Three Tips to Improve HR and IT Process Integration

When it comes to discussing employee onboarding and offboarding there are two main players who are involved in the process, HR and IT. Often HR and IT professionals find themselves at odds with each other because their daily workflows are so different and there is often little understanding of that between the departments. However, technology has come a long way and there are now systems in place that can assist with the integration of employee onboarding, offboarding and other workforce processes. Here are Montra’s top tips to ensure a successfully integrated HR and IT onboarding/offboarding process: 

1.  Set Regular Communication Schedules 

Schedule regular check-ins between the two department heads to ensure both teams are on the same page. A commonly heard complaint from IT professionals is that they are not included in the on/offboarding process until the very end and that teams are not working together to create a seamless transition for employees. As with any relationship, communication is key to success. When it comes to HR and IT integration, clear and concise communication will go a long way. Making sure both teams are aware of deadlines and expectations will help to avoid any stressful surprises down the road. 

2. Automate Reminders 

Automating tasks and reminders in the onboarding/offboarding processes is a great way to improve efficiency and accuracy across the board. Whether it is with email or more sophisticated systems, automated reminder notifications can minimize communication delay and ensure that longer lead time processes like background checks and laptop procurement are able to get started as quickly as possible in the process. 

3. Use Technology to Integrate 

There are several HR and IT software integration solutions on the market. They are often too complex to implement for most companies – requiring external consultants to implement. Montra’s VIA EX software is designed with the mid-market in mind. EX is workforce management software that helps businesses manage the IT aspects of onboarding and offboarding. Implementation is straightforward in most modern HRIS. VIA EX does everything from user account creation across multiple applications to managing the laptop and phone ordering processes and even enables employee mass notifications. 

By using these tips, your HR and IT departments can work together seamlessly to ensure a smooth onboarding and offboarding experience for your employees. By integrating the software into your company’s current HR and IT systems, you can improve communication between these two vital groups and make your business run smoother. 

If you are interested in learning more about the VIA EX software or would like to try it for yourself, please email us at We would be happy to answer any of your questions and discuss how the software could benefit your business. 

Five Easy Steps to Great Employee IT Onboarding

Contrary to common belief, the employee onboarding process isn’t just for HR. Most modern businesses are heavily reliant on IT infrastructure for client and team communication, employee and task management, and productivity. 

Despite this, IT onboarding is often mishandled during the employee onboarding process. This negatively impacts both the business and the new employee by: 

  • delaying fully productive work 
  • creating security and compliance risks 
  • exposing confidential data
  • negatively impacting an employee’s perception of their new company 

While the consequences of overlooking IT onboarding can be ominous, nailing your IT onboarding process can be straightforward. You just need the right process and access to tools that can facilitate the process. 

When you make a new hire, your new employee will rely on a handful of devices and applications to successfully complete their job. IT onboarding creates a uniform process to ensure that all required technology is properly set up and new hires are well-trained on the tools they will use 

Why IT Onboarding Is So Important 

New employees at modern companies need to use devices and software to be successful in their roles. IT onboarding is important to help new hires: 

  • Familiarize themselves with your technology stack. New hires may be overwhelmed by the amount of technology they’ll need to use to be successful in their role. A comprehensive IT onboarding experience can help them become familiar with the tools, software, and processes before they jump into their day-to-day responsibilities. 
  • Set up required credentials. Between software for the job, communication applications, and security programs, new employees have many services they will need to access. IT onboarding provides an opportunity for new hires to receive all their credentials while getting assistance from IT. 
  • Learn about privacy and security. When you hire new employees, you grant them access to confidential information about the company. Providing a clear overview of cybersecurity and privacy practices in IT onboarding helps new hires understand how to navigate and protect sensitive information. 
  • Feel confident in their ability to use provided technology. Not only should new hires familiarize themselves with their new technology, but they also need to feel confident in their abilities to use it in order to complete the requirements of their role. A robust IT onboarding program ensures all new employees learn the ins and outs of the necessary technology. 

Making Certain IT Onboarding Goes Smoothly 

The following IT employee onboarding steps can be used to prioritize the tasks required to ensure that your IT onboarding goes smoothly. 

No matter how experienced new hires are with technology, setting up effective IT onboarding processes can help new employees feel welcome in your company, build their confidence in your organization, and boost their productivity. 

Here are the basics of IT employee onboarding best practices: 

1. Gather All Required Information About the New Hire 

Each new hire will require different types of technology to be successful in their position, depending on the role and industry. Once the candidate officially accepts their offer, send relevant information to the IT department so they know what technology to prepare for the new employee. You will want: 

  • New Hire Name(s) (first, last, middle, or nickname, if applicable) 
  • Contact information (prior to their start date) 
  • Job title 
  • Department 
  • Start date 
  • IT resources they’ll need access to
  • Type of device(s) they’ll need 

Getting all the necessary information on a new hire before they start will save IT from needing to make changes later. Where possible, verifying the information with the new hire is very helpful. 

2. Order and Setup Technology Before Their First Day 

Equipped with information about the new hire, the IT can order and set up all the tech equipment before the new employee’s first day. IT may have extra computers and equipment waiting to be assigned to new employees, or they may need lead time to order new systems. 

A typical list of devices and other technology includes: 

  • Laptop or Desktop 
  • Monitor 
  • Docking station 
  • Mouse 
  • Keyboard 
  • Cables 
  • Company cell phone 

Arriving on the first day to a desk setup – or arriving at their house if they will work remotely – with all the necessary resources can positively impact a new hire’s onboarding experience. It spares the new hire from scrambling to gather the right tools to accomplish work in a timely manner. 

3. Create Accounts for All Applicable Software and Tools 

As with setting up devices, you will need to create accounts for all the software and tools that a new hire will need in their position. This includes their device accounts, email, and all other applications they will use. Other applications could include file services like Dropbox, productivity tools like Trello or Asana, and analytics tools like PowerBI and Tableau.  

You could utilize a single-sign-on system such as Okta or Microsoft SSO, to provision user accounts more easily across multiple applications. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) should be a requirement on any account used for critical business processes or critical business data – including their machine, email, and any other high-value services. 

You will typically need management approvals through this entire process also. Done poorly, this could be a tedious manual process, or it could be nearly automatic. A directory service can expedite this process through a simplified interface that allows you to assign users to groups and automatically provision them to resources using only a few checkboxes. 

Once all these credentials are created, they need to be given to the new hire on the first day – or the first week at the latest. In days before hybrid work, the credentials might be written on a sticky note. Now the credentials should be passed securely to a personal email account in a multi-step process. 

4. Schedule 1:1 IT Onboarding Session 

On the new employee’s first day, schedule time for a one-on-one or small group IT onboarding training session to walk through all the devices and accounts they need to know how to navigate. 

In this meeting, IT will walk new hires through their company email and messaging apps, as well as some of the important security procedures. Consider scheduling enough time to walk through some of the technology available for general use at the office as well. 

5. Provide Training for Cybersecurity and Privacy 

All new employees should go through cybersecurity and data privacy training. The more they know, the less risk they present. Training will typically be provided in self-guided training modules on cybersecurity, data privacy, and other physical security topics such as clean desk policies, storing physical files, and locking computers and desks. 

You should have a data privacy agreement that new hires review and sign before completing their IT onboarding. This assures that all the confidential data that you provide employees remains private and covers the organization legally in case of a data breach. 

Cybersecurity training should continue through periodic training sessions. The frequency and content of this training is set by common cybersecurity compliance policies that likely apply to your organization. 

How Software Helps with IT Onboarding 

Having a defined and repeatable IT onboarding process will significantly reduce friction in your new hire’s onboarding. However, depending on the employee’s role and the extent to which your company makes use of software systems, important steps in the process can easily fall through the cracks. 

Any issues in your IT onboarding process may not become apparent until they have more serious implications for employee retention or cybersecurity. This is where onboarding software can assist you in putting in place structured, repeatable IT onboarding processes. 

Good IT onboarding software should be: 

  • Affordable, user-friendly, and simple to use 
  • Fully customizable, allowing you to build on the recommended steps in the IT onboarding process and develop templates that are a fit for your organization 
  • Cloud-based so your new hires can access the IT onboarding process wherever they are 
  • Workflow-enabled, making it easy for you to add team members to any onboarding process and easily track and complete IT onboarding checklist items 
  • Designed to seamlessly track devices with an asset management system, allowing you associate employees with the devices they will use in their work. 

Learn More 

Want to learn more about IT onboarding best practices, or are you interested in software that can help you automate your onboarding process more effectively? Please contact us. We are happy to help you become more effective at this part of your business. 

Tips for Managing Your Sprawling IT Infrastructure in 2020

IT Sprawl is a phenomenon that has risen significantly in small and mid-market businesses over the past several years. This growth can largely be attributed to two factors: rapid cloud services adoption and digital transformation initiatives. Across every industry, cloud services have spread like wildfire due to their ability to increase agility and cost-efficiency. Meanwhile, digital transformation projects have put technology in the middle of almost every business function. These combined factors have led to companies having to deal with some level of the hybrid technical environment.

It is well known that hybrid environments are great for small, growing businesses. Their “best of both worlds” approach to technology adoption allows IT to leverage cloud-based applications while keeping sensitive information on-premises. However, hybrid environments do come with their challenges as well. Over time applications and workflows are added by individual users or departments. This lack of centralization leads to IT teams having a sprawled environment that is difficult (if not impossible) to manage.

Struggling to keep up with the sprawl of hybrid technical infrastructures is nothing new to technology professionals. While the concerns are not new, figuring out how to effectively deal with these challenges is still a top priority for IT teams. According to the 2019 Solarwinds IT Trends Report, 48% of IT professionals plan to prioritize skill development of Hybrid IT Deployment Monitoring and Management within the next 3 to 5 years.

As your organization heads towards the final planning phases for 2020, now is the perfect time to consider if a sprawling IT infrastructure is hindering your business or IT Department. So, what can be done to help you get control over the sprawling technical infrastructure within your organization? Here are our tips:

6 Tips for Managing your Sprawling IT Infrastructure in 2020

Audit Your Environment More Often

The first step to getting your IT environment under control is to conduct a full audit of your systems and applications. Knowing what all is in your environment is the only way to understand how different IT components affect larger business processes. After all, how can you possibly fix a problem if you do not know it exists? Your audit should catalog every cloud service you are using, every server or VM, every network component, and every device. This process should lead to the creation of an inventory of all the technology used in your business and specifically what each component is used for. From this process you should be able to begin to understand:

  • Which services and components are redundant?
  • Which are not aligned with your business and technology strategy?
  • Which are outdated or no longer supported?
  • Which are lightly if ever used?

Prioritize Network Visibility Across the Sprawl

Maintaining network control in a modern, spread-out environment is significantly more complicated than on a local area network. One of the best ways to maintain a level of control over IT Sprawl is to have visibility throughout your entire network. Full network visibility will enable you to know what devices are on your network and what applications are being installed. We recommend partnering with a company, like Montra, who can integrate your various management platforms into a single, comprehensive solution that provides you with end-to-end visibility from a single platform.

Standardization leads to Better Hybrid Management

An easy way of minimizing the burden of sprawling IT management is to standardize the components within your environment. Use as few server, computer, router, VM, etc. types as possible. Once these various types have been decided, consolidate your IT environment to eliminate as many of the others as possible. This will lead to decreased maintenance as IT has fewer components to manage. In the long run, IT employees will achieve additional efficiencies as they become specialists in keeping only a specific number of types of IT components running at their best.

Establish Policies for Deploying New Cloud Applications

It is unlikely an employee will stroll into work with their own server. However, the same cannot be said for cloud and other web-based applications. All too often a cloud-based application enters a company’s environment at the request of a single employee. These services undergo little-to-no vetting and are often duplicated or redundant to applications already in use. An easy way to combat this is to enforce authorization procedures for the selection and implementation of new technologies. These procedures should align to the company’s larger strategic goals and make sure applications fit the “bigger picture.” When properly enforced, these procedures should reduce new or duplicate applications from entering the environment.

Consider Full Lifecycle Cost of New Products

It’s common for businesses to find cheaper technical solutions more appealing than slightly more expensive, yet more efficient, counterparts. However, cheaper solutions can come at their own cost. Choosing cheaper equipment can affect maintenance, power efficiency, and management costs which are not considered in the initial investment. Maintaining these various inefficiencies only gets more complicated as infrastructure grows. When expanding IT components on your network make sure you consider the full lifecycle cost of each product and not just the upfront cost.

Be Cautious of “Jack of all Trades” Hiring

You probably have great experts on your team. However, experts in managing servers may not be able to provide the best insight consolidating your cloud. Modern hybrid business infrastructures are composed of a wide range of technologies and systems. This makes it very difficult to find a generalist that can properly support a mid-sized IT infrastructure. Often times the best result comes from bringing in an outside team of experts. These team members can often better serve as your internal IT team by providing deeper expertise in particular IT specialties. Bringing in additional resources increases the level of specialization of each component within your network. Additionally, an outside team provides you with an “outsiders perspective” that is often helpful in determining the actual validity of a specific service or component even if it is associated with a specific, high-maintenance user.

If you are interested in learning more about managing your sprawling IT infrastructure, contact our experts today.