What are your Business Technology New Year resolutions going to be for 2019?
18th December 2018
The coming of a new year usually is a good time to start thinking about what you want to achieve over the next 12 months and set some new year’s resolutions to help you get there – and not just in your personal life, but for your business too.
Like most businesses, you will be looking ahead with the aim of growing and prospering in 2019 - and to do that technology and IT systems will play a critical role in supporting and achieving your goals.
To help you get started, here are some IT Resolutions that we’ve put together that could help make 2019 your business’s best year yet:
Create & follow an IT Strategy for 2019
With technology being a mainstay of any modern business, it is important to set out how your businesses IT is going support your overall business objectives. Every area – whether it’s your hardware, software, data, network, or IT procedures – should be an asset that moves your business forward, not a drain on resources or profitability.
Develop an IT plan and budget to make sure your business technology delivers your business goals –check that your IT systems are reliable enough, flexible enough, or robust enough for your business needs. And as the year progresses, keep track of your performance and regularly refer back to your strategy to make sure you are still on plan.
If you feel your business needs expert IT advice, it can sometimes help to bring in a professional consultant to help drive new ideas and enhance new technology.
Improve Cyber Security within your business
In the UK alone SME’s were targeted on average 230,000 times each during 2016, with the average cost of a cyber-attack to this sector coming to nearly £26,000. For some SMEs this could be the difference between being able to continue trade and not - so don’t let 2019 be the year that you’d wished you had invested more in this area of the business.
It is imperative to have Cyber Security procedures in place, regardless of size. Cyber-crime is a complex and fast-moving world so trying to stay up to date whilst managing your business can be tough.
For most businesses, working with cyber security specialists can help put the right systems and equipment in place without going over budget. Investing in an outsourced cybersecurity solution would give you confidence that your business is protected in 2019 – and onwards.
Have a business continuity plan
Do you have plans in place should a fire, flood or theft hit your business? Could your business continue to operate should the worst happen? What would happen if your IT systems were infected with ransomware?
This is what a business continuity plan covers - and every business needs to have one.
Putting a detailed and supported business continuity plan in place means that you know that that your business could survive the unexpected - it maps out how your business will recover from a disaster and gives you a step by step guide to recovery so you can have complete confidence that your business will be back up and running within 24 hours.
Set up a robust and professional data back-up process
Your data is business-critical and your most valuable asset. Businesses, regardless of size, should be regularly backing up their systems and data in triplicate, making sure that these are recent, are kept securely online, offsite and offline and can be restored.
By making data back-up part of your everyday tasks through an automated solution will protect your business - using cloud storage via a third-party specialist can be a cost-effective and secure solution for most SMEs. This allows your data to be physically stored away from your business location through regular remote system back-ups and provides a high level of availability as well as security and expertise.
Improve your password practices
Just about everyone falls into the trap of using the same easy to remember passwords across many platforms. This means that hackers don’t even need phishing emails or other scams to get your login credentials. Microsoft reported that the majority of compromised accounts were a result of weak, guessable passwords and poor password management.
To keep your accounts safe this year, use good password practices. Use strong passwords that are hard to guess, never default passwords (like “admin”, “12345” or “password”). Change your passwords when using multiple accounts – never re-use the same one.
Make sure your staff follow the same practice too.
Put reliable and robust IT Support in place
Unless your business has a full IT department – and a large budget – managing the tech side of your company is a resource heavy role. There are so many different elements to keep up with – your network’s performance and security, setting up and supporting all employee’s hardware and software, ongoing back-ups and disaster recovery processes - the list is endless. And this doesn’t even touch on the people aspect – your employees, suppliers and service providers.
For most businesses, the most cost-effective and time-saving solution to this can be outsourcing to a Managed Service Provider. This will keep your business up to date with the latest in technology, spend smarter, and solve IT issues quickly without interfering with your other processes - leaving you to focus on what really matters, building your business in 2019!
Working with a trusted IT Partner
If you would like any further information or guidance on any of these areas, talk to us today. We can offer professional advice and give you access to some of the best technology in the market at a reasonable cost.