At Applied Tech, we aren’t satisfied with being the guys who “keep the lights on” in your IT department. We are always looking at “business as usual” and seeing what could use some improvement. With the speed technology changes it is always important to have a guide to show you where the “Next Big Thing” is, and how it can help improve your business process.

These 4 initiatives should help your company get a head of the curve, and stay there.

1. Get in the Cloud.

If you haven’t shifted some of your technology to the cloud, 2018 is the year to dive in, regardless of how big or small your business is. Technology changes quickly and sticking with premise-based technology costs more in the long run and holds your company back. Cloud provides enterprise-level capabilities at an affordable price for small businesses, and it stays up to date. If you’re serious about your business, it’s time to dive into the cloud.

Where to dive in: If you’re overwhelmed by the cloud, start by moving your email or exchange to the cloud. For instance, Microsoft Exchange Online allows you to collaborate from anywhere, plus easy secure access to your mail, calendar, and tasks. For more information about migrating to the cloud, check out our (free) “Moving to the Cloud” eBook.

2. Get Serious about Security.

If 2017 taught you nothing else, it should have taught you that no matter the size of your company, you need to take security seriously. With large scale cyber attacks like WannaCry happening seemingly every few months, security is a more critical part of your technology than ever before. Making your company less vulnerable is important, but the reality is that breeches happen even in the best of circumstances. Your security needs to identify these breeches quickly when they happen, so you can mitigate the damage caused.

What to do next: A great first step for organizations of all sizes is to activate multi-factor authentication. MFA is a layer of security that is simple to deploy and easy to understand for users. When you sign in to your device, the application will send a text to your phone containing a code that will help confirm your identity. You simply check your text messages for your code, type it in, and proceed as normal. It is a quick and simple way to reduce the risk of unwanted access to your organizations data.

3. Invest in a Data Recovery strategy:

While IT has been getting less and less expensive, many companies still don’t want to invest money into a data recovery strategy. This mistake can result in much higher costs as soon as disaster strikes. Many companies never recover from disaster if they fail to have an adequate backup and recovery system in place. If maintaining a daily back up is your only disaster recovery strategy, you need a different (better) plan. Backing up the server every day is great, but the restoration process needs to be considered. If it’s going to take hours and days to reinstate you and bring you back to fully functional, you need to consider the potential loss of business that can cause.

What to do next: While having a strategy is the a great start to not falling victim to recovering from a disaster, minimizing the chance of them happening is an even safer option. By migrating your file storage and servers to OneDrive and Azure, you lose the on premise risk of a catastrophic event.

4. Get strategic with your IT.

Is your IT advancing the goals of the organization? Or is IT viewed as the team that simply puts the desired technology in place and fixes it when it breaks? Utilizing your Applied Tech IT strategists turns your technology from an expense to an investment in your business. A strategic planner like your assigned Technical Account Manager will look at available technology, your company’s needs, and how existing technology can advance your goals and find the Next Big Thing.

What to do next: Don’t fall behind in 2018, it is time to create a technology road-map, and reach out to your TAM to plan the Next Big Thing for your company.

Contact your TAM or sign up below and we will reach out!

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