Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Three Resolutions for Your Business Technology

As we turn the calendar over once again, the last thing you want to hear is a list of more things to do. While now is a good time to celebrate and appreciate last year’s accomplishments, I'd like to offer three resolutions that could help you sleep better at night and have a more productive and prosperous year.

I'll pay attention to how my data is being backed up.

Back in my days as a paramedic, you’d hear patients laid out on the stretcher being told to eat better, exercise and stop smoking. I dread those types of conversations … talking to new clients about backing up after their data has been lost.

According to PWC, 70% of small businesses that experience catastrophic data loss go out of business within one year. Proactively backing up your data is critical to the survival of your business.

Are you confident that all of your data is backed up? What about your applications? Do you have more than one backup in case the first is damaged or fails? Do you have copies stored securely offsite? Have you recently performed a test restore of your data?

While these are all essential, there’s one critical question that most people miss … if your network goes down, how quickly can you get everything back up and running again?  Even a temporary network failure can halt employee productivity and the ability to service customers, a potential financial disaster.

Step up to the next level this year and start thinking more holistically about how your business could survive a disaster. Backup is only one part of a comprehensive solution. If you don’t have a disaster and business continuity plan, here’s a good place to start: http://www.ready.gov/business

I'll make sure that my tech is up to date and secure.

There were three incidents we assisted clients with this year that raised my security antennae to full height.

  • The first was a website hacked on September 11 and defaced with ISIS threats. 
  • The second was a computer that got infected by a CryptoLocker virus, its data held ransom by anonymous pirate hackers seeking payment in Bitcoin. 
  • The third was a social engineering attack which defrauded a client with a carefully crafted Email.

Threats to your technology are rampant and the consequences are severe, but remedies aren’t necessarily different than in prior years. They just require more diligence.

Most businesses underestimate how much time and coordination it takes to keep systems secure. Remember that your network is only as secure as its weakest link. If you don’t have a written information security policy (WISP), it may also be time to put one in place. Government regulations may even require you to do so.

Watch for our upcoming article: Pragmatic Steps for Safer IT.

I'll put my technology to work for me.

Every year technology becomes more vital to the work we do. If you don’t have a strategic technology plan, it’s time to take notice. Because when IT is done right, your business or organization will run better!

What are you doing to engage new and existing customers/clients online? Do you provide your staff with the tools to work as effective remotely as they do from the office? Are you confident that the systems you have in place align with your business model and support a productive and responsive staff? Is a lack of efficiency impeding your ability to keep a competitive advantage and scale?

While it may seem intimidating, transformative progress requires careful planning, executed in a sensible way.  Where would you like to see your organization going over the next 3 to 5 years? What are some ways that you might envision technology helping reach and support those goals?

For starters, plant a few seeds by putting a few of your ideas to paper.  I like to do it with an old fashioned composition book and ink. It’s always interesting to look back and see how the roots of my ideas were formed into formidable progress in the years gone by.

The Bottom Line

How do you want your business technology to work in the coming year?  A proactive, best practices approach can help your business navigate the risks that lay ahead while keeping focused on fulfilling your mission.

If you have any questions about how to make the most of these resolutions, call us at (781) 821-0000. Our business technology consultants are eager to help.

Peace, health and gratitude –


David Winter, CEO & Business Technology Consultant
wintersolutions, inc.:  Managed IT Services & Consulting
   for Emerging Business, Non-profit & Education 
david@wintersolutions.com - 781 821-0000
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