10 IT Strategies to Improve Your Business

November 29, 2018

IT has a bigger effect on your business than you may realize. For many companies, this can be intimidating, but the good news is that effective IT isn't reserved for major corporations. In fact, having effective IT is possible, and can be a huge advantage to businesses looking to stand out from the competition. 

Any company that wants to improve their business can if they commit to making some changes. If you want to improve your security, productivity, speed, stability and overall success, these 10 strategies will get you there. 


Security

Cybersecurity for business is critical

You have locks on your office doors, perhaps a building security guard, but what about the security you can't physically touch? That's where IT can help. When our new clients come to us with a security problem, we generally find the issue to really be five times worse than they realize.

Take malicious attacks. These viruses, like malware, are increasing every year. In fact, early 2018 saw malware installations grow by nearly 430,000. And the effects are incredibly expensive. For example, credit unions, an especially susceptible sector, are faced with over $5 million in costs on average when attacks happen.

If you've asked:
  • Do we have security protocols in place?
  • Can we monitor our security for breaches?
  • How can we protect against malware?
Here's what to do:

1. Monitor for PC Patches

Think of PC patches as the digital version of vaccinations. To improve usability, computer programs debut PC patches meant to fix bugs and other issues in the system. These patches keep your programs updated, so it's important to watch for new versions and install them where necessary. For our clients, our team monitors for PC patches daily and weekly, and handles the installation too.

2. Install Virus & Spam Protection

Malicious campaigns aren't just the obvious spam email anymore. If you feel uncertain about how to spot viruses and spam, it's because it's getting more difficult to do so! That's why a good defense is so important. Installing protection will keep most of the attacks at bay, that's why we offer the highest in virus/spam security. 

3. Educate Employees

You may have noticed we said "most" in the last sentence. That's because no system is perfect. But that's where your greatest asset comes in — your employees. Empowering your employees to be their own security guard goes a long way in preventing breaches. Offer educational sessions or training materials so employees learn what to watch for and what to do if something happens. 

 

Productivity

Information technology promotes productivity

Bottom line: Employee productivity affects the bottom line. When your employees are spending more time going in circles than moving forward, they're losing steam and you're losing money. That no-win situation is what IT providers are meant to stop. Bad IT environments can add up to hundreds of hours of lost time if the problem isn't fixed. 

With the finite resources companies have (time, money and manpower), even one malfunction can halt the whole operation. Now that most businesses have some digital component, whether it's email, data entry, proprietary software or something else, productivity relies on effective IT.

If you've asked:
  • Are employees affected by missing or corrupted files?
  • Are communications with clients or customers halted because of network issues or spotty WiFi?
  • Am I wasting precious time trying to recover deleted or lost data?
Here's what to do:

4. Implement Data Backups

Answer these two questions:

  1. Do you back up your data?
  2. If so, when was the last time you checked that data?

When we pose this question to new clients, many can't recall when, if ever, someone checked to see if their data is backing up properly. It's a common response that exposes an important lesson. Back up your data frequently and consistently, and check on it regularly. For our clients, we offer hourly local backups and nightly offsite ones

5. Update Hardware & Software

Even if your employees are willing to deal with IT issues, what happens when it reaches the client or customer? The last way you want to appear is unprofessional, but ineffective IT will do just that. The key is ensuring all your technology — physical and digital — is current. By installing new hardware and upgrading your software on a regular basis, you can increase your employees' productivity and make your customers happy. 

 

Speed

Effective IT speeds up business

In an age where Amazon Prime can deliver your product on the same day, customers expect results quickly. If you can't deliver at the right speed, your audience will look elsewhere. Sometimes that means working outside the traditional 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  work hours, and even working remote or on the go.

We're betting you've answered a work email at least once while waiting at the doctor's office. How much easier would that be if you had access to all the files you need all the time? This is what makes an efficient IT environment critical to success. 

If you've asked:
  • Can employees access their work remotely?
  • Do I have to save my data on a hard drive?
  • Why can't I access my files on the go?
Here's what to do:

6. Explore Virtual Desktop Systems

Virtual desktop systems may be the answer to your work needs. With software like Citrix Systems, you can access your work desktop from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. This is a great option for remote workers or companies that promote flexible work hours. 

7. Consider Cloud Hosting

Another on-demand tool for companies is the cloud. Operating as a digital version of your servers and storage, the cloud offers an easy way to store and access your data. Just like with virtual desktop systems, as long as employees have an internet connection, they'll be able to reach the cloud. Along with accessibility, the cloud benefits companies that plan to grow. Because there's no physical IT infrastructure to account for anymore, you don't have to invest in extra space in the future. 

 

Stability

Effective IT promotes stability in the workplace

A stable working environment promotes success. When your employees are able to do their jobs without IT-related interruptions, they'll deliver better results. IT instability can come from a variety of issues. Sometimes it's outdated infrastructure that slowly starts to affect everyone, requiring huge time and money commitments to upgrade. Other times it's viruses that lock and hold your data ransom until you give the hackers what they want.  Scenarios like this are preventable, but some aren't.  Forces of nature, like hurricanes, can't be stopped, but with proper disaster planning you can avoid a lengthy and expensive recovery. 

If you've asked:
  • Is our technology outdated?
  • Have we created a technology continuity plan?
  • What would we do in the event of a disaster?
Here's what to do:

8. Create a Tech Continuity Plan

Just like us, technology has a lifespan. It gets old, slow and eventually shuts down, and you don't want to be in the middle of an important project when that happens. Future planning is critical so you can properly  budget and allocate resources.

Creating a technology continuity plan help you take stock of all the infrastructure you have now, what you need to reach the next step and how you'll get there. We provide our clients with a dedicated principal consultant who creates a 3-5-year roadmap  to plan and implement your future technology goals. 

9. Prepare a Disaster Recovery Plan

No matter where your business is located, disasters happen. Floods, fires, tornadoes — if you're in Florida like us, hurricanes! Being in business since 2000, we've seen our share of close calls and recovery efforts when a natural disaster comes through, so we know how to help you. Whatever problem our clients need to avoid, we determine what to do before, during and after that emergency happens. 

 

Success

iVenture Solutions Jacksonville

Any MSP can say they're the right choice for your business, but can they prove it? We talk the talk because we walk the walk improving our clients' technology every day. IT is a big investment and an even bigger headache when it's not serviced properly. We created this IT provider checklist to help you see if you're getting the most from your current IT partnership and what you can get with the right MSP.

If you've asked:
  • How can I improve my business?
Here's what to do:
10. Partner With a Qualified MSP (That Will Take Care of Everything for You!)

Let us show you what business-friendly IT can do for your company. Our team of over 125 IT experts means you get a live-answer and friendly service anytime you call. Our dedicated team structure means we become an intimate part of your business, able to anticipate problems and provide long-lasting solutions. Our commitment to rapid response, reduced chaos and the right people means you can get back to focusing on your core business. We'll take care of IT. 

Ready for success? iVenture Solutions is an award-winning managed service provider delivering superior IT solutions to clients across Florida. As a leading-edge IT firm for small and medium-sized businesses, we provide a diverse range of services covering the entire scope of IT including maintenance, support, hosting and more. Through rapid response time, reduction of chaos and the right people, our expert team of IT professionals will fulfill your technology needs. At iVenture, we give you more time to do what matters most. 

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