As the new year approaches (already?), it is a good time to take stock and plan some small business resolutions. Join the millions around the world determined to make the best of January’s fresh start. Try these suggestions for top IT resolutions to better your business.
#1 Embrace digital transformation
The business world is going digital. Ideally, you’ve already made the move to some extent, but always be looking for new ways to streamline your business processes.
You might embrace document scanning to move all your paperwork online. It’s easy to search digital documents for keywords. That saves time spent looking for the right piece of information, plus, you’ll do away with file cabinets and bankers’ boxes of paper.
Find more cost savings and business efficiencies migrating to cloud computing. The big benefit? Every user can access the same applications as colleagues or peers online. Plus, the software doesn’t need installation on every individual’s device. Meanwhile, IT can manage upgrades and security patching on the cloud-based server.
During COVID-19 you probably added more business collaboration tools to support remote work. These continue to advance and evolve, so don’t get complacent with existing solutions.
#2 Improve cybersecurity
Presumably, you are securing your business against cyberthreats year-round. Still, the start of the new year is a good time to ensure that you are following best practices such as:
- upgrading all software and hardware and keeping security patches up to date;
- setting up several data backups in case of a breach or disaster;
- testing your technology for any vulnerabilities hackers might leverage;
- planning for business continuity and disaster recovery;
- educating employees about cyberthreats and encouraging a culture of cybersafety.
#3 Encourage workforce engagement
Keeping your IT current is one great way to improve employee morale. With the best tools available, your workforce can enjoy greater productivity. Don’t lose people during a staffing shortage due to frustrations with the tech they use every day at work. Offering online learning also encourages workforce engagement, as people feel more respected.
Retention isn’t the only advantage. Attract new employees with the tools to support flexible work hours. Using technology to simplify onboarding can make a great first impression on new hires, too.
#4 Enhance customer service
There are many ways IT can support enhanced customer satisfaction. For one, converting phones to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) can ensure every call gets answered. You’ll also empower customers to reach the right people when they need to.
Adding an online scheduler expedites booking and avoids doubling up on appointments. Microsoft Scheduler allows people to book on a calendar of your available time slots, meaning there’s no back and forth. Online schedulers can also send follow-up and reminder emails.
#5 Explore automation
Sure, this is a component of digital transformation, but it’s cool enough to get its own resolution. Try enterprise content management software to automate workflow. Your team can more easily capture information and access documents while more quickly delivering content when and where it’s needed.
Leverage process automation to identify and address bottlenecks within and across departments. Your software’s bot can warn you if a task is stuck, or it can do things such as sending an invoice straight away or notifying someone when information is missing.
#6 Work with an MSP
One resolution we recommend for every small and midsized business? Resolve to partner with a managed service provider. For a consistent, monthly fee you gain IT experts on call. We can monitor your network, manage hardware and software, and consult on the best tech.
The break-fix model is costly in the long run. Select an MSP with expertise in your industry to free up resources to drive the business bottom line. Contact us at (515)422-1995 for more information!