There’s a spirit of hope and renewed energy that comes with the dawning of a new year, and one way to use that to your advantage is to take the opportunity for an IT checkup.
How are your applications serving your business? Are there any technology needs that got delayed last year that would help your business optimize in 2019? What new tech is out there you’d like to evaluate?
Whether you’ve been wanting to improve team collaboration with cloud-based solutions or planning to beef up your security against cyberattacks, Technical Evolutions can help you with a comprehensive game plan that gets your year prepped for tech optimization and success.
Are you thinking… “Everything’s running fine, why should I take the time to do an IT checkup?”
Technology is always evolving and what worked four years ago could be outdated and outmatched by new software today. Here are a few eye-opening statistics from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that highlight why optimizing your technology is so important to small (and large) businesses:
- 84% of small businesses use at least one major digital platform to provide customers with information about their services/products
- 79% use digital tools to facilitate communications with both customers and vendors
- 75% use a tech platform for their sales
Technology forms the crucial nervous system for nearly every business now, so optimizing your tech is synonymous with optimizing your company. The right technology can improve productivity, reduce wasted time, and increase your sales.
Simple Steps for Conducting an IT Review Process
Reviewing the technology infrastructure that you use to run your business may sound daunting at first, but with an organized plan of action, it can be a straight-forward and simple process.
Here are some tips from our Technical Evolutions Team on how to evaluate and optimize your tech this year.
Speak to Employees First
It’s easy to just have your management brainstorm in the conference room together, but you know where some of your best ideas may come from? Your employees that are working in all facets of your company.
Ask them what IT issues they struggle with. Which ones slow them down in completing tasks? They’ll give you some valuable insight into areas where upgrading technology can improve not only productivity but also staff morale.
List Hardware and Software that You Use
You’ll want to have a full list of your current IT infrastructure to work from. Separate hardware and software and be sure to list any recurring subscription or maintenance costs for each one.
This will give you a good visual overview of your technology so you can see if there’s a missing piece, a device that is outdated and needs upgrading, or an opportunity to add a new peripheral (like a printer) that could benefit your workflows.
Look at Workflows & Integrations
How does your data flow and how can you improve it? For example, a customer requests a quote on your website, that form data then goes where? It could be input into a help desk program, then an accounting program, then a follow up email program.
Areas where information is being re-entered into other platforms offer an opportunity where an integration can be made to both transfer data automatically (saving on manual entry time) and an automation can trigger a process, such as an automated follow up email being sent three days after that customer received the quote.
Take a Careful Look at Cybersecurity
Hackers are always changing tactics as well as using the old standards, like phishing emails, to gain entry into your network. Is your anti-malware software or firewall keeping up?
Consult with a professional, like Technical Evolutions, and request a security review and report card. We’ll help you identify any risk areas and can make recommendations for safeguards that will protect your business from a future data breach.
Review Your Mobile Policies
Are more employees using their mobile devices to access company data? While mobility makes it easy to work from anywhere, it can also cause you to lose control of data access if you don’t have a mobile plan in place.
Look at whether you want to use a “bring your own device” or company issued device policy. It’s also a good idea to institute a mobile device management software that helps to ensure all data is backed up on appropriate devices and that allows an admin to grant or revoke access to an app in a few keystrokes.
Take a Look at IT Spending
Are cloud-based subscriptions adding up more than you thought? Could virtualization of your desktop computers save you from needing more office space this year?
Look for redundancies, such as a CRM program that also has an email capability that you’re paying for from another service. Consider office suites, like Office 365, that provide cloud security and team collaboration options, you can’t take advantage of in the offline versions. Because of the fast-evolving nature of technology, there are a lot of opportunities to both get a better product and save money too.
Need Some Help with Your IT Checkup & Optimization?
Technical Evolutions can sit down with you and help you go over your entire IT infrastructure, identify any areas of risk as well as places where optimizing can save you money this year.
Contact us today and let us help you start the year right! Reach out online or call us at 708-540-6201.