Each year brings an onslaught of new challenges and changes in the IT landscape. Are you prepared for what’s coming in 2014? With all of the moving parts that play into your organization’s technology, it can be difficult to decide which areas need your attention. Start with baby steps and look at these 4 areas first:
1. Replace any machines that are still running Windows XP.
The end is near! Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP in April 2014. If you’re still using this outdated operating system, you’ll be vulnerable to viruses and malware, and there won’t be any new fixes released to prevent your computers from crashing. We recommend that anyone using Windows XP upgrade as soon as possible to avoid headaches and unexpected costs down the road.
2. Evaluate your web presence.
As more Gen-X’ers and Gen-Y’ers move into decision-making roles, it is more and more important to have a strong web presence. Younger users are much more likely to use the web to search and learn about your business than to resort to the Yellow Pages or other traditional media.
If you can’t answer “yes” to all of the following questions, you may want to focus part of your budget into strengthening your web presence next year:
- Do you have an up-to-date website?
- Is your website optimized for viewing on mobile devices (smartphones, iPads/tablets)?
- Do you have a presence on social networks?
- Do you update your website/social networks on a regular basis?
- Do you have an online marketing strategy?
3. Decide if it’s time to move to the Cloud.
If it’s time to upgrade your server(s), consider moving to the Cloud as an alternative to upgrading your in-house equipment. The Cloud might not be right for you quite yet, but you should at least evaluate the costs and benefits involved with both scenarios before making a decision.
Related post: Cloud Computing Costs Scenario
4. Assess your mobility strategy.
Mobility allows you to take information from the confines of your office building and put it in the hands of people working outside of your building. For the most part, mobile workers are salesmen, account managers, technicians and other people who work in the field. Giving them easy access to information helps them to rely less on assumptions and more on the raw, real-time data coming from your business systems.
When you automate the flow of information to a hand-held device, you won’t have to rely on manpower back at the corporate office to generate information and provide it to workers in the field. Think about how mobile devices and apps might help your organization increase efficiency and improve communication next year.
Need help planning your 2014 IT budget?
Contact us today or call 229-671-1513 and we’ll help you develop the plan that’s right for your organization.