By Harry Wilson

Keeping up with your business’s IT needs can be very difficult. Whether you want faster communication, electronic storage or effective data protection, Information Technology is key to helping your business work more efficiently and productively.

We have five simple tips and tricks to help you optimize IT within your small business.

1. Be Strategic

How does your IT strategy align with your core business objectives? Review your business’s strategic plan to help create an effective IT strategic plan. An IT roadmap should outline key areas where data, software, etc. can contribute to your business value.

If you haven’t reviewed the technology you use, it’s hard to know whether your systems are of the highest productivity. Use information from an IT audit to understand past and present business practices. By understanding this, you can adapt systems to support your short and long-term goals.

2. Implement ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to system services and solutions used for management of both the internal and external resources of an organization. ERP brings together core areas of your business into one, consolidated, digital experience. Brainstorm and evaluate your options, don’t just settle for the first system you find.

Implementing ERP can be as simple as identifying problems faced by your company and setting objectives to meet these issues. You have probably already implemented ERP and not even know it.

3. Plan, Prevent and Protect

Your business data is important and valuable. Losing it can be as quick as a lightning strike or a growing virus. The key to staying on top of data security is to be proactive to a data breach, not reactive.

Develop a security plan that covers day-to-day protection as well as a plan in case of a breach. Tie all loose ends, secure browsers and use data encryption on email systems.

Do you have old data? Only keep the data your business needs and scale down. Archive, remove or destroy unused, old data.

4. Have Your Systems in the Cloud, Not Your Head

Many businesses choose to make the switch from traditional desktop tools to cloud computing services. The benefits of using dependable cloud computing solutions are endless:

  • Access your data anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
  • Lower costs. You can pay for what you use and avoid wasting money on hardware and upgrades.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint. There is now no need for massive in-house data centers. The cloud’s virtual storage space uses streamlined energy which can help you reduce carbon emissions.
  • Online security. Top cloud data centers have extensive, multi-layered security defenses. These security defenses include physical protection against unauthorized personnel access, natural disasters, and electrical faults.

Utilizing online versions of tools you already use will not only help you drive down costs but inspire collaboration within your office.

5. Stay Ahead

Read, read, read! You’re already one step ahead of your competitors by reading blogs. Pick some of your favorite sources and subscribe to stay updated with the latest technologies.

You can also hire someone to help. Some people enjoy chasing new tech and developing ways to implement them. Reach out to them to coach and inspire you and your team.

Unless you’re superhuman, you can’t read all there is to know. Give your team the task of reading a few blogs a week. Have everyone report back at the start of every week to teach something they have learned or talk about a new technology they have discovered.