It is a new year and a great time to kick bad habits and start anew. Most of us make resolutions with good intent but lose the focus by February to continue. This year, let us think about IT resolutions!

Have you made any IT Resolutions?

By: R. Curtis Thompson, CPA.CITP, CISA

When you hear the term ‘New Year’s Resolution’ the first thing most of us think about is losing weight, getting into shape, or eating better. None of these are easy but all would improve our health. Let’s translate these good ideas into the IT world.

Lose weight: I remember installing a Windows 2000 server that had 30GB of disk space and thinking; ‘we’ll never use all this space!’ Boy was that a long time ago! Now we have terabytes of space and no end in sight. The battle cry has been that drives are cheap so we can just add more drives. Well so is fast food! Now I need to lose weight from the cheap fast food and our networks need to trim down as well. Like being overweight, too much data slows us down.

For 2016, make a resolution to trim down the files you have. Are you really ever going to use those spreadsheets from 2005? Do you think the emails about your vacation last year is worth saving? Spend a little time and lose some of the unneeded baggage you have on your hard drive.

Getting into shape: Getting into shape goes hand-in-hand with losing weight! Losing weight is a great idea but if you don’t exercise and build up muscle, you are still going to have a hard time being efficient! Like getting your body in shape organizing your computer will help build muscle in how you work. Having a desktop full of icons and files is not efficient and it looks bad.

This year, move items to folders that make sense. I have folders for clients, regulations, software, audit info, etc. You can do this in Outlook as well and it will help you to get your hard drive in better shape and make you work go faster!

Eating Better: Learning to eat the right foods will help the cause of losing weight and getting in shape just like learning to use your software better. Most people probably use less than half the features available in the software we use. Sometimes that is because you don’t need all the functions but by learning what they are and trying some may open up new doors!

Why not resolve to try and learn some new Excel functions or keyboard shortcuts? Try Googling something you do every day, like copying a file, and see if you can find another way of doing it. Just like getting lost in the organic food isle, you can get lost in Google-land and spend hours looking at the billion hits you got on how to copy a file!

Happy New Years!

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Curtis Thompsom

Throughout his time at YHB Curtis has provided IT audit and consulting to clients, even while holding the position of the firm’s IT director for several years. Now, as head of the YHB Risk Advisory Services Team, Curtis focuses on assisting organizations in a variety of industries with internal audits and IT-related audit and consulting services. Also, he frequently speaks and gives presentations on SOX compliance, internal controls, and data security.

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