Our founder Phil Robinson loves improving processes. He talks frequently about Kaizen, which is a Japanese term meaning “change for the better” or “continuous improvement”. The idea is that as an organization i.t.NOW is continually working to refine its processes to improve the value and experience we deliver to our clients.
We also have a saying around the office, “Never let a crisis go to waste”. When things go wrong, we want to learn as much as possible so we can prevent that disaster in the future. We also want to use what we learn to improve how we deliver service.
Basic Steps of Kaizen
There are essentially 7 basic steps to the Kaizen process.
- Get employees involved – The idea here is to have an open forum where ideas can be discussed freely akin to brainstorming. We want to identify areas for improvement.
- Gather a list of problems – You may have a lot of problems to start with. Discuss as a group which one you think is the most pressing and focus on that.
- Encourage solutions – Ask everyone how to fix the problem. Pick an idea that you think has promise.
- Test the solution – Find a way to test the solution that you’ve implemented and put it in place.
- Measure the results – Take the results of your testing and measure progress. Analyze the data to see what progress you’ve made on fixing the problem you set out to solve.
- Adopt the Solution – If your testing shows a positive outcome implement the solution and make it the new standard or process.
- Repeat – One of the main ideas of Kaizen is that it is an ever-evolving process of continuous improvement. If you’ve solved one problem, then go back to your list and pick another and start over again.
This idea has had a significant impact on our business. It has helped us to grow as a company and refine our processes for service delivery into something we’re proud of. In addition, because of the ever-evolving nature of technology we feel it’s a critical part of our identity as a company. It has changed how we think and approach things like network security and keeping our clients safe.
The team at i.t.NOW has been meeting a lot recently to discuss the next evolution in network security. There are constantly evolving threats that we must protect against.
COVID-19 has presented some unique challenges for many of our clients that didn’t exist before. There are more folks working from home that need to securely share data stored on the network and the cloud. This has also led to an increase in bring your own device. With a multitude of devices from various manufacturers there are more entry points than ever for bad actors. There is also frequently no security on those shadow devices and IT has little or no control over them.
We have our work cut out for us. The good news is that we already had a strong security plan in place for our clients, so we had a great jumping off point. We’ve been discussing numerous solutions that will help to fill the gaps in security that COVID has created.
Many are already in place and working. More are currently being tested. We won’t ever stop working on it. That’s the only way to make sure that our clients are as safe as they can be.
If your IT provider isn’t continually working to improve how they deliver service and keep your data safe, then the crisis is going to waste. Let’s talk about how continuous improvement in IT can help your business.