2023 Tech updates to step up your business strategy for the next year
In the wake of Covid-19, a lot of companies had no choice but to work remotely and rely upon digital advertising. Everyone had to act quickly when the pandemic struck, making the best of the technology they already had or could quickly put into use. Companies that fail to adapt risk losing their profits, and consequently, need to close their operations, as we have painfully seen.
The pandemic was a big slap for many business leaders that in a world that is changing quickly, business thrives on better technology to be agile and adapt to a modern environment. While many businesses invest time in planning their strategy, they forget to think about the technology that is going to support them. Integrating tech into all levels of your business plan helps smoother business operations, improve communication, boost productivity, and eventually drive more sales.
The last months of 2022 are a great time to reevaluate your business models and make some time to learn what technology you will need to better support your business in the upcoming years. Here are five actionable ideas to grow your business in a better direction with technology.
#1 Share your business roadmaps with your technology vendors
Much like a business plan, a business roadmap maps out the direction of where your business is going, how long you will get there, and what are steps your company needs to take to meet the objectives with long-term strategic planning. Some of your best advocates are your technology vendors.
Your technology vendors want you to succeed and grow your business because that, in turn, presents opportunities for them to grow. Also, they normally have other clients. This means what you are trying to do may have already been done and they can either help you directly or put you in touch with someone who can help.
#2 Conduct a software audit
The second step is to conduct a software audit. Check the quality of the solutions that you are using, their progress, and how it adheres to the plans, standards, and regulations of your organization.
In my experience, most organizations have a handful or more of apps or systems that they are not using, or at least underutilizing. Often the functionality exists in other places or isn’t needed at all. Consider auditing the software you’re paying for and making sure it brings you value.
#3 Check the legacy systems
Your legacy system ensures continuity in the business operation. You must be checking the legacy systems regularly. Entering the end of the year, schedule a time to have a thorough analysis of the legacy system and figure out what you’re going to do with them.
Legacy systems are those systems that are no longer being maintained, have upcoming end-of-life, or have been replaced already, but you still can’t quite move everything onto the new system. Make time to learn what you need to do to turn these off. While they may not seem to be important, they often have the highest support requirements and can consume your tech team’s time and resources to maintain them. They’re also a risk when there’s staff turnover.
#4 If you still have on-premise servers, you’re 10 years overdue
A decade ago, having an on-premise server promised companies of the security and reliability of their data. However, it also means that the organization or the company is responsible for updating the server and protecting it with appropriate cybersecurity measures.
Cloud infrastructure as a service, on the other hand, has been mainstream for over a decade. In most cases, there is absolutely no reason to have a server in your office. These needs can often be performed more than adequately by SaaS providers or by having the infrastructure in AWS, Azure, or other cloud providers. Even when there is legacy software (see #3) there are many ways to migrate these systems to the cloud. Remember also that these cloud providers employ truckloads of talented people to manage their infrastructure security and scaling. They are there to help.
#5 Annual security audit planning
Plan for an annual security audit, testing your backups/DR solution and testing your HA solution
Your company probably has a security policy. You may do backups to tape or hopefully to the cloud. You may also failover your internet providers when one fails. When was the last time you tested these things? It’s good practice to test your security by running penetration testing and even some form of physical penetration testing, each year and using those results to improve. Additionally, each year, plan to pull the plug on everything and test how well it fails over (restore time), how much it takes to bring it back, and what is missing (restoration point). At the very least, you will know that your plan works.