With technology playing such a key role in your business’ operations, taking the time to make sure that you have the right resources and tools in place is critical. As the new year gets underway, now is the perfect time to take stock of your current IT infrastructure, and decide where a few changes or improvements could have a big impact on productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
That’s not to say your business needs a complete technology overhaul, or that you should be making huge investments in the latest offerings simply because they’re available. Instead, focusing on making the most of your IT budget for 2017 should be your top priority. Investing smart in a few key areas will do more for your business in the long run than just trying to stay ahead of the curve.
Of course, changes to your technology should be about more than technology; any decision you make regarding your business should consider your business as a whole. To make budgeting for technology easier, we recommend taking a look at these five areas:
Next-gen firewall, antivirus, and antimalware software are able to counter many of these threats when used together to create layered protection for your network and systems. Where traditional software relies on a routinely updated database to detect threats (think of it like someone feeding mug shots into a facial recognition program), these new versions update much faster, and look not just for threats that are known to them, but suspicious behavior on your systems that could mean an infection or intrusion is already underway (like your favorite crime fighting cyborg).
Data backup and Business Continuity go hand-in-hand with these security measures. The simple fact of the matter is that at some point, you will be targeted by a cyber attack that will test the limits of your network security. When that happens, your business needs to have a plan in place that will allow you to restore access to lost or corrupted files quickly, and get your operations up and running with minimal downtime.
Aging computer systems will struggle to keep up with the pace your team needs to be working at, and may not be compatible with new software or applications that your business needs to adopt in order to stay current and compliant with your industry. Servers, copiers, routers, and even phones can become outdated in just a few years. Replacing or upgrading them at your own pace instead of being forced to replace them after they break down will put less of a strain on your staff, and your wallet.
Servers deserve extra attention when reviewing your business’ outdated technology. More than any other piece of hardware, this is the one you do not want to wait to upgrade. If a computer fails and everything on its hard drive is lost, it’s an inconvenience. If a server fails and everything stored on it is lost, that is a major problem. Your servers hold all of your valuable data, and likely play a very important role in your data backup and Business Continuity plan.
If your onsite servers are on their last legs, a move to a hosted server could be just the answer you’re looking for. The costs associated with purchasing, installing, and maintaining onsite hardware are removed from the equation completely, and the cloud’s scalability means you can easily expand the size of your hosted server as your business grows without having to buy an entirely new piece of equipment.
Making the switch to an in-house VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system allows your team to make use of their office line even when they are far from the office. At home, at a meeting across town, or on the road, the same great features are available to keep you connected to coworkers, clients, and associates, for a budget-friendly monthly fee. Choosing to go with a cloud-based VoIP phone system gives you the same advantages as an in-house system, but without the added cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining hardware.
Hoping to expand? Moving towards cloud-based solutions that support the team and resources you have now, and provide fast, easy, and cost-effective scalability to accommodate any changes to your team and your business down the road will make that a much smoother process.
Technology is changing all the time, and in order to stay relevant and competitive, you’ll need to make an effort to keep up. The best way to make sure you’re making the right investments and budgeting wisely for your business’ technology is to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced IT provider.
Want to learn more about the ways InfiNet Solutions can help you make the most of your business’ IT budget? Contact us at Info@KeepITLogical.com or (616) 712-3290. We’re the IT professionals businesses in West Michigan trust.