The last several weeks of the year are a planning time for many businesses. They want to go into the new year with a strategy that can sustain and expand their business success.
This year has been a particularly challenging one, and also one where technology became even more important. Wise county businesses that had to send employees home to work remotely, ended up entirely dependent upon cloud technologies to keep their companies operating.
Many of them turned to I.T. consulting for help putting systems in place like VoIP, remote worker security, and team messaging platforms.
Looking toward 2021, there are several considerations for a successful technology strategy. These include:
- Needs for cybersecurity in office and remote
- Advancements that the new year will bring
- Remote worker I.T. infrastructure
- Solving challenges with outdated workflows and devices
What are some of the benefits of taking the time to position your company technology strategically for the new year?
- 38% of small businesses say that digital tools have led to an increase in revenue
- More likely to have employees that collaborate regularly
- 69% of small business owners say well-planned technology improves employee satisfaction
During these last two months of 2020, it’s important to take the time to do an I.T. assessment and position yourself to take full advantage of digital tools in the coming year.
Areas to Consider When Planning Your 2021 I.T. Strategy
Sometimes the easiest way to approach a strategy for the next year is to ask the right questions. Here are several questions to ask that will guide you toward smart technology upgrades in 2021.
Where is Time Wasted on Manual, Repetitive Tasks?
One of the technology advances projected for 2021 is hyper automation, which is really just taking automation of manual processes a step farther by automating several steps in a process rather than just one.
As much as 22% of an employee’s time is spent doing manual, repetitive tasks. You can greatly increase productivity by looking for these types of workflows and working with an I.T. consultant like Texas I.T. Pros on ways to automate those processes. Automating manual tasks can reduce error rates and free up employee time to work on other forward motion activities.
What Technology Will Be Making an Impact Next Year?
It’s always better to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new technologies that are making an impact on businesses. If you plan ahead of time for new infrastructure upgrades, they’re budgeted, and you’re not left behind your competition by being caught off guard.
One of the technologies that is finally gaining some steam and is expected to be impactful in 2021 is 5G.
Network providers have spent most of 2020 upgrading their networks to support the lightning-fast mobile technology, and in 2021, we should see more widespread use.
Look for 5G compatible devices that will position your company to take full advantage of 5G speeds. You may also want to inquire with your ISP about their 5G plans and how those can positively impact your business.
What Does Our I.T. Security Look Like?
Cybersecurity is something that needs to be assessed at least annually, because new threats are always emerging. Technology use also changes, which may necessitate additional security in a particular area.
For example, at the beginning of 2020, there were businesses that had all employees working under one roof and thus an on-premises cybersecurity strategy was fine. But the pandemic changed things, and now companies have to consider security strategies for employees working from home.
It’s always a good idea to have a cybersecurity assessment done at the end of the year so you can see where you stand and can factor in any upgrades to your protective measures in the new year.
Where Are Our Most Critical Technology Needs?
Your business may be losing over $2,700 per year by operating computers older than 4-years old. How much money is lost at your business in productivity, downtime, data loss, and security incidents because you are running outdated software or devices?
Take a look at both hardware and software that may need an upgrade in the new year to help you avoid downtime and other problems.
You’ll also want to be aware of any upcoming EOL (end of life) for software or loss of support that would mean you need an upgrade. For example, Microsoft 365 will stop supporting the Internet Explorer browser in August 2021.
If you’re running any EOL systems, then security is a major problem because they’re no longer receiving security patches. This includes systems like Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008).
Get Help with a Year-End Technology & Security Assessment from Texas I.T. Pros
We can provide you with prioritized recommendations for your 2021 technology planning that make the process easy. We’ll also ensure you know your most cost-efficient upgrade options.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.