By Paul Ursich
Remember what you went through in the late 1990s as you frantically sought to assure yourself and others that your computer systems would survive the turnover to the year 2000?
Fifteen years later, this is a good time to review your technology and infrastructure haves, have-nots and should-haves. But this time around, you don’t have to be frantic. Take your time in 2015 to assess your needs and determine how to invest to meet the demands and embrace the exciting new opportunities that will keep your business safe and thriving.
Let’s call it your Y2K15 business tech assessment. It’s about being able to maintain flexibility while staying competitive and meeting customer expectations, enhancing productivity, conducting business more cost effectively and protecting your operation from cyberattacks.
Here are some areas to explore during your Y2K15 assessment.
Conversion to the cloud environment
Servers take up physical space, break down and need regular attention. They crash, putting productivity on hold, and software updates can also interrupt service. And the life of a server is only about eight years, at which point you must make another significant investment in equipment. A cloud-based solution eliminates those issues and makes the responsibility for maintenance and upgrades an external matter. You get uninterrupted access to your data, 24/7, and employees gain the flexibility of being able to work anywhere, any time and not at an exceptional cost.
And you may even find that a cloud-based software subscription is more cost effective than your current arrangement.
Regardless of your business, you have privacy issues — and that means security concerns. Your HR department must protect Social Security numbers, health care enrollment forms and other employee personal data. The accounting department must safeguard company financials. The sales department wants to protect client lists.
And you may need to protect customer credit card information, patent or design work and other inside information. Cyber thieves target all of that, and they can get it from even the largest and presumably most well-guarded companies. That’s why significant investments in the latest security and privacy technology — access control, identity management, intrusion protection and virus/malware blocking — are a critical part of your Y2K15 assessment.
Applications and security for mobile devices
In the mobile environment, apps can help your people work faster, easier and more productively from anywhere.
Your business can simplify timesheet entry, accounting systems and a host of department- and industry-specific functions. And when you’re exploring your network security issues, don’t forget to fully secure the apps your employees will use on their smartphone, tablets and other mobile devices.
This is a good starting point for taking your business boldly into tomorrow. Contact us today if you need help with your Y2K15 assessment.
Paul Ursich is director of Advisory Services at Wiss & Company LLP. Reach him at email@example.com.