Whether you own a small store or part of a Conglomerate, COVID-19 affected your business. It has forced us to conduct our business online from the confines of our homes. At time like this, the need for IT policy and procedures is increasing.
The co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, once said:
“If your business is not on the Internet, your business will be out of business” – Bill Gates.
At times like today, that statement has come true. Managing remote workers alone is a complete task in itself. Now, if your business is not on the Internet, the competition will soon take over.
The information age is all about data. Policy and procedures outline how to use information in the best possible way.
In this article, we will discuss six reasons why your company needs an IT policy and procedures.
What are IT Policy and Procedures?
The IT policy and procedures define the rules and regulations regarding the use of technology in an organization. It ensures that the employees use IT resources with responsibility and show a noble work ethic.
Policy vs. Procedures
The words policy and procedure are used in conjunction all the time. The words are often confused, but let’s clarify the difference between policy and procedure.
A policy defines the principles that guide the decision-making process in an organization. It elaborates on the Whats and Whys for an organization.
A procedure is a set of steps and activities that you perform to complete a specific task. The purpose of a well-defined procedure is to spend more time on productive tasks instead of day-to-day activities.
In a nutshell, policies are rules, and procedures are the steps we take to implement those rules.
Why You Need IT Policy and Procedures
The online world is vast and full of various types of information. To exist online, you need a set of policies and procedures to give yourself and your employees a roadmap.
The policy and procedures outline the day-to-day activities and ensure that you’re following rules and regulations. They also guide decision-making and problem-solving.
Common Types of IT Policy and Procedures
Every organization requires various IT policies and procedures to operate efficiently. Some common types of IT policy and procedures are the following:
Acceptable Use Policies
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), also known as fair use policy, is an essential set of regulations. It outlines how a user can and should use a website, network, or service.
The Acceptable use policy outlines the following key elements:
- Set of Rules: it includes the set of rules implemented by the business. An example of the rules can be no hate comments on the blog section of the website.
- Consequence: the AUP document also covers the result if someone breaks a rule. For example, a warning or access suspension to a specific product or service.
- Organization’s Philosophy: AUP also explains an organization’s philosophy for access privileges. For example, during work hours, internet use is a privilege (not a right), which can be revoked (if need be).
Information Security Policies
Information security policies are vital for any organization. They outline rules and procedures to protect an organization from online threats and handle situations where they occur.
The objectives of information security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
- Confidentiality: only people with access privileges can access a particular product or service.
- Integrity: the available data should be accurate, complete, and intact. The system should also be operational and reliable.
- Availability: the users should be able to access the system when needed.
Network Security Standard Policies
Network security standard policies provide standards and rules for network access. It outlines all the known risks, issues, and redundancy in a system.
Computer networks are vulnerable to various types of attacks and viruses. The network security policies educate the users and staff on how to protect your assets online. The assets (in this case) include passwords, documents, personal information, or servers.
These policies also establish guidelines for configuring and auditing computer systems and networks.
Service-related policies are crucial as they’re directly related to the organization’s services. These policies outline the development, delivery, and support for the IT services. IT services include development, installation, support, maintenance, project management, and user training.
Service-related policies improve the customer experience and make it easy for the staff to deal with various issues.
6 Reasons Why Your Company Needs IT Policy and Procedures
In the information age, computers run organizations. IT policy and procedures are becoming unavoidable.
We will discuss six reasons why your organization needs IT policy and procedures.
Elaborate Mission and Vision Statements
The IT policy and procedure elaborate on the mission and vision statements of an organization.
In the vision and mission statements, an organization outlines its current and future objectives. These statements work as a milestone to achieve success. They reflect the philosophy and ideology behind the organization and everything it stands for!
Once we have set the milestones, all we need is a roadmap. Policy and procedure provide a roadmap and explain how an organization should work for success.
Articulation of Procedure
It’s easier to do something when you know the exact moves. Procedures provide the step-by-step guidelines on how to act and handle a particular scenario.
The procedures eliminate the need to think all over again. One can focus on creative stuff rather than routine tasks.
Defines Rules and Regulations
In the IT policy and procedures, the rules and regulations are put in place. The documents define what can and cannot occur and what happens if you don’t follow the rules.
Once you have the rules and regulations, it’s just a matter of consistency to make an organization successful.
Compliance with Law
The policy and procedures ensure the company’s performance is compliant with the law.
For example, the AUP policies restrict how a website, service, or network should operate. With an AUP, the organization can handle issues if anything happens.
When you set up and follow procedures, the workflow is consistent. This consistency sets standards and works as a foundation for a training manual.
You can review changes over time and follow best practices to improve the process. However, this cannot happen until you start with a policy.
The policy and procedures work as a performance measure for an organization. Once we have set up a standard, we can measure the organization’s employees’ individual and general performance.
Where Do You Stand Now?
If your organization has not set up its policy and procedures until now, then there is no better time than today!
You company needs IT policy and procedure to grow faster. Creating a policy and procedure template takes up a lot of time and money for an organization. You can get a ready-made IT policy and procedures template to standardize your business process at a low cost and no time!