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The end of the year is fast approaching – is your business technologically ready to embrace 2019?

Amidst the festivities, many business owners are looking ahead and planning for the new year, but what’s the best way to forecast for business technology? Below, we list 5 important questions every business owner should consider when preparing their office technology for great year of success.

1. What is your tech budget for upcoming year?

Virtually all successful businesses have a budget in place from year-to-year. As with every other facet of business, it’s necessary to develop a budget that will account for any important upgrades, replacements and expansions that may arise in your business technology. This number should always include an emergency fund to cover unforeseen issues like unexpected hardware failure or a network data hack. The best prepared business owners expect to spend money on technology as the year progresses and plan accordingly. This foresight often mitigates last-minute budget crunches and interruptions that cost businesses money.

If your network is supported by an IT professional, consult with them as you work out your budget. They should be able to tell you what, if any, upgrades or other necessary projects should be anticipated moving forward.  

2. Is all your software up-to-date?

Although you should always try and keep your technology current, updates sometimes get overlooked or ignored. Now is the time to install any overdue patches and updates that you’ve been postponing. These updates often include important security updates and other performance enhancements that protect your network and keep your daily operations running smoothly.

If you have an IT support provider like us, then you likely don’t have to worry about this. If not, we highly recommend you get one. Updating isn’t always as simple and straightforward as some people may think. Not all patches are created equal, and there are times when patches are released with bugs and other flaws that will negatively impact your software. An IT support provider will ensure that all your programs and applications are running as efficiently as possible, taking the burden out of your hands and preventing unnecessary downtime.

3. Are your security measures fully-functioning?

Now is the time to check your firewalls, endpoint protection and compliance standards. Take an objective look at your network; are there vulnerabilities within your system that could be exploited? Are there any upgrades or installations you’ve been delaying that leave your data exposed? When was the last time you discussed cyber security best practices with your employees? If you’re struggling with any of these questions, or you just want to make sure you have your bases covered, read this post with helpful cyber security tips by clicking here.

There are many points of entry into a computer network and managing security can get complex. We HIGHLY recommend consulting with an IT professional about the safety of your business (No, really. We’re serious.). Hacking is a very real threat that is increasingly common and devastating when it happens.

4. Has any of your hardware expired?

Shockingly, most business owners don’t know the lifespan of their system hardware (Hint: Almost all hardware has a 3 year lifespan!). As equipment nears the end of its life its overall performance, security and reliability begin to degrade considerably. With that degradation, the continual cost of upkeep increases, eventually outweighing the upfront cost of purchasing new hardware. Do yourself a favor and don’t try to delay the inevitable when it comes to upgrading your equipment. More often than not, outdated hardware ends up costing businesses MORE money in upkeep and shoddy performance. As such, it’s important to evaluate the age of your hardware and start planning for new hardware IN ADVANCE of when you’ll need it. As a rule of thumb, we recommend budgeting for new hardware within the last year of life of your current equipment. That way, you avoid the frustration of equipment failure and, if unexpected costs pop up, you’ll still have time to rework your budget. As always, we recommend discussing upgrades with your IT support provider to figure out which should be prioritized within your budget.

The Average Lifespan of Business Hardware

3 Years, 5 Maximum
  • Servers
  • Switches
  • Firewalls
  • Access Points
3 Years Maximum
  • Personal Computers
  • Laptops

5. Do you have a robust disaster recovery plan in place?

Disaster recovery is so CRITICALLY important for every business, we recommend it as THE single most important aspect of business technology. Accidental deletion of data, viruses, ransomware, unexpected hardware failure, theft… the list of potentially catastrophic events is long and not as unlikely as you may think. Starting off the new year with a clear, thorough disaster recovery plan is one of the best moves you can make as a responsible business owner. There’s a lot to cover on this one, so we’ve written more on this topic here.

So, is your business ready for the upcoming year? If you’d like your business technology to be managed by qualified IT experts, gives us a call at 914-934-9775 or email us at info@p-connect.com.