Now that it is Spring it’s not only a good time to clean up your digital footprint and reduce your cyber clutter, but it’s also a great time to update your systems. Why? For improved business productivity, daily operations and overall improved cyber security.
We spoke with Managed IT Services expert Amy Babinchak to get the scoop on how a business can identify when it’s time to update their systems and make the transition to new and better technologies.
Babinchak is a well-known leader throughout the IT and Managed Services industry. She is the Founder and President of Harbor Computer Services. Babinchak also sits on the Executive Council for Advancing Women in IT, was recently awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award, and is now a member of Automation Nation, Oakland County’s high-tech association.
Q & A with IT Expert Amy Babinchak:
Q: What are a few signs that indicate your business technology is out of date?
A: Your staff is downloading apps from the internet and inventing solutions to their own problems which usually represent their interests not necessarily yours.
You may also have Excel spreadsheet sprawl. This means again that staff have needs that your technology isn’t providing so they are trying to make it up.
Another sign; people are saving files onto their computers instead of your server which means that they do not trust your network.
Identify if your staff is resistant to technology changes and/or is not developing new skills. The result may mean that your business is losing competitiveness.
Q: What does a small business need to think about when transitioning to new(er) technologies such as the cloud?
A: Businesses need to recognize that as they move to the cloud they will need to update their thoughts on file organization and business processes in general. While what they are doing now made sense when it was created, these processes most likely have lost efficiency over the years. That will be amplified when they move the cloud.
There are new tools and you won’t be able to take advantage of them if you try to keep everything the same as you make the transition to the cloud.
Q: How about security; are older systems more vulnerable to security breaches? What would a SMB owner do?
A: The best thing a business can do to stay secure is to stay current. It is always the case that the latest operating system is the most secure; the latest browser is the fastest and most secure one.
The next thing that everyone must do is always say yes to updates. If you wait, not only are you vulnerable to whatever the discovered flaw is (and do note that hackers look for released patches and then target unpatched machines), but you are also more likely to have problems if you delay installing updates and then try to catch up later. Doing that will almost guarantee that you’ll have problems.
Finally, but not last by any means, you need to use unique complex passwords everywhere. If you can keep the password in your head, then it isn’t complex or long enough. Use a password tool and let the tool remember them for you.
And enable 2-factor authentication on everything. Most websites (and your desktop top) offer 2-factor authentication. This is currently the only protection you have against someone guessing or brute forcing their way into your accounts.
A few simple steps can help you stay safe and protect your business all year.
It’s a good idea to include updating your systems and transitioning to newer technologies as part of your digital spring cleaning efforts. Follow these tips to get started.
1. Look for tell-tale signs from your employees, such as work arounds to getting things done or being resistant to change.
2. Adopting new technologies means adopting new business processes. It requires an “out with the old, in with the new mentality.”
3. Stay current on your updates to ward off cyber threats. Worth repeating; “The best thing a business can do to stay secure is to stay current.”
Use TechStak to connect with expert IT firms just like Harbor Computer Services.