2020 is finally, really ending. Before you pop your celebratory bottle of champagne, hit pause. Crossing off the last day of the calendar and entering 2021 doesn’t create change. Unless you act now, your IT strategy goals and adjustments will be waiting for you on January 1.
In these last few days and weeks, reflect on everything 2020 threw at you. Did your IT solutions enable you to react to each curveball with minimal business interruptions? Or, did you suffer mounting downtime, field complaints from frustrated employees or lose out on business opportunities because your systems failed?
You shouldn’t experience another 2020. Forge a path to success with the 5 IT solutions below.
1. Protect Against Failure with Backups and Disaster Recovery
As we write this, storms and hurricanes named after letters in the Greek alphabet are churning in the Gulf. Our region was hammered continually by a record number of storms. The toll on our area was devastating, especially for businesses without backup and disaster recovery solutions. If servers or workstations were destroyed by water damage, power surges or any weather-related incident, they lost all their data.
Instead of experiencing a temporary interruption, these organizations are trying to patch together missing pieces. The possibility of failure increases with each passing day. FEMA estimates 90% of businesses that don’t reopen within 5 days of a disaster end up closing permanently. Backups and disaster-recovery solutions can’t stop unforeseen events, but they do help get your business up and running with minimal delays.
Disaster recovery is not one-size-fits-all
Basic elements of disaster recovery, like continual monitoring and secure remote storage, are standard across most vendors. But, the components need to be tailored to your business. Otherwise, you’ll either overpay or be underprotected. We work closely with Gulf Coast businesses to set up solutions that offer rapid recovery at a price they can afford.
2. Ask if Your IT and Network Security Can Withstand Emerging Cyberthreats
Business leaders talked about “pivoting” and adapting to the “new normal” in order to weather the crisis. Cybercriminals didn’t need the pep talk. Hackers swiftly changed how they target businesses and individual employees. In the early months of the pandemic, the FBI saw reported cybercrime quadruple. The threats persist. Your IT network and security solutions need to evolve with emerging threats. Relying on a firewall or simple antivirus won’t protect your business against advanced malware attacks and manipulative phishing schemes.
How to keep cybersecurity affordable
Your IT provider should work within your budget while proactively protecting your organization against intruders. We offer fully managed solutions where we continually scan our clients’ networks to spot malicious activity and catch bad actors in real time. Some businesses prefer to buy a block of hours and add on key information security services – like mobile device management. Regardless of how we work with you, we’ll actively work to prevent attacks.
3. Have a Way to Quickly Access New Tools for Your Business
In February, your in-office workstations and servers helped you successfully run your business. Work-from-home rendered the setup obsolete. Businesses throughout the country suddenly had to evaluate and procure new systems if they wanted to keep serving their clients. A shortage of laptops and hardware exacerbated the problem. Many couldn’t access tools needed by employees to maintain business operations.
An easier way to acquire technology
Working with an IT partner makes it easier and cheaper for you to acquire the hardware and software necessary to run your business. Our clients are guided on which systems are best for their business and then secure competitive pricing on brands like:
4. Get a Compliance Checkup
Maintaining compliance was complex before COVID. Now, workers expect to fluidly move between working in the office and working at home. It’s up to you to figure out how to offer flexibility, secure IT systems and meet regulatory requirements. A compliance assessment quickly pinpoints what you’re getting right, where you fall short and how to do what you need to do.
5. Find a Strategic Partner to Guide Your IT Projects
Filling a leadership team with a variety of experts is out of the question for most businesses. But you shouldn’t miss out on strategic advice because your budget doesn’t allow you to build a fully stacked c-suite. IT consultants are an affordable way to access a dedicated strategic partner without adding to your payroll. When you work with a skilled consultant, you can:
- Heighten security across your organization
- Smoothly transition to the cloud
- Leverage technology to work smarter and faster, not harder and longer
- Decrease your risk exposure
- Reach goals by aligning IT strategy with business objectives
When we become an outsourced IT thought leader for a business, our first step is to listen. We learn about their organization and then identify which services are right for their needs.
Don’t Let 2021’s Curveballs Derail Your Business
2020 has been a firm reminder to expect the unexpected. Address your top IT priorities now. We can help you zero in on where to focus attention. Contact us for a free 2021 IT strategy checkup. It will uncover your vulnerabilities, point out what can be improved and help keep your business on track no matter what next year throws your way.