The start of a new calendar year presents the opportunity to make improvements in many areas of their lives. The New Year’s Resolution gives individuals the chance to look ahead at what they want for themselves, for their families, and their businesses and come up with a plan to get there.
Can you guess what the most common New Year’s Resolution is?
According to Statista in 2018 the most common resolution was to start eating healthier. In a close second place was the resolution to get more exercise.
And in an even closer third place, the desire to save more money made the list of the most popular resolution with 37% of the survey respondents indicating that leaving more money in their pockets was the chief goal for the coming year.
It’s that third resolution we wanted to take a deeper look at today.
Obviously, from the standpoint of a business owner, saving more money would be great! But there are many ways to have more money in the account at the end of the year, including making more revenue!
The team here at Continuous Networks work all year long to help make businesses run more efficiently by leveraging better technology solutions. Sometimes, that’s as simple as being a call away when the printers go offline, but other times it involves a complete overhaul of an existing IT infrastructure.
Today we wanted to focus on a few ways that a forward-thinking business might want to plan for 2019 and beyond.
It might be good to think about this article as a tool for inspiration when considering New Year’s Resolutions for your business.
2019 – The Year for Better Cybersecurity
For too many businesses, cybersecurity is an afterthought when it comes to technology planning. But the surge of headlines featuring high profile data breaches should serve as less of a wake-up call and more of an air-raid siren if simple anti-virus software is the only line of defense currently deployed within an organization.
Some of the biggest and most trusted companies had to come forward with hat-in-hand and divulge that millions of their customers had been impacted by large-scale data breaches. Amazon, Facebook, Macy’s Kmart, Delta Airlines, Quora, Facebook (again), Yahoo – the list goes on and on.
While these incidents once originated and were dealt with in the corners of the IT department, there’s a strong trend towards these matters becoming more of a priority for C-level individuals.
As the collateral damage from these events becomes more painful for stock prices, shareholder profits, and customers feeling tainted about the brand, the responsibility for these events will land more squarely on the shoulders of executives.
But small businesses have a problem – their CEO is often also the CIO and the marketing manager and the chief customer service representative. The delegation of technology matters, specifically as they pertain to cybersecurity, will become a much more important decision. If mitigating risks from cyber threats isn’t exactly your strong point a virtual CIO/CTO might be the right plan for 2019.
This type of outsourced solution provides SMBs with the experience and technical acumen for their organizations without the additional overhead created by an executive-level benefits package.
2019 – The Year Workspaces Evolve
Picture a “typical” office. What does your imagination come up with?
Nobody would blame you for picturing desk clumps separated by grey or black partitions. But with the rise in remote workforces, the days of the cubicle might be numbered.
You probably don’t need us to tell you that a cloud network helps provide more flexibility for workers and ultimately helps a business be more productive. But one area that might not get enough attention is how this type of technology can help play a role in increased workplace happiness.
Happier employees produce better results, are usually more productive and tend to be more loyal. While technology might change the way certain repetitive job functions like data entry are performed, technology is also contributing to fewer cases of workplace burnout.
A recent Gallup poll reported that 44% of employees feel some type of burnout at work. Not to sound too crass, but an employee suffering from burnout at work is like burning the overhead expense that employee is costing the business.
An article in Inc. described more about how tech is helping reduce burnout:
In 2019, technologies designed with empathy in mind--that augment the human touch, rather than overpower or direct it--will come to the forefront as employers increasingly prioritize the holistic wellness of their people as the foundational way to improve their organization. Specifically, we will see businesses go beyond basic wellness programs, and increasingly turn to transformative technologies that improve workplace wellness through a true understanding of the employee experience.
Still, one must start slow, before they provide robot waiters for employees, how about starting your 2019 workplace improvement plan with something as simple as virtualized desktop environments.
The foundation of a successful work-from-home program is the ability for employees to be able to access content they need from a workplace computer or network. With the right assistance, this can be a breeze to set up and a gratitude-generator among the staff.
Not to mention the reduction in IT expenses, and lower energy costs that these flexible work programs provide – the accountants love that.
2019 – The Year for Smarter Delegation
Entrepreneurs have a problem.
They’re stubborn and have a seriously difficult time letting go of tasks they believe would be better performed by them. While this type of work ethic is admirable, it can also lead to stymied growth.
When it comes to IT support if internal resources are not able to provide the level of support the business needs to operate at maximum efficiency, repeat after us, “DELEGATE.”
We get it, letting go takes work, but when you select vendors carefully it doesn’t have to be painful.
Savvy CTO’s are already embracing this trend and in 2019 see it gaining even more steam, as the same article in Inc. suggests:
Small and medium-size businesses face ever-greater complexity around supporting a rapidly expanding remote workforce and taking advantage of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, multi-cloud storage, and big data. As a result, in 2019, we will see a tsunami of SMBs abandoning their attempts to maintain their own IT infrastructure in favor of a service approach that relies on a single, expert provider that can pull together the resources and solutions necessary to deliver a simple, integrated, and fully managed IT environment.
The key statement above is the “expert provider” part. There are lots of IT support vendors out there who would be happy to take your money, but make sure this aspect of your 2019 resolution is handled carefully.
An IT infrastructure in the wrong hands can quickly spiral out of control and halt operations completely.
A simple and effective way to separate the signal from the noise is to read real customer testimonials. Marketing fluff is easy to slap on a website, but reviews from actual clients speak volumes. Additionally, consider how much information the vendor offers to share.
Do their informational resources give you a reason to believe they can do what they claim?
Continuous Networks, for example, provides comprehensive whitepapers full of valuable information completely free. Whether you’re interested in more information about how to vet potential IT service providers, how to set up a telecommuting program or want more information about proper cybersecurity – check out our free guides.
Happy New Year everyone!