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Outgrowing your IT? 6 things to consider when upgrading or implementing new systems

As your business grows technology get’s more complicated because more people need to use it.

 

Thinking back to when your business first started, it was easy.  You had the freedom to use the tools you wanted to use to enable you to work the way you wanted to work.   But IT gets more complicated and more expensive as your team grows.

 

So, if you’re thinking of buying new IT equipment, whether it’s computers, telephones or software applications, you’ll want to make sure your investment will see your business through for as long as possible into the future.

 

If we only had a crystal ball, then choosing now what we need in five years time would be so easy!  So, what do you need to consider when you’re making the decision to put new systems in place or upgrade your existing systems?

 

Here are few pointers we hope you’ll find useful in helping you to make the right decisions:

 

1.      Think about how you want to work, when and where

The wrong technology can hold your business back.  If you’re limited by what your technology can do, you’ll be less able to work quickly and easily, become frustrated and so will your staff and customers.   To decide what you need, think about how and where your team will work and what they will need to be able to do.  For example, if some of your team will work both at home and in the office, make sure they can access information securely and save information in one central place. That way information will stay accurate and up to date.

 

 2.      Centralise information in one central place

Saving information on your own computer network system, on a hosted system or Internet based application is a great way to ensure your team has access to the same tools and same up-to-date information.   Information saved to a central place will simplify things for you and make looking after information much easier.

 

 3.      Protect information both inside and outside of your business.

Set some ground rules for your employees to work to.  You’re legally bound to protect information you hold about your customers on your systems, so make sure your staff are aware of your obligations.

 

If there’s a problem with your computers or file server, being able to recover information could mean the difference between your business being able to continue to operate or not.  So put a data back-up procedure in place to make sure you keep a separate copy of information at regular intervals so that you can recover information should you need to do so.   If you’re using a Cloud-based or hosted service you’ll need to ensure that your provider will regularly back up your data for you.

 

4.      Don’t let technology rule your business

Let’s face it! We’re all in real danger of being controlled by technology.   We’re working on the go, anytime, anywhere more than ever before, because technology enables us to.   But with more staff using their own devices for work, you’ll need to minimise the associated risks of them doing so.   For example by allowing employees to receive company emails on their smart-phone, there is a risk that your customer information could be compromised  should your employee’s device be lost or stolen.

 

But a balance can be struck if you adopt new technologies such as Windows Server R2 which can help you protect and control access to your business data.

 

5.      Check out features, will they be useful?

Automating manual tasks does save time and money, so when you’re looking at buying technology, look for features that can simplify the way you do business.   Think about telephones for example.  If you have voice mail, how easy is it to retrieve the voice mail if you’re out of the office? Can a message be emailed to you automatically or do you have to dial in to retrieve a message?  If you answer a call, how easy is it to transfer the call, can it be done by pressing one button?  They may seem like small things to consider, but they can make a big difference to the way you work.

 

Features are great, but you could spend a lot of money on features that you’ll never use, or that will make your business process more complicated than it needs to be.

 

6.   Research your options 

Finally always try to research the range of options open to your business. With so many solutions available you need to be sure that you’re going to make the best, most cost-effective decisions for your business and adopting technology that will support your business growth.

Friday, September 27th, 2013 by admin About Us

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