10 Steps To Future-proofing Your Business Technology in 2016
Happy New Year everyone! 2016 is well underway, we are almost half way through ‘decision making January’. Business decisions that you make now can help to determine the success of the coming year. So make them count!
It is important to keep informed of a technology advances in the business sector and properly maintain current equipment and technology accordingly. Staying up-to-date will help promote efficiency and productivity in the workplace.
If your business is placing technology upgrades at the bottom of this years ‘To-do list’ then take a look at these steps to help you make the right technology decisions for the future of your business.
Step 1: Evaluate your current technology
Technology purchased 10 or even five years ago may still be operating, but that does not mean that they are the best option. In fact, old technology may actually be hindering your business efficiency and productivity levels.
It is vital to track the progress of all hardware, software and equipment in the workplace and ensure that they are still producing the best possible results for your business. If you see noticeable changes in your evaluations over time, this is the first indication that an upgrade may be in order.
Step 2: Seek the right support
When upgrading business technology it is hard to know where to start. It is important to ensure you are receiving a high ROI, it must be worth your valuable time, money and you want it to last as long as possible. Cloud computing in business is more prevalent than ever, with approximately 1 in 5 Australian businesses choosing cloud computing services. To launch your business into the future, it is best to start with the cloud.
Gaining help from a licensed and credible cloud servicing provider is important. Migrating to the cloud or moving partial elements of your business to the cloud is key to successful business operation in 2016. Let the experts take care of all of the hard stuff and ensure a smooth transition with minimal maintenance worries. Advice from a cloud provider can help you determine the right package for your business and its future.
Step 3: Spend more now to save more later
You may feel that currently upgrading to the cloud is an unnecessary move for your business, especially if you have relatively new server technology in operation.
What’s that they say? You’ve got to spend money to make money. This is very true when it comes to business technology. Whether you want to move some elements of your business to the cloud or the whole lot, there are proven long term financial benefits to this technology move. In 2014 SMB’s were 49% more likely to identify a reduction in IT costs as a result of ‘Cloud’ adoption.
Step 4: Stop wasting time updating and maintaining old software
A time consuming and not to mention costly activity that can be eliminated completely with the adoption of cloud computing for your business. All management and maintenance is done in the cloud and with the help of your cloud service provider.
If you find yourself constantly on the phone to technicians with problems, a new server is not always the best way to solve your frustrations. For an increased technology lifespan and easier maintenance, the cloud is the best way forward to ensure successful business operations’ in the future.
Step 5: Sell any unused hardware
As stated in steps 3 and 4 the maintenance of hardware and software is a cost that is eliminated with cloud computing. If you are concerned about past investments made in hardware, there are many companies out there willing to buy your old hardware for a decent amount of money, especially if they were purchased in the past 5 years. You just need to find the right people. These funds can then be utilised in your cloud transition.
Step 6: Begin with Emails
If steps 1 to 5 have not convinced you that the cloud is the way of the future for business then stop reading now and let your server frustrations continue.
However, if you are interested in taking the first step into the cloud, moving emails has got to be one of the most logical choices for a beginner cloud move. Taking baby steps is okay and in fact encouraged at times, your business can get a feel at how the cloud works and understand the benefits before committing to a larger move. Check out this article to see what an email upgrade can do for you.
Step 7: Secure your data
A one up from emails would be data security, this may sound scary but security and privacy are cloud computing’s number one priority. The recent introduction of new multi-authentication methods has revolutionised how we access our private data, meaning your business documents are safer and more secure than ever with the cloud.
Moving file storage to the cloud will be a huge improvement to other file storage methods currently employed. If you decide to go with Office 365 it is also a cost effective option with your first terabyte of storage free!
Step 8: Controlling documents
Document management can be difficult in today’s business world. A simple filing cabinet may not suffice, not to mention the paper wastage. What about an online filing cabinet? Place all of your files in the cloud for a future of easy storage and management. Helpful applications such as OneDrive for Business and SharePoint can help you organise files, manage content and control who can view and edit each piece.
Step 9: Project tracking and management
Start organising your projects with online management systems, such as SharePoint. Have you ever thought of developing an intranet for your business? SharePoint can act like an intranet portal and is customisable to your business branding. It can be tricky to set up but using it is a breeze!
Seek advice from an expert to kick start project management in the cloud with SharePoint. This style of managing will introduce online collaboration to your employees with the ability to track their progress. This aims to increase productivity and decrease the wait time that can come with emailing project files back and forth to colleagues.
Step 10: Promote a collaborative workplace
Encouraging the use of collaborative methods such as SharePoint in the workplace can unlock efficiency. Other tools such as Skype for Business and Office 365 applications that employ collaborative features, are useful to get staff working together.
Collaboration creates better flow and can help to generate better ideas and innovations. The collaborative cloud tools allow for work to progress anywhere, at any time and on any device.
Have you completed these 10 steps? Congratulations, you are now one of the many Australian cloud computing businesses with updated technologies and a team that is excited about the future.
Tell us about your experience moving your business to the cloud.