Basic IT setups may work for small companies, but those who hope to grow may need to seek help from professionals.
If you’re seeking peace of mind for your data, you should always be on the lookout for ways to improve your IT. This is especially true for companies who handle sensitive consumer information, who need to establish continuity in case .
To help you get started, we brought IT expert David Papp to explain the benefits of IT strategy. He also provides us with a free pdf download with vital tips, which can be found here: http://www.davidpapp.com/20questions
David is a tech pioneer specializing in CyberSecurity & Privacy, Social Media & Marketing, Technology Management, and Blockchain. With a degree in computer engineering and numerous industry certifications over 25 years, he is well-recognized in all things tech. He spends his time helping businesses and individuals embrace technology to thrive in the online world. His popularity as an everyday “tech expert” has made him a popular media resource.
You Can get in touch with David at https://davidpapp.com/
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00:00 – Show Opening
Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard.
00:27 – Podcast content starts here!
Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast, where we give you the tips and the strategies that you need to grow your leadership skills and learn how to run outstanding meetings.
00:38 – Why all leaders need an IT strategy
Today on the show we’re going to tackle an issue that is critical for all professionals, especially those who are at the top of the food chain. Because today, we’re going to talk about why all leaders need an IT strategy, and to do this we’re lucky enough to have David Papp, an IT expert, back on the show.
00:57 – More from David Papp – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/79
Now for those of you who don’t remember, David was on episode 79 and it was called Why All Leaders Need an IT Audit. Well today, David is going to bring his big picture perspective to help you, as a leader, really figure out why you need continuity in the IT area, and I’m not going to steal any more from this great interview. Here it is with David Papp.
01:21 – Welcome back, David Papp
David Papp, welcome back to the show. You knocked it out of the park in episode 79. That’s why we’ve got you back here again to get us more into the technology things that leaders really need to know.
Gordon Sheppard: For folks that haven’t heard that episode, I can tell you I come by inviting David Papp onto this show very honestly. He is a worldwide known technology expert. He’s a business owner, he’s an entrepreneur, he’s a professional speaker. I’ve seen him in all these different areas and I’ve even recommended him to do things like build websites and do social media and IT recommendations for my very own clients. I cannot say enough.
Gordon Sheppard: David, welcome to the show.
David Papp: Yeah, thanks, Gord. Always a pleasure.
02:01 – Question – Gord: What are the sort of thing you want people to know about yourself?
Gordon Sheppard: For the folks that don’t know you, what are the sort of things that you’d like them to know about yourself?
David Papp: I’m a computer engineer by training. I have a number of different industry certifications and I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. I feel that I’m a technology pioneer and truly at the forefront, and I’m one of those guys, I feel, that understands the forest from the trees. I understand the big picture, so my analogy there is I consider myself a general contractor of technology.
David Papp: I do have some specializations of myself that I understand and I can dump into, but essentially, being a general contractor in technology, I think there’s a requirement for a lot of organizations to view the big picture and how one area can affect another and how you can have optimizations or problems can emerge because you haven’t actually considered what the big picture is like.
Gordon Sheppard: Well, and that is a perfect lead in into today’s topic that we talked about before the show, which is titled Why All Leaders Need an IT Strategy.
03:00 – Question – Gord: What’s the first thing you want people to know about IT strategy?
Gordon Sheppard: Now, when I think about the leaders hearing “IT strategy” and their eyes are glazing over, how can we give them some hope? What’s the first thing that you need them to know?
David Papp: Here are some things that you want to avoid. A lot of organizations have either one individual or a few individuals who are part of their IT department, and a lot of instances it’s somebody who happened to know a little bit more about computers than the owner of the company. They knew where the power switch was, they know to turn it on and off and reboot things when there was a problem. So, hey, you’re in charge of tech.
David Papp: It’s not to say that not a lot of people out there have any formal training. I’m just saying that this is a common trend that I’m seeing in a lot of organizations.
David Papp: So what happens there is they get really stuck because they’re in firefighting mode. They’re always being responsive to different problems that are occurring with an organization, they’re reacting to things, but they’re not actually being proactive and trying to move forward. So that’s number one.
David Papp: Number two is there are some things that we can do, if we knew about them ahead of time, that would help protect and insulate our organization to be more resistant to disasters, to problems.
04:06 – Why you should engage outside expertise
Gordon Sheppard: And when I hear what you’re saying, that person that is in that role, who’s inexperienced, they are not in a position because there’s so many things that are changing so rapidly. So to not engage sort of an outside expert at least once in awhile doesn’t make a lot of sense.
David Papp: Hundred percent. And you know what? It’s not possible to know it all. In fact, I feel very dumb when it comes to tech. And I jokingly say that it’s because the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. There is so much to this.
David Papp: For anybody to have a large enough ego that they think they know it all, they’re the wrong person for that job. They should be open to exploring new things that they possibly didn’t consider or realize existed. You know, different Cloud offerings that could make their life easier and optimize the business further and help improve further sales or leads for the organization or make you more resilient to disaster.
David Papp: And then the next bullet point is that what happens if that individual is the only person who knows everything about your technology and they are gone? Something happens.
Gordon Sheppard: Wow.
David Papp: By a bus, they leave, you have a disagreement with them and they hold you hostage. Like, there are a number scenarios where the IT people within the organization have more access to information and power within the organization than the owner and president of the company, because they have access to, in a lot of cases, accounting information, payroll, client lists, email, they can look at your emails, they can look at your sent messages. They have the keys to the kingdom.
Gordon Sheppard: And yet we put so much trust in them to not look. So hopefully you’ve got someone who’s got some good values and they’re not looking. But like you’ve said, this is actually a risk to the business and, in fact, beyond the individual itself.
05:36 – Continuity is critical
Gordon Sheppard: So like if, again, it’s someone that’s grown up in the organization, you might like Sally, you might like Bob, they’re the one who learned how to turn things on and get things going, but this is bigger than them, and the role is what we’re looking at. And from the organization’s point of view, continuity is critical.
David Papp: Absolutely. I mean, you can completely paralyze an organization because of a technology problem, whether it’s all of a sudden your main server goes offline, or your data is gone, or your email goes offline. Any one of these are considered disasters to an organization because all of a sudden they disappear off the map. Clients can’t get a hold of them, they can’t find out about problems, they can’t respond.
David Papp: It’s actually a very bad situation that I have helped many, many organizations through because this is reality. It happens. You’re not immune to this. Don’t think you’re immune to this. It will happen one day because technology is not 100% safe, it’s not 100% secure, it’s not 100% robust. We can do a lot of things to mitigate those risks and make it more redundant and more fail safe, but you’re never going to have 100%.
06:52 – Question – Gord: What can leaders do about ensuring continuity?
Gordon Sheppard: I have actually been through that moment where I thought my email was running correctly, and it wasn’t, and I missed out on business opportunities. I just I’ve lived it, I so hear the wisdom in what you’re saying. What can leaders do about this?
David Papp: There’s a couple things that can be done. The first thing is you interviewed me in a prior episode with regards to just bringing in an outside consultant to ask questions of you and to do what we call a mini audit or a mini assessment of your organization. It’s just a paint a picture of where you’re at, make some recommendations.
David Papp: I frequently say that RIT people have this thing called the stuck in a box syndrome, and it means that we’re operating within our bubble and we just react within our bubble and we only know what exists inside our bubble. So a consultant and other people in peer groups can help bring ideas of what other organizations are doing and what works and what doesn’t and learn from the mistakes of other people.
David Papp: So what you do is you just engage a consultant once in awhile, just like you do for lawyers and engineers and doctors and chartered accountants, bring in an IT expert to help you out, and honestly, within a couple hours you will have so much value out of that meeting with them because they will point out some things that maybe you’re doing wrong that you haven’t considered yet, or some technology that you should investigate further, some more cost-effective approaches where you can save some money.
David Papp: Truly, I feel passionate that this is something that every organization should do on a regular basis. That’s number one.
Gordon Sheppard: And so many people see that as a cost, that in the same way they’re like, “Oh, that high-priced lawyer, whatever.” But in fact, it really is an investment, because if you’re able to make them aware of the right thing to go forward to, specifically from, say, a cost saving point of view or even a personnel investment point of view, because there’s so many things that are happening in IT that can either enhance our businesses or help us do even more, it’s a really good investment.
David Papp: Absolutely. Truly, truly is a worthwhile investment and should never be seen as an expense. It is something that you will gain a tremendous amount of value out of.
09:18 – Why the 20 questions are so important
Gordon Sheppard: Well, this is great, and I remember we had the download from the last episode, and it’s going to be the same one again today, because it’s the 20 questions that you recommend people at least consider. And why do you think these 20 questions are so important?
David Papp: The 20 questions are just the basis to get you thinking about the different areas of your technology within your organization of things that you might not have even thought of or things that maybe you’ve taken for granted that they’re operating right now, and maybe they aren’t.
David Papp: A tiny little story: I was working on a case file with somebody who was religiously doing their backups. Every single day they were swapping out their, and back then it was cassette tapes, putting it in, taking it offsite, and yet nobody was paying attention to the error log that was in there, realizing that for three years, none of those backups was working. It was failing within the first five minutes.
David Papp: And then the server which they had had RAID on it, meaning redundant hard-drives. So, hey, the server’s not going to fail, but you know what? One by one those hard drives starting to fail. So all of a sudden you no longer have redundancy on that server and then the final hard drive dies so all your data’s gone, because again, nobody’s paying attention to looking at the hardware because, hey, it’s got fail safe built in and redundancy. And then they lost everything. They had to rebuild everything from paper because the data recovery wasn’t even possible those drives were so dead.
David Papp: But catching things like this by just taking a look at it, and if you don’t have the time, you can have somebody else from outside take a look at it. So what I encourage a lot of people to do, and I’m going to throw a few acronyms at people here, are to do what’s called a disaster recovery plan, or a business continuity plan, or a combination of the two. We call it a business resiliency plan.
10:25 – Disaster Recovery Planning
David Papp: What this is is it’s a living document that you ask those 20 questions. There’s templates out there that you can go and start to fill with what are a list of all your IT assets. What are a list of your software? Where’s the stuff hosted? What is the calling list that the tree of people that you need to call in the event of a disaster? Where is your stuff stored? Where are your main passwords in case something happens?
David Papp: Now, this document has a number of benefits for it. The first thing is you as an owner, or as a business C-suite, executive within your organization, will have some of the control over some of that information so you know where things are at and where the holes are within your organization.
David Papp: Number two, let’s say you had a disagreement with your IT manager or they left or they got hit by a bus and something bad happened. At least you would have some of that information intact so that you’re not actually completely locked out of your own computers and servers because the passwords are gone and you don’t even have access to it.
David Papp: And number three, I think by having this as a living document, it keeps you on your toes and it makes sure that you’re acting more proactive in your organization when it comes to technology and not so much reactive. And again, I don’t care if this is just as simple as a spreadsheet, or a Google document, or a notepad on your phone. I just say you have to have something. You need to start somewhere. And like you indicated, I have 20 questions to help seed this process.
12:13 – Free download: 20 Questions Every Company Should Ask Themselves – http://www.davidpapp.com/20questions
Gordon Sheppard: And where can people get the 20 questions?
David Papp: The 20 questions are located on my website. It’s a single page PDF handout. I kept it really simple. You don’t even know need to know all the answers to these questions, but it’s basically www.davidpapp.com, so my name, /20questions. And 20 can be a two zero, or spelled out as twenty. They’ll both work. Once again, Davidpapp.com/20questions.
Gordon Sheppard: And I’ll make sure that everybody can get a link to that in my show notes as well.
Gordon Sheppard: Well obviously, this has been a highly valuable episode for why all leaders need an IT strategy. David, thank you so much for sharing your expertise on the show.
David Papp: Anytime, Gorge. This stuff is truly a passion of mine and it’s always a pleasure to talk with you.
12:57 – If you invest in IT consistently, it becomes a strategic asset
Gordon Sheppard: Well I have to say that one of the big reasons that I do these interviews is to get experts on like David Papp. David Papp has a ton of answers and he puts it in a way that the folks that listen to this podcast, the folks who are trying to develop their leadership skills and abilities, he’s put it in a way that you can absorb it and put it into action.
Gordon Sheppard: The big takeaway from me in that episode as a leader, well, it’s the word continuity. If you invest in your IT consistently, it becomes an asset, a strategic asset, and that is a great thing for any organization.
Gordon Sheppard: And just in case you missed it, David was on episode 79 on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. It was called Why All Leaders Need an IT Audit. He gave a lot of good practical advice and you can get that episode by going to Meetingleadershipinc.com/79.
Gordon Sheppard: We are also lucky enough to have David coming back in episode 99 when he’s going to share an inspirational story from his own life. He’s going to talk about Gary Vaynerchuk and how Gary Vaynerchuk has really influenced him to get things done. You can get that episode by going to Meetingleadershipinc.com/99.
14:28 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy
Gordon Sheppard: I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. If you’d like to learn how to be a good facilitator, how to improve your team meeting agendas and a whole lot more, then visit Meetingleadershipinc.com/academy.
Gordon Sheppard: As always, thank you so much for listening and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
14:52 – Podcast Outro
Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader, and don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.
Links From This Episode
- MLP 079: Why All Leaders Need An IT Audit – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/79
- MLP 099: Inspiring Leadership Stories with David Papp – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/99
- FREE download: 20 Questions Every Company Should Ask Themselves – http://www.davidpapp.com/20questions
- David Papp’s official site: http://www.davidpapp.com
- Meeting Leadership Academy – https//meetingleadershipinc.com/academy
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