From email to data storage to accounting platforms, technology is the backbone of your business. No matter how big or small your operations are, making sure your solutions are operating to their highest level can spell the difference between sky-high profits or dismal losses. Like any investment, you need to know how to monitor and track success in order to make the most of your venture.
Aging IT equipment can lead to unexpected outages and be an unexpected business killer. While replacing outdated machines is costly, the price of lost business or data in the event of equipment failure can be truly staggering. If you choose to keep your IT equipment in-house, be sure to monitor your equipment and evaluate its remaining useful life on a regular basis. Many companies are avoiding the risk of aging equipment altogether by signing up with providers who manage and update equipment and software from a remote location by hosting solutions and delivering them over the internet.
Scalable solutions are ideal for businesses that tend to see fluctuations in activity throughout the year. Businesses that have variances in business volume typically purchase technology solutions that match their greatest needs, but that means the business will have to pay more than is necessary for technology solutions during slower periods. As technology solutions become more flexible, cloud hosting providers can scale networks up or down based on the current needs of the business, thus sparing the business the additional costs of paying for too much network capacity.
Reliable backup systems are crucial as businesses continue to store critical data on computers and servers. Without a reliable backup system, important data can be lost forever in just a matter of irretrievable minutes. Many businesses, especially smaller ones, rely on thumb drives and external hard drives that require manual backup. The most secure backup your system can have is automatic backup to a remote server. And don’t forget about backing up your email—countless important conversations are stored in those files, too.
Remote access has become a business mainstay for most large companies, and SMBs are increasingly interested in providing off-site access to applications, information and inter-office collaboration from all sorts of desktop and mobile devices. With remote access, employees can work from anywhere they have wireless connectivity and the business day extends beyond 9-5.
New technologies can offer improved efficiencies, including reduced costs. Keep an eye on the competition by reading and exploring technology case studies of companies of a similar size or industry. Most technology providers post case studies of their clients online, and these are great resources for exploring the options available as well as for understanding the capabilities of a service provider.
Many small business owners have the majority of their net worth tied up in their business. Business continuity planning, including disaster recovery, is a comprehensive approach to creating a business survival plan in the event of disaster. Businesses are at risk for natural disasters, internal catastrophe, equipment failure, theft and worse, and including IT into your disaster recovery plan can prevent the loss of information critical to your business.
Network monitoring services can prevent IT catastrophes before they affect business operations. Available through select service providers, monitoring ensures your network is reliable and running at peak performance 24x7x365.
Enterprise-class antivirus protection that is centrally managed is a must for businesses of all sizes. With the help of a technology service provider, your antivirus protection can be pushed out to workstations automatically, ensuring your network as a whole is protected at all times.