This article is a quick look at what I see as being your areas of focus right now, as at September, 2020.
For most SMEs, I see consolidation being the key activity happening across your IT ecosystem right now.
There will be some cash rich businesses that will be (or perhaps should be) pursuing discretionary projects, but for most businesses that I am talking to, the focus right now is definitely on polishing what you already have, rather than building new functionality.
By discretionary projects I mean projects which bring new functionality to your business; by consolidation projects, I am talking about those projects which polish or improve existing functionality.
When you are working on consolidation projects, I urge you to consider maintenance.
In common with very many businesses this year, one business I am aware of has been working out how to engage with their client / user base online. In order to do this, they have purchased a new domain name, and set up a whole lot of infrastructure around that. I am not able to recommend this approach – this is very likely to leave a legacy of maintenance which I believe will cause headaches down the line. Better to have found a way of using their existing ecosystem, and using that as the basis for new engagement.
As a side note, this has highlighted the issue of how, as an organisation, it is possible to share across your user base without creating domain accounts for all of your users. I will look at this another time.
So, my take away here is do nothing at this time, which may appear to be expedient, which will later cause you a maintenance issue.
Something else which I urge you to consider is consistency. This is important in your day-to-day operations, but should also form part of your thinking when considering consolidation or discretionary projects.
A good for instance here, is naming conventions. If you are creating new user accounts within your domain, stick to a good naming convention – do not mix differing conventions. At best this will confuse users and people that you interact with, but at worst can lead to serious mistakes.
Take care, and enjoy the remainder of September. I’ll be back in October with another article.