It’s that time of the year when you reflect on your business, set goals and begin the march toward achieving those new goals to grow your business. Don’t forget to take stock of your IT and plan to make improvements so you operate your business more effectively.
We’ve put together a list of five resolutions for 2017 to improve your IT.
1. Experiment with New Technologies
With all the technology around us, it’s easy for business owners and managers to be overwhelmed. We invest the majority of time toward IT just maintaining what we have and not enough time exploring new technologies that can help our business.
- Commit to identifying two areas of your business suffering due to poor IT; and two areas that present opportunities to innovate your service delivery that could help you win new business, increase customer retention and improve your bottom line.
- Then assign staff to research and experiment with new technologies or business and mobile apps to address those four areas of concern/opportunity.
2. Conduct a Review of your IT Network Design.
Your network design impacts staff productivity and the costs to maintain your IT. While keeping tabs on your IT performance and all your assets should be an ongoing activity, make 2017 the year you conduct a thorough review to identify improvements. Key goals of the review will be to:
- Identify unnecessary equipment that is consuming resources to maintain
- Developing a strategy to reduce network maintenance which can include utilizing cloud infrastructure, replacing problematic business applications or implementing network monitoring solutions
If you have in-house IT resource, we recommend you hire an IT consulting company to offer a third party perspective. Otherwise contact your IT consulting company, or hire a company, and schedule a review. And make sure to act on recommendations.
3. Commit to Staff Training and Development.
Staff training and development is a budget line item that’s often reduced or chopped altogether. Plan to invest in IT training. If you have new staff unfamiliar with the business applications your company uses, or you’ve recently adopted new technologies that staff need to use proficiently, then schedule training sessions. Employees who are most familiar with your system can train other staff or pay for training.
If you have in-house IT resources, provide a professional development budget so they can upgrade skills and stay on top of new technologies.
4. Update Your Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan
If you have been wise enough to create a backup and disaster recovery plan, commit to updating your plan and conducting regular testing to ensure it works smoothly in the case of an emergency. A poor disaster recovery effort can harm a company’s business reputation for the long term. And if you don’t have a plan, prioritize getting one in place.
5. Commit to Improving IT Security for your Business.
We’ve created a great post for readers on 7 Practical Steps to Improve IT Security. Read more for full detail but here is a bullet list of the 7 steps:
- Install security software and keep it updated
- Utilize monitoring
- Only use business class equipment
- Conduct penetration testing
- Properly manage employee mobile devices
- Put in place policies and procedures
- Hold a 1-hour staff IT security lunch and learn
If you have in-house IT resource, we recommend you hire an IT security consultant who specializes in staying on top of IT security best practices and can offer a third party perspective on what your business needs to change to improve security levels.
Or contact your existing IT security consultant to schedule a review and help you build a plan. And make sure to act on their recommendations.
We hope this post has offered up some IT improvement resolutions you will act on in 2017. Tech To U offers a suite of IT services for Calgary-based companies and can help you achieve these 2017 resolutions. Feel free to Contact Us if you need some advice and support to make improvements.
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