With the core components of an effective IT policy clarified, it’s time to consider creating and implementing one for your company.
But with so much to consider between each core area, all the technology you use, the needs and wants of your various departments, and the capabilities of your employees, there are quite a few barriers to developing and acting on your IT policy.
Let’s take a look at some of the common roadblocks and a few ideas for how to overcome them.
Employee buy-in is essential
Impacting employee behavior to increase security and more effectively utilize your IT infrastructure is a core goal of creating IT policies, so ensuring they understand why you’re implementing them and getting their buy-in is essential.
One of the key ways IT policies can fail is not incorporating the employee perspective and getting their buy-in.
If they see you’ve decided to restrict usage, change processes, or switch technologies like your accounting software without reason, you’ll undoubtedly create friction.
The “without reason” is the key phrase here, though; in many cases, simply explaining why you’ve made the change and how it’s better for the company and/or their work can be enough to get their support.
Getting their feedback before enacting the new policy or making the changes almost always eliminates this challenge before it becomes an issue.
Additionally, you’ll want to be sure to implement your new IT policy framework consistently.
If you’ve decided to not allow anyone to use company email to announce their daughter’s chocolate fundraiser, “letting it slide” when Stephanie does it but telling Harold it’s inappropriate when he does it will cause confusion and frustration for everyone.
Making the best use of company and employee time
Especially in busy companies, it’s easy to feel like there are always fires to fight and never enough time in the day.
This makes seemingly “high level” and “abstract” projects like creating and implementing IT policies easy to put on the backburner in favor of more urgent tasks (at least ones that seem so).
If you’re serious about increasing the security of your company’s IT infrastructure, reducing compliance risk, and more effectively utilizing your IT budgets by implementing new IT policies, you’ll need to stress the importance of the project to key stakeholders and eventually all your employees.
Other implementation challenges we’ve seen when it comes to employee time and prioritization include:
- Administrative and IT team burden: In some cases, your management team might have other projects that are just as much a priority as your IT policy, and your IT team might not have enough manpower to get the work done on time. In this case, hiring an outside firm to do the legwork.
- No IT policy role assigned: Without a clear understanding of who’s responsible for leading and managing your IT policy project, it’s easy to spend a lot of time discussing ideas for what to include and how important the project is without ever making progress on actually creating and implementing your new policies. If you want your IT policy to be successful, you’ll need to assign leadership and execution roles so it’s clear to everybody who’s involved and what they’re accountable for.
Need help developing an IT Policy? Contact us here: www.commprise.com