In today’s digital environment, there is a huge emphasis on the customer journey. In other words, that means the path of interactions that an individual has engaged in with your brand, services, or product. It can include interactions such as working with customer service as well as more subtle forms of engagement like hearing about a brand at a conference.

In this article, we are going to be exploring the customer journey in terms of IT user onboarding and onboarding. This year’s ITSM (IT service management) trends center around user experience, making this a highly relevant topic.

User onboarding and offboarding in IT

The customer journey in the context of IT user onboarding and offboarding refers to the process a new user goes through to become familiar with a company’s technology or system and the process a departing user goes through to securely relinquish access to company technology or data.

Importance of optimizing these processes for a positive user experience and security

The onboarding and offboarding processes are essential for establishing a positive initial experience with your organization as well as ensuring ongoing security after an individual departs. A user’s first interactions with your organization and your IT department will occur during their onboarding phase, so it’s crucial to get those interactions off on the right foot.

Then, when a user leaves the organization, you need to make sure that all endpoints are secured and that offboarding protocol is followed. That will help your company remain safe from cyber threats and remain in compliance with laws like the Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act of 2022.

Enhancing user onboarding procedures

When it comes to developing and training a strong workforce, a well-executed onboarding program is a crucial first step. The onboarding process allows new employees to learn about the company’s culture, meet and connect with their team, start initial tasks or projects, and set up any tools and technology they will be using.

As you might have guessed, the last point is the most important for IT departments. Many jobs these days require smartphones, computers, and other devices to perform day-to-day tasks. With that in mind, IT is an essential part of onboarding procedures.

Tips for designing an effective onboarding experience for IT users

An effective onboarding experience for IT users is one that will set up new hires for success using the company’s technological systems and educating them on best practices. Generally speaking, this process should be holistic and should include tasks like:

  • Creating new user accounts
  • Creating new email addresses
  • Setting up new workstations
  • Acquiring any additional equipment
  • Adding new licensees for software
  • Setting up phone numbers and voicemail boxes
  • Teaching employees how to use required devices and software programs
  • Training employees on IT security best practices

Ensuring that your IT onboarding program encompasses all of these components is the key to success. But don’t overwhelm new hires too much all at once – it might be better to space out these training sessions and procedures over the course of a few days as the employee gets their bearings in their new workplace.

Best practices for communicating IT policies and procedures to new users

There will be some steps of your onboarding checklist that you will complete prior to a new employee’s first day on the job. But once the employee has officially started, you’ll want to begin by meeting with them to review the accounts, systems, and procedures they’ll need.

You can do this either in a one-on-one setting or through group training, in which you’ll introduce all of the basic company applications, accounts, procedures, and systems to the new hires. Some details will apply to everyone, while some details will be more relevant to specific roles. For instance, marketing employees will use different applications than payroll employees.

Breaking up these training sessions into different meetings might be necessary if you have employees working with multiple types of hardware and software.

You can also follow up on this training by providing resources like digital manuals, one-page cheat sheets, or relevant webinars. You’ll also want to train the new hire on corporate equipment in the office, like printers or copiers.

Examples of successful onboarding strategies in IT

If IT onboarding isn’t handled properly, it can have serious consequences for new employees, including delaying productive work, creating security loopholes, exposing data to risks, and negatively impacting the employee’s perception of their new workplace. However, grasping a successful onboarding strategy for your IT department isn’t too difficult.

In order to succeed with IT onboarding, you should make a checklist of everything you need to do before, on, and after a new hire’s first day. That checklist will include things like…

  • Gathering all the required information about the new hire
  • Ordering and setting up required technology and devices
  • Creating accounts for necessary software and tools
  • Scheduling an IT onboarding session
  • Educating new employees about privacy and cybersecurity

When you harness the power of a checklist and ensure these strategies are handled in a time-sensitive manner, you’ll be able to set yourself and your company up for success in both training and retaining new talent.

Improving user offboarding procedures

Offboarding employees is usually a collaborative process involving both the IT and HR teams. You will need to revoke access to multiple systems, recover equipment, and help former employees to leave the company on as good terms as possible. A well-structured checklist and a strong understanding of the importance of offboarding can help you do this.

Reasons why offboarding is Important for IT Security

When you accomplish successful IT offboarding, you’ll be able to protect your data, minimize both legal and security threats, uphold compliance standards, ease the transition for both the remaining staff and the exciting employee, and part on good terms.

If you don’t properly offboard employees, your company will not be upholding a strong security posture. That’s because former employees may still be able to access your network, messing with servers, changing data, or stealing intellectual property. Plus, malicious actors may be able to discover forgotten credentials and infiltrate your systems. This is especially important for individuals who had wide-reaching access, like IT or security employees.

How to make the offboarding process smooth and secure for the departing user

Ensuring that your offboarding process is smooth and secure – both for your company and for the departing user – means that you will need to maintain an accurate IT inventory. That inventory should include who has access to what and where, looking at things like keys, credentials, certificates, and more.

Your aim when you’re offboarding is to prevent security breaches while fostering a smooth, easy transition out of the company. You’ll have to adopt a systematic way to revoke employee access. That checklist will involve team collaboration so that the IT department can quickly learn whenever a termination or transition occurs and act accordingly to revoke access.

Examples of companies with effective offboarding procedures in IT

There are many examples of companies that have truly understood the IT offboarding assignment. For example, Fair.com, which is an automotive fintech company, has stopped giving employees underlying keys or credentials – instead, everyone uses SSO, which can be easily revoked by the company’s network admins.

MediaOS, the company behind Hearst magazines (that includes publications like Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire), has turned to intelligent automation to make staff turnover less of a labor-intensive process. MakeSpace has employed similar strategies in order to keep the onboarding process efficient and organized.

The role of IT support in onboarding and offboarding

IT departments play a crucial role in onboarding and offboarding employees. Both in the beginning and the end of their journey with the company, users will need IT support.

Importance of IT support in the user journey

IT support is one of the most important pieces of the onboarding process. New users depend on education and resources from IT departments to help them get acquainted with new devices and software and understand best practices around security and privacy.

At the end of an employee’s experience working for the company, the IT department is partially responsible for making the transition a smooth and easy one. IT support will help ensure that user access is properly revoked, which will help the company mitigate security risks. They can also make this process simple for the user, easing the transition.

Best practices for IT support during onboarding and offboarding

Whether you’re onboarding or offboarding an employee, it’s essential to stay organized and follow a checklist. You will need to collaborate with other teams, like HR, to understand what you need to do before, during, and after an employee’s first day on the job.

Your job is to educate employees to help them understand what they need to do, how to use their resources, and how technology can help them contribute to the company.

How can Atera help?

Atera offers a variety of solutions for both IT departments and MSPs (managed services providers). Our suite of products can help you streamline and automate many aspects of work in the IT space. With intelligent automations, integrations galore, and innovative products that will up your efficiency in the workplace, we’re the comprehensive solution for an IT team.

FAQs

What is user onboarding in IT and why is it important?

User onboarding in IT is the process of setting up new hires for success using the company’s technological systems and educating them on best practices of privacy and security. An effective onboarding process will allow users to feel confident using required technology, complete productive work, and get started on their new job responsibilities.

How can I design an effective onboarding experience for IT users?

To design an effective onboarding experience for IT users, consider tasks that need to be done before, on, and after their start date. These tasks might include creating new user and email accounts, setting up workstations, adding new software licenses, acquiring additional equipment, setting up phone numbers, and more. Make a checklist to cover these tasks.

What are some best practices for communicating IT policies and procedures to new users during onboarding?

You’ll want to set up either one-on-one or group IT training sessions during new employees’ first few days at work. Introduce all of the basic company applications, accounts, procedures, and systems to the new hires. You may have to split this training into multiple meetings if you have employees working with many types of software. You can also follow up with resources.

Why is offboarding important for IT security?

Without a strong offboarding process, former employees may still be able to access your network, messing with servers, changing data, or stealing intellectual property. Plus, malicious actors may be able to discover forgotten credentials and infiltrate your systems.

How can I make the offboarding process smooth and secure for the departing user?

Ensuring that your offboarding process is smooth and secure – both for your company and for the departing user – means that you will need to maintain an accurate IT inventory. That inventory should include who has access to what and where, looking at things like keys, credentials, certificates, and more.

What are some examples of companies with effective offboarding procedures in IT?

Fair.com, an automotive fintech company, as well as MediaOS, MakeSpace, and many others have effective IT offboarding procedures. They accomplish this by employing effective automations, keeping things organized, and working quickly.

Why is IT support important in the user journey for onboarding and offboarding?

IT support is one of the most important pieces of the onboarding process. New users depend on education and resources from IT departments to help them get acquainted with new devices and software and understand best practices around security and privacy. At the end of an employee’s experience working for the company, the IT department is partially responsible for making the transition a smooth and easy one.

What are some best practices for IT support during onboarding and offboarding?

Whether you’re onboarding or offboarding an employee, it’s essential to stay organized and follow a checklist. You will need to collaborate with other teams, like HR, to understand what you need to do before, during, and after an employee’s first day on the job.

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