10 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

You don’t need a whitepaper to tell you this, but here’s the truth: running a business is hard work. There’s a countless number of “moving parts” that you have to deal with on a daily basis. In other words, you’ve got to work hard to keep everything flowing smoothly. After all, when you gum up the works in any way, your business suffers.

As your business grows, you’ll need to put special consideration on your IT needs. Hiring more people and expanding your organization directly correlates to needing more advanced technology. That includes better Wi-Fi solutions, enhanced network security measures, tools for productivity, and much more. With all of that in play, you need to dedicate a lot of time to implementing and optimizing all of these necessary solutions.

But what if you could find a way to work smarter and not harder? What if you could find ten?

Fear not, we’ve done the searching for you.

1. Improve Your Wi-Fi

Wireless technology has become an absolute necessity for most modern offices. Mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and phones all rely on a solid signal to reach out to the internet. Without the proper setup, you could be left with an unreliable device and a circuit that doesn’t provide enough bandwidth to meet your need.

Instead, upgrade your internet speed to gain more bandwidth and install a device that seamlessly integrates with your existing network equipment.

2. Bolster Your Network Security

Cybercrime damage costs are projected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021. With a direct cyberattack costing businesses as much as $40,000 per hour, your business can’t afford to ignore the risks of going without proper network security. All it takes is one security disaster to permanently tarnish your organization’s reputation and profitability.

Work on improving your security infrastructure. Integrate more advanced firewalls and antivirus software into your business. Additionally, run penetration tests to determine what areas need improvement in your security.

Source: CSO

3. Train Your Employees

The first (and best) line of defense against cyber threats is an informed employee. When a computer user doesn’t know what to look for or what to avoid, they’re far more likely to make a security error that could cost your company dearly. Your company could suffer from prolonged downtime, expensive data ransom fees, and compliance violation fees.

Training your employees gives you a far better chance of avoiding these threats altogether. Proper training includes regularly testing your employees through simulated phishing attacks and sharing up-to-date news and information about the latest cyber threats lurking on the web.

4. Have A Backup Plan

At times, things still go wrong despite your best efforts and planning. If a disaster wipes out all of your data, you must find a way to get back up and running. ITIC’s latest survey data finds that 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000, but 81% of respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. And a record 33% of enterprises report that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1 million to over $5 million.

Preparing ahead of time with a solid backup plan is one of the smartest things a business can do. With the right data backup solution in place, you can suffer from a disaster and still retain all of your data from secure off-site facilities. You can be up and running in a matter of hours instead of never coming back up at all.

5. Efficiently Work Together

When you need proper collaboration, back-and-forth emails simply won’t cut it. Modern businesses require tools that can help them share information and files instantly. Without these tools at your disposal, you’re stuck at the speed of your slowest collaboration tool. Competitors will pass you by because you’ll be struggling to wrangle information together efficiently.

Utilizing a suite of tools that work together can boost your productivity considerably. Improved communication and collaboration through social technologies could raise the productivity of workers by 20 to 25%. In other words, if you aren’t using collaborative tools, you’re preventing the creation of an effective workflow.

Source: McKinsey Global Institute

6. Outsource Your IT Projects

When you’re facing a monumental IT project, it’s extremely daunting to handle it by yourself. Take an office move, for example. In theory, it’s as easy as grabbing all of your stuff and moving it to your new space. In reality, it requires expert care to handle all the computer moves, server reconfigurations, and cabling, Wi-Fi heat mapping and installation, and much more.

Projects are 2.5 times more successful when proven project management practices are used. Outsourcing your projects will drastically reduce any headaches that come from projects, leaving you free to focus on other aspects of your company.

7. Outsource Your IT Support

While we’re on the topic of outsourcing, it’s not a bad idea to outsource your IT support. Having a dedicated IT person or department on staff doesn’t make much sense for many companies. Why pay for additional salaries, benefits, and operating expenses when you don’t have to?

Outsourced IT support gives you access to specialized industry professionals who are on the clock 24/7. They’re there to handle all of your IT problems with SLA contracts and flat monthly fees.

8. Invest in Assessments

How can you know what areas of your IT need improvement if you never test yourself? Without adequate evaluations of your network security, wireless network structure, and infrastructure efficiency… you’re flying in the blind. You’ll never know where and how you can improve your systems without knowing how everything is working today.

If you hire a third-party assessment service, you can plainly see all of the areas you need to improve upon. From there, you can work on sealing all of the gaps in your company and making it more effective and productive than ever before.

9. Implement BYOD Policies

72% of organizations are permitting BYOD or already planning to do so. Bring your own device (BYOD) policies improve the flexibility and overall mobility of your employees by allowing them to use their device to work from anywhere. The idea of BYOD is simple enough – it’s easy to implement, right?

Not always.

BYOD also introduces risks that didn’t exist before, such as data breaches through lost devices and increased security liabilities with unprotected software. But with the right mobile device management, you can work freely and without worry thanks to around-the-clock monitoring and remote device wiping capabilities.

Source: Tech Pro Research

10. Offload Your Compliance

There’s no other way to say it: maintaining compliance is a drag. The rules are often extremely strict and come with severe penalties if you ever violate them. They’re a major concern of nearly every company. In fact, keeping policies current with changing regulations is the number one challenge for 47% of organizations.

Offloading your compliance worries onto a managed service provider will eliminate the chances of compliance violations. And as an added benefit, you can have peace of mind in knowing that you don’t have to worry about compliance anymore.

Get Professional Services

We’re here to help you. The path to working smarter requires IT industry know-how and familiarity with many different technologies. But, when combined together, these ten ways will make your company more efficient, effective, and profitable than ever before.

To learn more about how professional services can help you reach your goals, get in touch with us.