It’s a brand-new year. Time to think about how you can make all those changes you’ve been thinking about for the past 6 months. But where to start? There are so many different choices out there, so much to upgrade. Well, let us offer one piece of advice- Start with your technology.
We’ve said it before and you’ll hear it again. You can’t afford to put your technology low down on the list anymore. Every organization (heck, every person) relies on technology. Without it, your organization won’t be able to survive and thrive in today’s world.
There has been big talk recently about organizations moving everything over to the Cloud. While this is definitely where we are all headed, when we talk about moving everything to the Cloud, we tend to foget one very important thing- we still need equipment.
Just because you are running your business from the Cloud doesn’t mean you don’t have equipment that is vital to your organization. So, as you start thinking about all the upgrades you need for 2013, make sure that you consider the following equipment.
The purpose of a server is really simple- it stores your stuff. These days though, with everything going cloud-based, you don’t necessarily need a server that is housed at your office.
There are two situations in which your company would need a server- first, if you are over 20 people and plan on continuing growth. Second- If you have specialized or customized programs or applications that won’t run in the cloud.
However, if your organization doesn’t fall under either of these situations, you don’t really need a server. You can host everything in the cloud, which means one less piece of equipment you need to worry about.
Having a firewall is one of (if not the most) crucial pieces of equipment for any organization. A firewall is used to protect your system from all of the dangers that exist online. Without a firewall, your network is open and vulnerable to hackers, viruses, and a whole host of other scary online boogeymen.
To learn more about what a firewall does and why it is so important for your company, read this blog post.
Do you know what you would do if there was a data disaster in your organization and your network was wiped? Or what if you accidentally hit the wrong key and delete a report you just spent a month working on?
Backups systems are really important for any organization. And if you think these small disasters could never happen to you, think again. Take a look at this video for some surprising stats about backups.
4. Phone System
There are some really cool phone systems for businesses on the market today that make your life very easy. For example, the one we use at Network Depot is called ShoreTel. Not only can it do everything you would expect a normal office phone system to do, it comes with a great program that you install on your computer that allows you to control your phone from your computer. You can see every extension in your office, whether or not they are on the phone, and even who they are talking to. You can set up call forwarding to any number with the click of a button, and you can set up your voicemail messages to come in as emails.
Also, since ShoreTel is software based (as most modern phone systems are), when upgrades come out you only need to upgrade the software as opposed to buying a whole new phone system. This not only means you are saving a lot of money in the long-term, it also makes your phone system much easier to maintain.
Technology advancements are not leaving the phone systems behind. Make sure your company doesn’t either.
5. Desktops, laptops, and accessories
Yes, there are some very sleek and shiny products that are available these days. Flat screens, tablets, 3-D printers…but you don’t need all of that. In fact, all you need is something that will work. And you’re right. Why spend thousands of dollars on something just because it looks cooler? A small organization can’t afford that.
There are some things you need to be able to afford- things that have to be built into your budget when we talk about products. For example, any desktop or laptop has to have the capacity to support all the programs that you want to run. It is simple fact that very old computers simply won’t be able to run some newer programs because of their age. They don’t have the hard drive capability. That’s why we recommend upgrading these products every 5 years or so. That way, you never have to worry about running a program on your machine. Plus, computer equipment doesn’t last forever. It gets old and worn out just like anything else, and will need to be replaced.
It is always important to remember to build needed technology equipment into your business plan. For example, if you are planning to grow your company and take on 5 more employees over the next year, you will need to make sure you have the budget to get them all the equipment they need. Will they be working on a desktop or laptop? Do they need a phone? Will it cost extra to give them access to all your cloud-based services? These are just some of the questions you need to have answers for.
Not sure what equipment you need? Not sure which ones are ready for an upgrade? We’ll do a free audit and let you know!