Make 2021 a great year for your business
The end of the year is coming and most of us can’t wait to slam the door on 2020 and walk straight into 2021 without a backwards glance.
The pandemic has brought massive changes to the way we work and our daily lives. For Melburnians in particular, the restrictions on workplace attendance – although beginning to ease – have seen record numbers of us working from home.
With the holidays coming and COVID-19 numbers under control in Australia we can all look forward to a relaxing end to the year; and we deserve it! But this annual slow down is also a great time to review where our technology is at – particularly given the overhauls we’ve made to accommodate a flexible and remote working environment.
I’m recommending you review three areas.
1. Cloud applications and licenses
To facilitate remote work as offices closed, many businesses moved to the cloud for the first time this year.
For some this transition may have been rushed and, now that the dust has settled, it’s a good time to review how the transition went and where any improvements might be made.
- Are you still using any server-based applications that should be transitioned to the cloud?
- Did you cut back on any software licenses due to budgetary restrictions? Now might be a good time to review your requirements and bring back applications you dumped or upgrade licenses you trimmed back.
- Did your cloud transition go well? Are there any wrinkles in your implementation that need to ironed out?
Remember when looking at software solutions, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve upfront and what benefits you are expecting to see from the investment.
Also, it is vital that new software investments are done with applications that integrate with your existing suite to improve on efficiency.
The right software will not only bring efficiency gains but automate parts of your business and also give you greater capabilities. For example, it might allow you to better serve your clients by automating part of the sales process.
2. Security of your systems.
This year brought high stress levels and lots of change for all of us. Cybercriminals took advantage of this with record numbers of Australians falling prey to cyberattacks and scams as the pandemic took hold.
Although cybercriminals constantly evolve their methods to hone in on the latest opportunities, the key ways to protect yourself remain the same:
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for all your cloud systems.
- Use strong passwords and make sure everyone who works with you does, too.
- Install quality, cloud managed security software on all your computers. This includes Apple systems, which are no longer exempt from wholesale attack.
3. Work from home policy
Most people started working from home this year for the first time and a lot of people will stay working from home either part- or full-time. If your business doesn’t have a work from home policy, it’s definitely something you need to develop.
A good work from home policy will not only include people management and health and safety information, it should also include information on the use of technology. Some initial ideas can be found in my article on remote work.
Refresh and revive
2020 has been a year like no other. Australians have worked hard to bring COVID-19 infections down to manageable levels and we deserve a break. Stay safe, and let’s look forward to a better 2021.