As we move into 2018, technology will continue to serve as a key tool for reaching most business goals. Overarching initiatives may include creating efficiencies, improving workflows, enhancing security, improving worker satisfaction and scaling an enterprise. However, each of these relies heavily on various technologies and equipment to achieve them.
When planning for the New Year, resolve to enhance the following business technology areas within your organization to position it for success and to keep pace with the competition in 2018.
1. Implement a Business Continuity Plan
The year 2017 brought news of several global cyberattacks and data breaches. These types of events can disrupt business indefinitely and tarnish even the most solid reputation. As hyperconnectivity continues to grow in 2018, there are no signs of stopping. Natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods and more were prevalent in 2017 as well, destroying thousands of businesses and homes.
Could your business survive such catastrophic events? Implementing a Business Continuity Plan is a proactive way to minimize downtime, protect your data and allow operations to continue with as little disruption as possible. Work with a technology provider to develop your Business Continuity Plan, and make sure it documents the following:
- Detailed procedures for each department
- List of key contacts with clear roles and responsibilities, including vendors
- Inventory of equipment and technologies
- List of prioritized critical functions that need to be addressed
- A communication plan to deploy those with responsibilities
Also important is to make sure your plan is tested and updated frequently as staff structures and technologies change over time.
2. Recycle or Replace Outdated Equipment
Slow computers, frequent calls to service technicians to fix printers, sudden reboots and shutdowns, incompatibility with certain programs… these are sure signs that your technology is due for an upgrade. Not only do such incidents frustrate workers, they cost your organization money. Just consider the amount of productivity lost from the collective downtime generated from slow technology or equipment waiting to be repaired.
Also resolve to “clean house” in 2018. Unused technology and related gadgets, such as old power cables, routers, etc., not only take up valuable space; one study showed that in the U.K. and U.S. over $34B is wasted each year in unused technology. Use a technology inventory checklist to help you assess where you stand.
3. Provide Cybersecurity Training for Employees
It’s astonishing how many companies fail to provide adequate cybersecurity training for their employees, especially considering that human error continues to be the #1 cause of data breaches and ransomware attacks. Employees can be lured in by phishing scams, click on suspicious links or unknowingly open the door to hackers by other means.
While securing networks and installing robust security software are critical steps, educating employees about best practices and potential cyber threats could be the most valuable (and inexpensive) measure taken to prevent a cyberattack. Work with your technology provider to learn best practices, and get a head start by sharing our Cybersecurity Tips for Employees infographic.
4. Perform a Vulnerability Assessment
Many of us have bad habits when it comes to our devices, whether at home or on the job. Do you repeatedly click the “Remind me Later” button when a software upgrade or security patch pops up on your computer? Have you failed to change your passwords since the last administration? Do you frequently discover that you forgot to log out of programs containing sensitive data? Is your equipment older than three years?
Any of these situations can leave your systems vulnerable to hackers or equipment failure. Assess and address these bad habits and vulnerabilities to ensure your systems stay secure and up to date.
5. Reign in Your Print Costs
How many times have you had several employees peering into a printer trying to find a paper jam or poking and prodding inside compartments attempting to pinpoint a problem? Dealing with printer issues may not seem like a major problem, but the cumulative impact of lost productivity over time adds up and erodes profitability. And did you know that an estimated 50% of printed documents never get read? That’s a lot of waste.
Organizations that implement a Managed Print service to address these issues often save up to 30% on their print costs. In addition, they can even out cash flow and reduce administrative costs with fixed monthly billing. Measures are put in place to reduced waste, ensure you don’t run out of supplies, enhance document security and remotely address any maintenance issues — often before a problem ever occurs, meaning fewer service calls and fewer instances of employees trying to get things back up and running.
When a print solution is combined with an Enterprise Content Management system, the savings in time, security measures, productivity and unnecessary paperwork are multiplied many times over.
6. Migrate to the Cloud
Are you still relying solely on hard drives and on-premise servers to store your data? If your most valuable systems and data aren’t backed up to the Cloud and your systems go down or a cyberattack renders your systems useless, it could spell the end for your business. The number of businesses transitioning to the Cloud is growing by leaps and bounds each year, and it’s projected that the Cloud computing market will reach $411 billion by 2020.
Organizations that want to stay on the forefront of technology and maintain a competitive advantage should take proactive measures to move their systems to the Cloud in advance of the transition that will inevitably need to happen in the future. For many companies, a technology solution may include a combination of on-premise and Cloud storage. It’s important to receive guidance from an experienced professional to identify customizations and develop a migration plan that fits your business needs.
2018 will prove to be an exciting year as it relates to technology. When considering the advances in the last few years alone, one can only imagine what’s on the horizon. You can rely on the Gordon Flesch Company to keep up with the latest offerings and information to ensure your business technology stays at peak performance. If you’d like help keeping any of these New Year resolutions, we’re eager to come alongside you. Reach out to us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.