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In 2020 we are facing unprecedented times. The mandatory physical distancing requirements has shown the importance of taking stock of your IT and reviewing it so you can operate your business during these times.
With things slowly getting back to normal, it’s time to review your strategies and set new goals to begin the march toward growing your business.
At Tech To U, we have five resolutions for 2020 to improve your IT and let you prepare for any event, pandemic related or not.
Click on a title below to read more:
With all the technology around us, it is easy for business owners and managers to be overwhelmed. Business owners usually invest majority of their IT time and investment towards maintaining what they have and not enough toward exploring new technologies that can help their business improve and grow.
Commit to identifying:
- Two areas of your business suffering due to poor IT investment
- 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 these four areas of concern and opportunity.
Your network design impacts staff productivity and the costs for maintaining your IT. While keeping tabs on your IT performance and all your assets should be an ongoing activity, make 2020 the year you conduct a thorough review to identify improvements. Key goals of the review can be to:
- Identify unnecessary equipment that is consuming resources to maintain.
- Develop a strategy to reduce network maintenance, which can include utilizing cloud infrastructure, replacing problematic business applications or implementing network monitoring solutions.
- Explore other options that allow you and your team the flexibility to work from the office and from home.
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.
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.
Recently there has been a dramatic shift for staff to work from home. As many people are using laptops and personal devices it is a very good idea to review if this introduces new vulnerabilities for security breaches or data loss.
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. Then conduct a test to ensure it is working smoothly and work out any issues. You want to have confidence your plan protects you before any emergency happens.
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.
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 plus some additional steps for working remotely:
- 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 staff are using personal equipment:
- Install security software on their devices to protect your business information
- Have the personal computer reviewed for viruses and malware
- Use secure VPN access for remote users
- Review your data storage plan and know where your files are stored whether on your network or in the cloud
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 2020. Tech To U offers a suite of IT services for Calgary-based companies and can help you achieve these resolutions. Feel free to Contact Us if you need some advice and support to make improvements.