has finally arrived, which means that employers across the country are beginning to reassess their priorities, staffing needs, and long-term goals.
Needless to say, a lot has changed over the course of the last year. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally reshaped some of the pillars and best practices of business that have been in place for generations. But as every experienced business leader knows, change is an inevitable and unavoidable fact of life. It’s how we respond to these changes – both as individuals and as organizations – that ultimately determines our success.
One of the most consequential changes that was introduced by the pandemic, and that continues to affect employers across industries today, has been the huge surge in cybersecurity threats. According to one recent report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there has been a 400% increase in cybersecurity breaches since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in the spring of 2020. That same report also notes that there was a single, particularly scary day in the midst of the pandemic in which there were a staggering 5,000 individual cybersecurity breaches that were reported in the United States.
Reading facts and figures like this can be nerve-wracking, particularly if you’re an employer who’s trying to regain a semblance of stability and control after (what will hopefully prove to be) the worst of the crisis. But here’s the most important thing to remember: Though the challenges of our new business landscape are certainly great, they are not insurmountable. Throughout the past several months, a wide variety of new best practices have emerged that can help employers to adapt to – and even thrive within – that rapidly shifting landscape.
Best practices within the information technology (IT) sector – in response to the enormous, pandemic-era cybersecurity challenges mentioned above – have perhaps been subjected to the most pronounced changes of all.
How IT Managers Can Equip their Teams for Success
Therefore, it’s critical for modern IT managers and tech leaders to understand these new best practices and implement them into their teams’ day-to-day operations. We hear you: That’s a feat that’s much more easily said than done, especially during this unprecedented era of remote work.
However, the good news is that this is a goal that can be achieved more easily than you might think. The key is to familiarize yourself with what you’re up against and develop a strategy that will enable you to execute a realistic attack plan
With all of those ideas in mind, here are four tips that can help IT managers and tech leaders properly equip their teams for success in 2021:
Clarify your team’s goal.
These days, with most employees working remotely, it can be extremely difficult for managers to cultivate and sustain a sense of common purpose across their teams. One of the negative side effects of remote work, after all, is that it can often lead to feelings of isolation.
One of the most effective ways for IT managers to minimize those feelings of isolation and to maximize a sense of unity across their team is to promote a common goal. When everyone was working under a single roof, it was easy for everyone to feel a sense of common purpose. Things have become a bit more complicated now that most of us are working remotely. As managers, it’s our responsibility to maintain a clear team vision that ties directly into the broader goals of the company, and then to communicate that vision effectively among our team members.
Define your objectives as clearly as possible.
Another common challenge that remote teams have faced during the pandemic is the tendency for details to be lost in the airwaves of Zoom meetings and Slack messages. It can be tricky, in other words, for teams to communicate effectively using only digital tools.
On the one hand, the fact that we’ve become increasingly reliant on these digital tools means that we can’t entirely eliminate the risk of miscommunication. We can, however, minimize those risks by clearly and carefully defining our objectives and key results (OKRs) at the beginning of each project.
Make time for (frequent) check-ins.
Establishing OKRs at the beginning of each project is a great starting point, but it should not be regarded as a one-and-done sort of a strategy. In order to produce optimal results, each OKR should be carefully monitored throughout the entire duration of a project. To that end, every IT leader should make it a top priority to hold frequent team meetings. During those regular meetings, one of the top agenda items should be the assessment and progress review of specific OKRs.
Stay educated, stay empowered.
In our quickly evolving business landscape, it’s more important than ever for business leaders to stay informed. With each passing day, new and unfamiliar technological challenges are manifesting themselves. In order to remain one step ahead of those challenges, business leaders must be able to integrate new tools and best practices at a moment’s notice. In light of that, every IT manager should commit themselves to the following new year’s resolution in 2021: To remain up-to-date about the latest changes happening within their industry, and to maintain a flexible work model that will allow them to more nimbly adapt to these relentless, industry-wide shifts.
Strengthen Your IT Team Today
At Patel Consultants, our mission is to provide IT employers with the workforce solutions and resources that will keep their teams functioning smoothly during the pandemic – and beyond. To learn more about our services or to start the process of finding your next star employee, please contact us today!