With the end of the financial year upon us, it’s time to start looking at what to do with next year’s budget, and a key area to think about is your IT, says Andy Hinxman.
Upgrading your technology may be the last thing on your mind. After all, does new IT bring in new business? Truthfully the answer is most likely no. But bad IT can lose you business and productivity. Are you confident that you are not in danger of a data breach because you haven’t updated your systems? Are all your staff got antivirus software? They may be working from home on their own laptop and simply haven’t thought about it. IT is critical to your business and it is important it runs smoothly and safely. What can you do to ensure it does just that?
Don’t cut corners
It is very tempting to buy cheap when it comes to specification. After all those new laptops/desktops are only for admin and not launching the next spaceship to Mars. But don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. There are plenty of deals on offer from the big players in the computer selling market but are they right for you?
If you want a super-hot, speedy laptop which you can take around with you, then don’t buy the cheapest model. Better to upgrade and get a better quality machine. Also if most of your documents are saved in the Cloud, do you really need a 1TB hard drive for storage? If you use a lot of applications look for the best processor speeds and high amount of RAM. If money were no object, look for a solid state drive (SSD) as well for speedy processing.
Invest in connectivity
Internet connections, like life, are constantly changing. There are more and more government measures to make Britain better connected. Some areas are sadly still lagging behind but others are now super fast.
Fibre Broadband (also known as Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) are delivered through a BT phone exchange. The problem is the speed depends on how far away you are from that exchange. ADSL is delivered through the old copper cables. Fibre is delivered through the new fibre optic cables. Eventually BT will get round to converting the copper into fibre optics so keep an eye out for that BT man where you live!
For the best possible connectivity, it is worth considering investing in having your own fibre ‘bearer’ installed. It will cost more, but it is dedicated and you can have 100MB or even up to 1GB of dedicated internet!
Keep up to date
You will have all seen the scare stories about cyber security. Sadly it is becoming an increasing threat and is no longer confined to PCs. With increasing and new cyber threats emerging you need enterprise level security, irrespective of whether you’re an enterprise or not.
What this means is rather than having a single measure for each threat, you need to have measures in place that prevent a multitude of possible cyber attacks on your business. It should deal with everything from preventing your staff being able to surf unsafe websites, to ensuring that passwords are changed regularly, handling spam and of course being up to date so that the latest threats are blocked.
Sometimes clients complain the antivirus scans take a while to complete. I can understand their frustration. Check of course that you are not running on a slow connection and your computer is not too old. Apart from that do remember, no matter how annoying or long the scans can be, it cannot compare to the time you will have to spend putting right the wrongs of a hack.
Save your business money and time this spring and make sure your IT is up to date.
Andy Hinxman is founder of Keybridge IT Solutions.