When you finally decide to bring your business to the next level, you should take into account how technology will grow with you. Advancements in technology push companies to evolve so that they can function at an optimum level, provide excellent customer service, and stay relevant in their field. As such, it should be a crucial aspect of your organization’s strategic roadmap.
Here are four IT initiatives you must undertake to sustain business growth.
1. Increasing and upgrading IT capacity
Your IT equipment and software should always meet your company’s needs. For example, increasing your computers’ random access memory (RAM) improves the ability of your PCs to run programs faster and more efficiently. Meanwhile, keeping your software updated by applying critical patches on security holes keep your data protected from cyberthreats.
2. Protection against security threats
Businesses often overlook the importance of cybersecurity because they think that antivirus applications and firewalls are enough. Cybercriminals can easily creep into your system via vulnerabilities such as missing patches, weak or default passwords, and mobile devices.
Data breaches expose sensitive and confidential information that can hurt businesses and their customers. According to the 2019 Midyear Quickview Data Breach report, an astonishing 4.1 billion records have been compromised just in the first six months of 2019. What’s more alarming is that “majority of breaches reported had a moderate to low severity score.” Attacks classified as moderate to low in severity mean that hackers exposed 10,000 or fewer records. This means that small businesses are easy targets due to lack of cybersecurity measures for their data.
Along with up-to-date hardware and software applications, companies should invest in cybersecurity solutions:
- Perimeter security – Covers firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and spam protection
- Intranet security – Comprises patching and updating software, anti-malware software, and physical data security
- Human security – Includes a comprehensive security awareness training, password policies, and security testing
3. Dealing with the IT skills gap
Skills shortage becomes a primary bottleneck to business scalability. Business leaders, however, do have options on how they can bridge this gap, especially with IT.
Existing employees can be cross-trained, provided with in-house developmental opportunities, or allowed by companies to pursue certifications or degrees. Strategic hiring is also a good practice. However, these ways may disrupt the entire company and become more costly with time.
4. Data backups and disaster recovery
When cases of security breaches or network outages is a matter of “when” and not “if,” having well-planned backup and disaster recovery plans will help your organization mitigate risks and maintain data regulations compliance.
A good backup strategy is to have enough copies of your data stored in your hard drive, a local backup, and off-site storage. These copies can be used to restore original files and are also useful for immediate access to documents. And because you don’t know when you’ll be needing backups, they should be done on a regular basis.
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a strategy that aims to maintain critical functions before, during, and after a disaster. It includes determining application priority, aligning your backup policy with your DRP, and assigning recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). DRPs must undergo rigorous testing to determine their effectiveness.
Consider partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP)
Managing an in-house IT system is only ideal for small businesses, but as you expand and your network becomes more complex, it will be better to have your IT tasks handled by experts who can provide you with top-notch IT services. MSPs provide proactive IT management and maintenance services that are tailor-fit to your company’s needs.
Midwest Data Service prides itself on aiding companies align technology with business goals for maximum return on investment. Services range from IT security to backup and disaster recovery to cloud solutions. Give us a call to learn more.