An End-of-Year Checklist for Business Technology Planning

Checklist for Business Technology Planning

Information Technology plays a critical role in the operation of your organization. You rely on your information technology to keep you in communication with your partners, colleagues, and customers while enabling you to complete a range of tasks.

Virtually all parts of your organization leverage information technology to some degree – and in many ways, the right information technology can make a world of difference when it comes to streamlining time-consuming processes, improving collaboration amongst team members, and overall, helping you remain profitable and successful.

Business Technology Planning Helps You Align Your Technology With Your Overall Business Strategy To Alleviate Challenges And Reach Organizational Objectives.

Now that the end of the year is coming, it’s time to start your business technology planning for 2020. Here’s a handy end-of-the-year checklist to help you avoid budgeting challenges and conflicting priorities that slow your execution time down and lower your return on investment:

  1. Do You Need A Faster Wireless And Internet Connection?
    First and foremost, evaluate your wireless network to ensure it’s as fast and reliable as you need it to be. A lot of hardware, software, and other equipment rely on your Internet connection, which is why you need to make sure it’s up-to-par for the best possible environment. Additionally, look into segmenting your wireless networks into trusted\untrusted zones and granting access appropriately. Those Internet of Things (IoT) devices should be on the untrusted wireless network away from company assets because it will help minimize the potential of attacks via them.
  2. Do You Need To Upgrade Any Hardware That’s Soon-To-Be Unsupported?
    Next, it’s time to take a look at your hardware and equipment. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, for instance, are unsupported come January 14, 2020. This means they will no longer receive security patches and updates to stay secure. An additional place to look for a Windows 7 device is within another device as its controller, i.e. the x-ray machine, the machining tool on the production floor, the phone system, etc.
  3. Do You Need To Invest In New Software?
    Software has come a long way – offering features and capabilities for virtually all areas of the business. You can leverage software programs to make your workflows and processes much more efficient, including accounting, marketing, human resources, word processing, and more. If you are considering new software applications, you need to consider whether they should be in the cloud. Many companies are taking the approach of “Cloud First, Mobile Ready” when choosing new Line of Business (LOB) applications in order to modernize their companies.
  4. Do You Have A Data Backup And Business Continuity Plan In Place?
    Every business needs a data backup and business continuity plan that keeps data backed up in two places: an onsite appliance and the cloud. This ensures recoverability in the event of a disaster that takes down the network and/or destroys important information. This type of backup strategy follows the Backup Rule of 3-2-1 and is quickly becoming the industry standard. If you do not have a Business Continuity Plan, this is the ideal time to create it and immediately test it. If you have a plan, then you should update and test it.
  5. Do You Need To Look At Another Website And/Or Email Provider?
    If your website is dated, underperforming or is slow and is crashing, your company’s reputation will take a hit. The same goes for your email – prospective and current customers expect a quick response in today’s hyper-competitive, highly responsive marketplace. It is also time to unlink your email from your web hosting provider and move it to someone who can deal with today’s modern threats so that your email can become a trusted productivity tool again.
  6. Do You Employ A Multi-Layered Approach To Cybersecurity?
    Take a look at your cybersecurity measures. Do you feel as though you’re protected as much as possible against threats? At a minimum, you should have a multi-layered approach that includes a modern business-class firewall with anti-virus scanning all Internet traffic, a web content filtering solution, intrusion detection software installed and regularly updated, end-user training/testing, and more. Most cybersecurity experts will agree that ransomware can easily defeat even today’s best anti-virus software – it should not be your only defense, just one of the parts of an overall approach.
  7. Do You Need To Reduce The Cost Of Your Phone Bill?
    Traditional business telephone services can be quite costly and expensive to maintain, but VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can significantly reduce the cost by as much as 50% because it allows you to make and receive calls over the Internet while leveraging enterprise-grade features.
  8. Do You Have A Trusted Technology Partner Managing Your Environment?
    Lastly, after you’ve reviewed all of the individual pieces of your infrastructure, it’s time to think about whether or not you have a trusted technology partner to manage it all. This is especially important if you need to make changes in the upcoming year. Ideally, you’ll have a fresh pair of eyes look at your environment and advise you on what your next steps should be. Together, you can create a Technology Plan that uniquely fits your needs, requirements, and budget.

Start Your Business Technology Planning For 2020 With The #1 Fremont IT Services Company: Where To Start.

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