With 2020 behind us, we’re throwing all our energy and enthusiasm into 2021. For the past year, businesses and schools alike have done what they’ve had to to adapt and change in light of massive uncertainty. However even when the world stands still, technology doesn’t. There are now rays of hope on the horizon, with vaccination programs underway. Are you ready to put your best foot forward and get ahead of the competition? We’ve put our heads together and come up with what we believe are the top 10 IT must-haves right now.
- Connectivity – By this we mean your internet connection. Assuming you do plan on to returning to your office at some point, what’s the connection like? Do you find yourself waiting for file downloads or uploads? When there are more people in does the internet seem sluggish? It could be time for a new connection. Whether your contract is up for renewal soon or not, have a chat with us about leased lines and the types of connections available for your location. A new connection could revolutionise your productivity.
- Phone System – Did you struggle during 2020 with a lack of system features? Aside from being able to make calls from home identically to if you were in the office, modern telephony systems have a huge range of helpful features, including voicemail to email, click to dial, presence indicators, call queues and so much more. Make calls from your personal mobiles if you wish, or from standard desk phones.
- PC Refresh – Even though it feels like the weirdest year ever, time has indeed passed, and components have aged. If your computers are starting to cause you problems, taking forever to turn on, or struggling with loading applications, this is their way of telling you it’s time to retire them for something new.
- Outsourcing – Whenever an IT problem occurs are you suddenly overcome with dread? At a certain point it becomes much more cost effective to outsource the IT function of your business. You won’t be stung with large, unexpected bills for replacement items and you’ll have a full external service desk at your team’s beck and call. All round, the idea is to ensure the IT runs so smoothly you’ll forget it ever caused issues in the first place.
- Remote Working Setup – Did your team ‘just get by’ working from home when lockdown struck, or did they flourish? Maybe they’re still working this way. Either way, are your home working solutions suitable for long term usage? Could you confidently onboard new employees to your remote way of working? Are all your remote devices backed up and secured? Can all your files be accessed from wherever your employees need them? Take some time to review your remote work solution and enable your employees to fulfil their potential from anywhere.
- Security – We won’t sugar coat it, security is a massive topic and can’t be taken lightly. From multi-factor authentication to firewalls, dark web monitoring to password managers there are so many areas to address to protect your business. Regardless of your size or industry, malicious parties are out there and your business could be next on their list. If you’ve taken every measure possible to protect yourself you can sleep easy at night, if you haven’t… it’s never too late to get started.
- An IT Strategy – If you’ve reached the limit of your technical know how it’s time to call in the experts. We’re not talking a senior engineer – we mean a CTO level professional. This is someone who can work with you to understand your business and where technology development can support your growth. An IT strategy is a 3-5 year roadmap of how technology will support and further your overall business strategy. Contracting a consultant can prove invaluable in providing top level knowledge about future opportunities and threats and what direction you should be heading.
- Backup and Disaster Planning – No doubt the past year has put some aspects of your disaster plan to the test, but how’s the rest? Do you have a solid backup procedure, and does it cover your remote workers and their files? We’ve been hit by a public health crisis, but what about fire, or the failure of a server? If you’ve got any doubts then you need to address them as a priority. If you’ve survived or thrived through 2020, the worst thing imaginable would be to collapse under an avoidable backup failure.
- Software Refresh – Do you ever come up against compatibility issues when sending files, either internally or externally? Performing a software audit and refresh can help bring all your systems in line and up to date. Many organisations use cloud-based software which updates automatically and ensures you never have another compatibility issue again. We highly recommend this as the way forwards.
- Unified Communication – While this is closely related to your phone system, it goes further and involves full business coherence. A unified communication approach interlinks your video calling, instant messaging and chosen collaboration platform. This could be all one piece of software, or a combination of a couple that work in harmony. For example, we use Microsoft Teams for all our internal communications, using a new piece of software, we could connect our phone system to this too, enabling all our internal and external communications from the one app.
This article covers just a snapshot of each area. If you’d like to discuss any of our ‘IT must-haves’ in more detail we’d be very happy to arrange a call or a video chat – get in touch today.
We’ve put all of the top 10 IT must-haves into a helpful quick reference downloadable poster – please feel free to share this with colleagues and friends.
As a long-established provider of IT services and products M-Tech can supply, configure and deploy the technology integral to the efficient operation of your organisation. We aim to enable you to free up resources, gain additional expertise and trust that your essential IT is taken care of. You get more time to focus on your organisation, we’ll keep the IT running so smoothly you’ll forget it’s there.