If you’ve read our expert predictions for 2014, you should have some idea of what might happen in the world of technology this year.
But if you cast your mind back to 2013, was there anything about your business technology that you regret? Maybe you’ve barely used that new tablet you bought, or have struggled to cope with your ‘phone phobia’.
To help you avoid making any errors in 2014, here are the top eight IT mistakes businesses will make.
1. Plodding along with slow broadband
There’s little that will take a sledgehammer to productivity more than slow, clunky or inefficient broadband.
Even if you’ve switched to a faster fibre connection, you’re almost certainly sharing bandwidth with other businesses nearby. You could consider moving to an Ethernet service, which offers the benefits of a fibre connection, plus less competition for bandwidth.
2. Picking up someone else’s phone bill
It’s one thing picking up the tab after a swanky business lunch, but what about your phone lines? As voice networks have become more sophisticated, so have the scams used by phone hackers, fraudsters and other criminals.
Hacking is a growing threat to any business connected to the public telephone system. Estimates as to the scale of the problem vary, but it’s thought that fraudsters are generating calls worth billions that customers are legally obliged to foot the bill for. Ask your provider if you’re protected.
3. Holding back from the cloud
A remarkable number of businesses still feel overwhelmed by the C-word. ‘Data sovereignty’ is the latest hot potato, with managers fretting over where their data is held and who can access it.
A trusted cloud provider will be able to create a solution for your business, rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach. The cloud is a buzzword that’s stuck around for a reason. And that’s because the benefits of converged, hosted infrastructure in the cloud are convincing.
4. Assuming BYOD is sorted
So, all your employees are happily using their own smart phones, laptops and tablets in your business. You’ve nailed this ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) thing, right?
What’s not to love about BYOD? Well nothing, until someone leaves a laptop on the 0642 to Euston. Most businesses don’t have any way to track and manage the data on these devices. If one of your team lost a smart phone, could you handle the consequences? If not, add BYOD security to your to-do list.
5. Not virtualising your servers
Having a stack of ageing servers sitting in a cupboard is just burning money — not to mention the cost of having someone to back up and maintain them.
Moving to reliable, efficient virtual servers hosted by an external provider will free up your time, space and money. They’ll give you more peace of mind, too, because you’ll know it’s the supplier’s job to look after them.
6. Ignoring the video revolution for another year
Getting déjà vu? It’s true that every year in recent memory has been the year of video conferencing. But with better devices and software now available, is it coming of age at last?
With remote working going from strength to strength, it looks as though video is finally going to have both the demand and the technology it needs to become standard in business.
7. Taking the soft option on security
Your internet security is taken care of, a firewall is in place and there’s a rigorous system to regularly reset passwords.
But are you neglecting some obvious risks? While an intruder on your intranet would set alarm bells ringing, how easy would it be for a couple of imposters in hi-vis jackets to wander on site unchallenged? Don’t forget the basics.
8. Sticking with out-dated phone systems
Still running most of your calls through traditional telephone lines? Then it’s worth taking a serious look at switching to a system that combines telephone and data services into a single connection.
A common solution is SIP (it stands for session initiation protocol). This technology connects your private company switchboard to the internet. Calls are then placed through your internet connection. This can reduce
line rental and call costs, as well as providing more flexibility.
- The big 2014 tech predictions list
- Cloud telephony: when disruption is a good thing
- You can’t avoid bringing your own device
This is a guest post from Timico.