How Can You Avoid Surprises in Technology?
When you hear the word surprise, you may associate it with something positive like the excitement that comes with a surprise birthday party or watching kids open presents on Christmas morning. When it comes to your business, surprises are NOT a good thing, especially when it involves the technology your business leverages for success. Avoiding surprises in technology is not a complicated process, it just requires some intentional planning and discipline. As your vCIO I want to work with you to develop and maintain a Technology Success plan that will eliminate surprises and give you a roadmap for success. Here are a few fundamental concepts you need to be continually thinking of to avoid surprises and ensure you are setup for success:
- Out with the old! Eliminate Technical Debt. On average, computers have a 5-year life span before they get to the point of becoming completely unpredictable, unsupportable, and downright unusable. Inventory your computers and build a recurring replacement cycle to minimize productivity loss from old hardware and surprise costs due to failure.
- Know when to upgrade! Keep your Systems Healthy. Like your computers, your business applications and the systems they run on have a lifecycle. Microsoft Server Operating Systems are released every few years and are retired on a regular basis. Mainstream support for Microsoft Server 2012 ended in 2020 and extended support will end in July 2023. Upgrading can be an extensive process, especially when 3rd party applications and other factors are involved so planning well in advance is key to not ending up with an unsupported/outdated system.
- Lock it up! Secure Everything. Cybercrime is at an all-time high and every business is at risk, no matter how small. Multi-Factor Authentication needs to be implemented on everything and entry points to your network need to be minimized. Security Information and Event Monitoring (SIEM) tools are an additional layer of protection to monitor and alert on any suspicious activity on your network. SIEM software is already becoming a requirement for certain industry compliance standards and is moving toward being a baseline standard for across the board.
- When Disaster strikes, know how to recover. It is not a matter of if, but when. At some point in time, something will happen that will threaten your systems or data, whether it be fire, natural disaster, malicious attack, or other unfortunate event. Evaluate what is critical to your business and have a plan to recover. Having executable Disaster Recovery/Incident Response/Business Continuity plans is critical to being able to survive what could otherwise be a fatal blow to your organization.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this alone! The more your IT provider is involved, the more they can help create an alignment between technology and your business outcomes, which has a direct impact on your bottom line and business profitability. To learn more about Technology Success planning, reach out to us.