If you weren’t able to review the status of your business technologies at the end of 2015, now is a great time to see what your company has, what needs upgrading and where you should invest. Technology is ever changing just like your company so you need to make sure the two are on the same path.
Obvious technology starting points are:
Phones: Consider how your business and employees will use this device. Old school selections gave us iPhones versus Androids. New technology allows us to integrate our phones with other gadgets and even a smart car so ensuring all devices are compatible for ease of workflow is important. If you have an office staff of avid note takers the Galaxy Note may be a smart choice but if you’re staff is out giving presentations the ability to convert your phone to a presentation device may take you in another direction.
Mobile Computers: AKA Laptops and tablets. They scream portability and performance but get the wrong one and you could be caught mid project with a dead battery. Acknowledge the staff members that work heavily in graphics and set them up with a mobile workstation that has long battery life and a solid graphics card. If instead you have staff that works in the cloud Chromebooks or the MacBook Air may be a better choice. Ultimately recognize that working from remote locations requires flexibility and security so ensure that both topics are covered.
Desktop computers and monitors: At some point every business person has to sit at their desk and hammer out the work of the day. Having the right computer is the difference between a smooth afternoon of getting things done and a late night with cold pizza and disgruntled staff members. Much thought should go into buying a computer and this is where your tech support team must come into play. Talk through your needs now as well as your potential growth plans.
Routers: This is the hub that makes your world go round – and you do not want your world to stop spinning so having the right router for your business is critical. Today’s routers should be fast, avoid anything prior to the 802.11n standard protocol. You also need to take into consideration that number of users, that includes printers, smart phones, tablets and visitors that will be demanding service from your router. One smart consideration may be a dedicated router for visitors and non-business technology.
Data Storage: This can get tricky but a necessary piece of technology for any business. Most large corporations will typically host their data on a network and have an IT Support team to watch and ensure scheduled backups are performed. Smaller businesses may make use of the cloud for storage, such as Dropbox.com which will hold your data indefinitely and allow access from virtually anywhere but they will still need an automated backup system. Some small businesses may choose to avoid the cloud completely and opt for a network attached storage device and manage their own data backup and storage.
Video conference: In a world that seems to be getting smaller, our staff seems to enjoy working from anywhere which makes the need for video conferencing very high. Several solutions abound in this market but many medium sized businesses can work smoothly with Skype for Business or Citrix GoToMeetings to keep everyone connected.
Once you have reviewed the tools that are helping your business run, it’s time to talk. A knowledgeable tech support team can help ensure that all these tools will meet your needs in the coming months and that they will work together. There is nothing more tragic than buying a printer that can’t talk to your computer.