Six Business Technology Problems to Solve This Year
Did you make any new year's resolutions as the calendar turned over to 2019? In addition to the usual personal resolutions, such as eating healthy and spending more time with family, I encourage business owners and managers to add a few business resolutions to their list.
Information technology is critical to operations for most companies and has the power to stop, or at least disrupt, business if things aren’t going well. When utilized properly, information technology can give companies a strategic advantage and help them accomplish their business goals and objectives.
Here are six business IT problems you should solve this year to help take your business to the next level.
1. Refresh Outdated Technology
If your business is running Windows Server 2008, a server migration should definitely be in your plan for next year. In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft is discontinuing support for Windows Server 2008 on January 14, 2020, so you’ll need to transition to an updated operating system before that date. Businesses that continue to run that operating system beyond the end-of-support date will be exposed to major security and compliance risks. Windows 7 is also scheduled for end-of-support on that date.
2. Stop Living With Technology Frustrations That Hold You Back From Hitting Your Goals
Maybe your system consistently reports inventory incorrectly. Maybe an IT project has been going on way past its original time line and is holding up other tasks. Maybe there’s a manual process that could be automated to improve efficiency. Many companies have “nagging issues” that they’ve learned to live with, even though they’re affecting operations. It’s time to stop waiting and get them taken care of.
3. Plan Ahead For Business Changes
When you’re planning for significant growth, branch additions, increasing the amount of remote workers, transitioning systems, etc., you want it to happen seamlessly and with the least amount of headaches. Success with these types of initiatives is heavily dependent on technology. IT projects are generally very complex and can take several MONTHS from planning to execution. Without enough lead time, it’s difficult for companies to experience the best possible results.
Giving IT a heads up early in those business planning discussions will help your business be able to achieve its objectives without technology getting in the way.
4. Make Sure Your System Is Secure
It seems like every day a new security breach is making headlines. Cyber criminals are getting more sophisticated and they’re targeting small and midsize businesses now more than ever. Your network needs to be up to IT best practices to ensure that your data – and maybe more importantly, your customers’ data – are safe from hack attempts.
5. Explore Cloud Computing Options
“Going to the cloud” can offer businesses increased accessibility and productivity, but it’s not right for every organization. The technology has matured a lot over the years, but in some cases, a hybrid scenario of cloud and traditional IT solutions may make the most sense. Either way, it’s worth considering the options to see if your organization could benefit.
6. Make Sure Your Backups Are Working -- And That the Data Could Be Restored If Necessary
It happens too often – companies don’t realize that their backups weren’t working until after they’ve had a failure. Run a test restore or “fire drill” of your backups at least once a month to verify that the data could be restored if need be.
This year, I challenge businesses to evaluate their technology situation and take steps toward getting better results from their IT investment, whether their IT is in house, outsourced, or a combination of both. Talk to your IT support provider and plan to end these problems this year.
As featured in The Press-Enterprise.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.