Start 2018 off with a plan to better your business through better use of technology.
New Year’s resolutions are a bit of a punchline these days. We all say that this year will be the year we finally commit to ‘X’, and make a plan we’ll see through to completion. However, by the time February rolls around, we’ve already abandoned those plans – and our resolution along with them. This happens not only in our personal lives but in our business lives as well.
While we can’t promise that 2018 will be the year you finally keep your personal resolutions, we can all but guarantee that this will be the year you keep your business resolutions. Specifically, your IT resolutions.
The first step is deciding on which resolutions will benefit your business the most, and how best to go about laying out a plan to make those goals a reality. Based on our first-hand experience helping businesses like yours set and reach IT goals year after year, the PACE team has a few suggestions for resolutions you should make for your business in 2018 – and how to keep them.
IT New Year’s Resolution #1: “This year I want my IT provider to proactively work with me to create a real plan for my business technology, track and report performance, and align my IT to true standards and best practices, not just show up when there’s a problem.”
This might be the easiest IT resolution for your business to keep since much of the hard work falls to the IT company you choose to partner with. Whether you’re looking to get more out of the IT provider you’re already working with, or are in the market for someone entirely new, you’ll want to start by asking a few basic but critical questions. The key is to make sure you’ll be working with a company that can meet your expectations, so you’ll need to know that they can:
- Provide the knowledge, expertise, and staff needed to help you create and carry out strategic IT goals
- Provide you with constant updates and feedback to ensure your technology is performing at its peak
- Provide solutions and guidance to help you meet compliance requirements and security best practices
- Proactively monitor and maintain your IT systems to keep costly downtime to a minimum
Find an IT provider who can give you a firm “yes” to all of these questions, and you’re well on your way to fulfilling your resolution.
IT New Year’s Resolution #2: “I don’t want to worry about data breaches or downtime to my business. I want to know that there is a proactive process for ongoing system and best practices checks and reporting to remove any blind spots and areas of risk.”
This is something that can be tricky to take care of on your own. The resources and manpower needed to keep your business productive and secure are often more than a business can manage in-house. Partnering with an IT support provider who offers complete security monitoring, as well as a comprehensive security assessment designed to uncover any vulnerabilities or flaws will help your business keep this resolution. A good IT provider will go out of their way to make sure no aspect of your security has been overlooked, and sit down with you to come up with a plan to keep your business and your data safe, no matter what.
IT New Year’s Resolution #3: “I want a better return on my people, and IT costs. I will have a proactive system and process in place to measure and report key IT metrics and KPI’s to better understand my system performance and also implement a process and strategy to regularly review and work on improving IT performance.”
Having data like this readily available to you to help inform business choices going forward is invaluable to your future success – yet many businesses don’t have any processes or protocols in place to measure or interpret this information. Sit down with your IT provider to discuss the options available to your business, and implement a solution that suits your specific needs. Once you have a plan in place to gather this data, you can make reviewing the data part of your management routine to ensure you’re using the information provided to your full advantage.
IT New Year’s Resolution #4: “I will no longer settle for just fixing IT issues. I want a true proactive process in place to maximize my IT and business results.”
This resolution is as simple as it is critical to your business’ ongoing success. If you’ve been relying primarily or entirely on break/fix IT support to keep your technology running, you really should make 2018 the year you leave break/fix IT behind.
While it’s important to have the support that you can count on when something goes wrong, it’s much, much more important to have support in place to keep things from going wrong in the first place. Proactive IT maintenance is just one small part of what a Managed IT Service Provider can offer your growing business. The full range of support solutions these providers have to offer will not only help you stay ahead of potential problems but grant the ability to leverage your business technology in ways you never thought possible.