The whole point of technology is to make our lives easier. But technology moves so fast, it can be difficult to separate what’s trendy versus what’s actually useful. Here are some IT solutions we recommend that not only here to stay, but also can help save you time and money.
If you’ve ever received a voicemail or chat transcript in your inbox, you’ve likely encountered unified communications. There isn’t a single technology with unified communications—in fact, it’s just the opposite. Tools like robust phone systems are partnered with email, chat, video conferencing, social media, faxing, customer relationship management systems, and more. Benefits include improved collaboration; for example, you could forward the audio of a voicemail to your colleague who’s better suited to handle the issue.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Whether it’s a hard drive failure or a hurricane, losing your precious data can be devastating to your business. If your company’s network is regularly backed up, that’s a great step. But backups alone aren’t enough.
At the very least, you must be certain you can retrieve your backed-up files in the case of an emergency. Let’s say your office becomes flooded, and all the computers in the building are a loss. How will you conduct business? If you can’t run your business, how long will your company survive? With a solid backup and disaster recovery plan, you may find yourself offline for hours instead of days or even weeks. FEMA has some excellent resources to help you get started.
Instead of buying expensive software, help keep your monthly costs low by running your business online. You can find systems for file storage, accounting, customer service, customer relationship management, marketing, sales, backups, human resources, and every other aspect of your business.
Do your homework to make sure you don’t pay for more than you need today. Many cloud services have subscription options that allow you to add more users or features as your small business grows.
Lately, it seems like there’s a big news story every few weeks about a data breach. When it happens to a big company, it becomes national news. But small businesses comprise over half of all cyberattacks. In fact, hackers were able to breach Target’s systems in 2013 by first accessing a supplier—a small HVAC business. Don’t learn the hard way. Be sure you not only secure your networks to the best of your ability, but also educate your team about network security best practices.
There are so many options to bring technology into your business today that the choices are overwhelming. Reach out to peers for recommendations on what worked best—and worst—for them. Additionally, read online reviews and research features. By doing some homework, you’re sure to find solutions that save time and money for your organization.