Spring clean your IT system

It’s spring. So why not clear
the cobwebs out of your IT system with an annual spring clean. Rob McLuhan asks
vendors for their top tips.

"Speed up the

Paul Beaumont, production director,
HRP,  Microsoft Great Plains Business

"Your system may not be
performing as well as it might. If you make lots of updates they can cause the
database to become bloated and an employee record may be split onto different
places on the hard drive. The longer that goes on the more the quality of the
database will decline, because it is having to do so much work.

"Asking the IT department to
deal with this will help restore the system to its original speed. There may
also be things it can do to enhance the network by looking at the number of
users connected at peak times. If you know at the end of the month there will
be high level of demand, you can cater for that, resulting in a better experience
for the user."

"Check the
accuracy of data and templates"

Michael Richards, managing director,
Snowdrop Systems

"Over a period some holiday and
sickness codes become redundant and you can mess up your data if you have two
that mean the same thing. It’s a fairly easy process to review and update them.
Also, check the accuracy of employee details. If people are using intranet
self-service these are less likely to be out of date, but it is still useful to
do a periodic check.

"Then take a look at standard
letters. Do they adhere to corporate standards? Are they applicable in terms of
HR legislation? Review the most valuable ones and make any necessary

"Prioritise to
business requirements"

Jim Nugent, head of strategic
development for service delivery, RebusHR

"Take a step back and see what
you want to achieve. Make sure you have the data you need, otherwise the
results will be misleading and the business will be going in the wrong

"You might decide to track new
elements, such as ethnic data or turnover rates. Anything that is not high
priority can be put on the back burner. And ask whether you really need all the
data currently on the system. The whole point is to drive the business,
otherwise it is just taking up disk space."

"Extend your use
of the system"

Ian Murison, sales director, Wealden
Computing Services

"Spring is as good a time as
ever to remember why you bought the IT system or software package and review
what difference it has made to performance. As vendors we fill them full of
goodies, but they don’t always get used.

"When we show clients some the
advanced features on a new system they say it is exactly what they have been
looking for. Then we come back a year later and find they are only using the
basics. They underestimate the time it will take to find about the system fully
and have got bogged down in administration, the very reason they bought it in
the first place."

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