IT Checklist

Here are expert articles written by IT managers from cutting edge companies.

Our goal is to help modern IT management improve their operation, security and communication.

IT Security Checklist
Manager Checklist

IT Strategy

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How to Create a Comprehensive IT Strategy

Anoush d'Orville
Anoush d'Orville

Expert Opinion:

No matter how many resources a company spends on network security, spam filters, and hardware or software, the biggest vulnerability to networks are still humans!

Anoush d'Orville
Anoush d'Orville
CEO at Ad.Visory
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IT Operating Model

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Overview:

IT has long become part of the business using connectivity, business analytics and automation to launch new opportunities. With evolving needs, there has been different approaches to categorize new IT Operating models: The digital factory model, Agile IT and many more. Read on to find out which suits your business the most!

Office Setup

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IT Equipment Leasing Models

Jay Remotti
Jay Remotti
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Overview:

Spending on IT equipment can quickly chalk up high costs, especially if one undertakes the wrong model. Should IT equipment be purchased or leased? There are also various models of leasing, so it can be quite tricky to decide on one too. Jay from ONTRAPORT shares with us his approach!

Expert Opinion:

It is important to note that IT doesn’t make these decisions -- we bring the options to management. From there, the management will then factor in their model and make the right choice, since there might be other considerations like launching large marketing campaigns which take up free cash flow and make leasing more attractive.
Jay Remotti
Jay Remotti
IT Manager at ONTRAPORT
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Remote IT Management

Alexander Bøegh
Alexander Bøegh
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Overview:

With remote employees, it is definitely tougher to keep them fulfilled and engaged. This will very likely entail a drop in their productivity, threatening the bottom line as a result. However, despite the lack of face-to-face interactions, there are certainly avenues to keep remote employees engaged. You don’t need a team lunch or team event to do so.

Expert Opinion:

If we have to get on a remote support call, we will then ping the colleague on skype and then set up a GoToMeeting for screen share. In more extreme cases, we use FaceTime to see what is going on in real time, e.g. if a printer is clogged.
Alexander Bøegh
Alexander Bøegh
IT Manager at Bjarke Ingels Group
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Tools:

  • Mc Afee for antivirus software
  • Culture Amp to collect, understand and act on employee feedback

Office Technology

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Office Security Systems

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Overview:

Office security systems typically consist of access control, alarm and video surveillance. Depending on the type of office and industry you are in, there might be different approaches and requirements. The usual process would include asking a security consultant to get a system designed.

Tools:

Kisi for cloud access control

DUO for two-factor authorization.

HVAC Basics

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Overview:

Some people might feel hot, others are cold. There is only one thermostat in your company - what to do? It starts with the design of HVAC systems to design a layout that distributes heat or cool air evenly across the facility. However there are clever tools such as Comfy that might help your workforce to tell you how they feel about the temperature so you can react faster.

Tools:

Comfy for connecting people and HVAC systems

BuildingIQ for technology-enabled services to ensure comfort

Meeting and Conference Room Booking

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Overview:

We know how annoying it is to have an important call but no quiet meeting room is available. Enabling your workforce to meet and have productive calls using conference room booking apps is essential. 

From what we’ve seen, many companies simply use different calendars for different rooms which might be easiest for a small number of meeting rooms. And if you don’t have any meeting rooms anymore, there’s still Breather!

Tools:

  • Robin to schedule meeting rooms in office
  • Breather to book meeting rooms and spaces on-demand
  • Google Calendar to schedule meeting rooms bookings

Video Conferencing Tips

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Overview:

Especially with sales-heavy or distributed teams, you are likely tangled in endless video conferences. From our own painful experience, we can attest that main benchmarks should be reliability, quality of the microphone, speaker as well as an investment in a large HD screen. 

Don't take our word for it though. read on for yourself!

Tools:

Laws on Surveillance Cameras in The Workplace

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Overview:

Companies in the recent years are getting increasingly worried, and thus setting up surveillance cameras to monitor the workplace or the office. 

As an IT manager, it’s easy to get carried away by the variety of products, but laws can be quite restrictive depending on the geographical area, type of employees (e.g. union workers) and type of area you are looking to do active surveillance in.

Business Cell Phone Plans

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Overview:

BYOD is great, but as soon as employees start complaining around expensive calls or data usage, you might need to provide a business cell phone plan. Naturally the best option to limit expenses here is to clearly define who will need cell phone plans, e.g. executives or salesforce.

Choosing an ISP

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Overview:

While there are different types of internet like DSL, cable, satellite, or fiber, many companies these days go the fiber route, even deploying redundant fiber cables as backup. 

Sometimes microwave internet is being used as another redundancy layer, but the classic internet connectivity methods we are used to from our homes lost almost all relevance in business contexts. 

User facing IT

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Yubikey Review - Hardware Authentication Tokens for Two Factor

Justin Millett
Justin Millett

Expert Opinion:

The need for two-factor identification is imminent with the rise of office employees working remotely and traveling—often leaving their laptops in cars, trains or subways. In this post, Justin Millett,  IT Analyst at Carris Reels, gives an overview of why they looked into Yubico’s YubiKey, how YubiKey compares to other hardware authentication devices on the market and gives us a quick review of YubiKey.

Justin Millett
Justin Millett
IT Analyst at Carris Reels
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On and Offboarding

Nick Church
Nick Church
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Overview:

The best employee onboarding processes are the ones which are comprehensive yet not cumbersome. As for offboarding, the process needs to ensure that all security loopholes are addressed and that there won't be any potential security threats. Read on to find out how Nick from Bettercloud has perfected these two processes!

Expert Opinion:

Our gold standard in employee onboarding is that people start on Friday. Earlier that week on Tuesday, their google accounts get provisioned and access to most programs gets turned on -- including access to the building.
Nick Church
Nick Church
IT Specialist at BetterCloud
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Fixing Bad WiFi

Asaf Benaroch
Asaf Benaroch
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Overview:

Needless to say, setting up WiFi for enterprises is much more complicated and bad WiFi is a no-go. The area to be covered is much larger, and uptime has to be a hundred percent. It is essential to do sufficient research before deciding on the service provider and the plan as switching can be rather troublesome.

Expert Opinion:

The #1 thing to do is to do a survey to measure signal strength in dbm - look at a location where the antenna is, see which antennas are operating in the surrounding area to see other antennas that reach into this location. Only after doing this do you pick the channel that has the least competitiveness.
Asaf Benaroch
Asaf Benaroch
Founder & CEO at Frantic, LLC
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Device Management

Daniel Macias
Daniel Macias
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Overview:

With the prevalence of many different IT devices in workspaces today and the increasing threat of data theft, Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the undisputed cornerstone of a company’s data safety. The wide array of MDM tools can be rather confusing, thus we have broken down the different tools.

Expert Opinion:

"Most businesses deploy MDM when they’re required to: prospect security requirements, or business certifications requirements. The advice I would give someone looking into device management is to get started as soon as you think it is an issue."
Daniel Macias
Daniel Macias
Head of IT at Bugcrowd
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Vendor Management

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Certified Google Administrator

Trevor Jones
Trevor Jones
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Overview:

Trevor describes what drove him to become a Certified Google Administrator, what the experience was like and the benefits he now experiences.

Expert Opinion:

Using Google is intuitive, most of the time, and if you are using G Suite for work it will be second nature for you. I basically took one week to prepare for the test with their online materials.

Trevor Jones
Trevor Jones
IT Manager at Century 21
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Tools:

Links:

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Vendor Security Assessments

Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson
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Overview:

Especially with GDPR laws kicking in, how your vendors handle data is also an area of your concern. Thus it only makes sense to put them through a rigorous security assessment before engaging them. Having said that however, the assessment process should not be a chore in a bid to achieve rigor. Dave shows us how Greenhouse's vendor security assessments are both rigorous and efficient!

Expert Opinion:

Today, we add a security review to the procurement process ensuring that any vendor who could impact information security is properly vetted before we sign the contract.
Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson
Director of Security & IT at Greenhouse Software
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Tools:

For preliminary vendor assessment, IT Experts recommend having them submit:

SOC 2 Type 2 Report

ISO 27001 Certificate

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IT Budgets

Zachary Lindeman
Zachary Lindeman
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Overview:

Defining IT budgets is a tricky issue that IT managers will have to deal with at least once every year, or perhaps even every quarter. Among other considerations, IT managers will need to determine the costs and benefits of each budget decision.

Expert Opinion:

In order for an IT director to efficiently decide what to spend money on, he has to be an essential partner to the business- not just a “tech plumber” whom people call on demand.
Zachary Lindeman
Zachary Lindeman
IT Manager at Work&Co
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