The new year is right around the corner, and it is important that you take the right steps to prepare your company and your technology for 2017. Our guys are sharing their thoughts and tips on how to handle your technology as we transition to the new year. What should you look at replacing? What should you budget for? What should you test? Our senior team shares their professional opinions below. Happy Holidays!
Mike Estep | President: Even if you aren’t on a calendar fiscal year when you get to the end of December, it is a very important time for most business leaders to review their business. Add a few technical items to that list …
1) great time to remind your company to change passwords. Highly complex passwords mean that once a year is probably good enough.
2) Ask your IT team to confirm all your backups are working. Ask them to doublecheck the end of year backups.
3) Review the age of your technology. Like many things, it is now a year older and you may not want that surprise IT expense when it decides to crash/fail next year.
Just some ideas to prepare for 2017.
Branden Smith | Vice President: Out with the old and in with the new! How should you be preparing your company for 2017?
First item is data backup. Is it working? Can you restore a test file? Will your existing backup system meet your needs in 2017? Backup systems are often deployed and forgotten about until they are really needed… and then it’s too late. Before 2017 starts verify your system is functioning properly.
Next off is security. Verify your firewall/AV/malware protection is up to date and meeting your needs. If there are any doubts, upgrades or replacement should be planned for early in the new year.
The final piece of your new year IT prep should be a review of your existing infrastructure to determine what needs to be budgeted for replacement in 2017. The server/s are always a big-ticket item, but there are many other vital components that often go unnoticed. When is the last time your network switches were upgraded? They will often run for years with no issues, but they should be refreshed periodically to take advantage of new technology and better speed. Your battery backup (or UPS) is often not replaced until it fails, but it should be replaced at the same pace as your servers. Finally, how old are your laptops/desktops? Your business plan should include replacing 1/3 of them every year. That allows you to keep warranties up to date, and allows you team to take advantage of speedier computers. Happy Holidays!
Sean Barron | Chief Technology Architect: The ringing in of a new year often brings an opportunity for reflection, and then quickly gets us to thinking about things we want to accomplish in the New Year. It’s a great time to make some goals for 2017 and write them down, so you can look back at 2017 to see if you accomplished your goals or even see if the priority of your goals changed or new goals entered the picture.
For business owners and IT professionals, it’s a great opportunity to assess your environment and make sure you are meeting your service delivery goals to your end users or customers. One area that doesn’t always get enough attention is backup. During 2016, your environment no doubt changed, and your dataset grew. Can you still meet your SLA’s on recovery time and recovery point objectives? Do you need more backup capacity? Is there new technology out there that will allow you to close your backup window and provide better retention? Have you added SAS or Cloud Based applications in 2016? Do you have a strategy for how to backup/archive/manage that data in the cloud?
While you get a little bit of a breather over the next few weeks and enjoy the Christmas Holidays with family and friends, take some time to review your backup strategy and determine if you need to make additions or changes in 2017.
Robert Rivers | Business Development Director: In preparing for 2017, I would recommend making time for technology. Technology is moving so fast and there are so many options that if you don’t schedule time on your calendar, you will have a hard time managing, understanding options, updating and protecting your infrastructure. That is a big area where BECA can help. If BECA is not helping your company, then you may want to pay attention and schedule time to accomplish the following.
- Schedule and test your backup solution.
- Most companies are challenged with this task.
- Make sure you have 3 levels of protection to combat different crypto attacks – Firewall, AV, Backup.
- All three need to be solid and within their useful lifetime of protection window.
- Investigate cloud options for your applications. Which ones would work and which ones would be better on premise.
- What compliance or company philosophies are present? How can company expansion be maximized?
- Know how old all your equipment is and plan to replace.
- This helps with budgeting and putting technology in the proactive area.
- Make sure your Microsoft licensing is up to date and within 1-2 versions from the current product.
- Migration will be longer and more complicated the further away you are from the current version. And remember – more labor = more money
- Ask your employees about technology changes that would make their job easier and their job duties more efficient.
- Good ideas and solutions come from asking employees these questions.
If you ever have questions about your technology, our brain power is only a phone call or email away. Speak with our expert engineers to make sure you are getting the most out of your technology. 404.633.2551 | firstname.lastname@example.org