Improve Your IT Atmosphere

AtmosphereFor those of us who have played video games over the years, even though we are not hard-core gamers, the experience has changed. The technology has certainly advanced over time. More importantly, the user experience – the IT atmosphere – has improved.

Back in the day, video game sound provided basic contextual clues to guide your gameplay. Listen to a few seconds of the Atari Combat game soundtrack from 1977. With only 8 bits to work with, and speakers that could only play one note at a time, the beeps and buzzes react to player actions and provide a basic context for the game. 

Now listen to a minute of the Gusty Garden Galaxy Theme from Super Mario Galaxy from 2007. Even without seeing the game in action, you can hear and feel the motion of the game. The more than 80-piece orchestra does more than reflect player actions, it creates an atmosphere and sets a mood.

IT Atmosphere

The same evolution is true for your IT services. Historically, your IT services were there to help you complete tasks – send messages, write documents, and create spreadsheets. Today, your IT services should create a rich atmosphere that empowers your team and enables your business

From simple tools to feature-rich, integrated productivity suites, you and your team have access to features that save time and effort, foster collaboration, and save money.

And yet studies show that, on average, small businesses underutilize the tools they have. Studies show, for example, that small businesses only use 15% of their Microsoft 365 services. Oftentimes, lack of awareness (or education) results in adding other services and tools that duplicate existing features and capabilities.

Making Improvements

Creating an effective IT atmosphere involves more than having tools and services in place. An effective atmosphere is an environment that fosters communication, collaboration, and productivity for individuals and teams.

Know What You Have

Catalog the IT services and capabilities you have in place. Understand how your team is using the services and identify underutilized features and functions. Identify those that could be beneficial. 

Eliminate Duplicity

Remove duplicate and overlapping services from your environment. Ensure your team is using the same tools and resources. Create commonality and encourage sharing of best practices.

Educate, Train, and Support Your Team

Ensure your team is aware and understands how to take full advantage of the capabilities within their current workflows or as part of improved workflows. Guide team learning to align with their roles and responsibilities; keep it timely, relevant, and in digestible chunks. 

Manage Your Shadow IT

Shadow IT, the individual use of non-sanctioned tools, can trigger significant problems for your business. Beyond security and information privacy risks, shadow IT isolates information and people. Listen to why your team is using tools and work to ensure that those capabilities are within your ecosystem. Remove objections to using company systems while enforcing your policies.

Call to Action:

If you have not done so recently, now is a great time to step back and assess your IT services and solutions. Our Cloud Advisors are ready to help and assist with any questions or concerns. Contact us or schedule time with one of our Cloud Advisors

About the Author

Allen Falcon is the co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Global.  Allen co-founded Cumulus Global in 2006 to offer small businesses enterprise-grade email security and compliance using emerging cloud solutions. He has led the company’s growth into a managed cloud service provider with over 1,000 customers throughout North America. Starting his first business at age 12, Allen is a serial entrepreneur. He has launched strategic IT consulting, software, and service companies. An advocate for small and midsize businesses, Allen served on the board of the former Smaller Business Association of New England, local economic development committees, and industry advisory boards.