Congratulations! You made it! You’ve emerged from that fuzzy period in between Christmas and New Year's Eve, hopefully with much family joy and togetherness but perhaps punctuated by the odd food coma, and turned your thoughts toward the shiny new working year.
Now you’re back into the office and the year is underway. Odds are you have vanquished the Outlook Inbox and are full of anticipation for the year ahead, but where do we start?
Here are five ways to jump right in to 2019 and set yourself up for a smooth and hassle-free ride down the calendar to 2020 which will be here before you know it.
1. Change your password
You know that the saying is true. Passwords are like underwear, they should be changed often.
Whilst there are any number of fantastic technical solutions with blinky lights for the problem of online security, one of the best defenses is an effective password which is changed regularly.
Best practice is that your password should be changed, at a minimum every 90 days. When is the last time you changed yours? Go and change it now. I’ll wait.
2. Audit your accounts
The new year is a great time to get into the habit of reviewing the accounts that are in use in the various systems across your organisation.
It’s very common to see large organisations executing a periodic user access review process. In the corporate environment, this is an important security process that is designed to catch any zombie user accounts from departed employees that may have fallen through the communication cracks between HR and IT departments.
“Well, as a smaller business I know all my team, and this doesn’t really apply to me,” you may think. But the beginning of the year is a fantastic time to take stock of your systems and review access to your essential systems to help ensure that the necessary personnel have access but unauthorised employees don’t.
More than half of businesses surveyed by the 2018 Insider threat report have experienced attacks from people working within their own company and 90 per cent of businesses feel vulnerable to insider threats.
This is a very easy step to take to mitigate the risk. Ask your IT provider for advice.
3. Review your computer fleet
You wouldn’t put up with a 9-year-old car that you have to cajole into starting daily and ease through its niggling idiosyncrasies so why would you do the same for a computer that is so much more important to your team’s productivity.
As a rule of thumb, the lifespan of a modern PC is three years. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, and it could be that you can gain some efficiencies by repurposing perfectly good but ageing machines to applications where there is lower demand.
What can be even more frustrating than an ageing computer frustrating the office is when that computer may decide to call it a day and go “bang.” Chances are that you may not have a spare computer immediately available and it is a bit of a shock to discover exactly how much we all depend upon the connectivity of a computer and how little we can do without one.
It’s a good idea to be proactive and enjoy the benefits of being equipped and in control of your technology. Viewing your IT investment through the lens of a longer-term investment will help you take control of its maintenance and management and turn your technology into a valuable business asset. If you don’t know how to take charge, or what needs to be done to maintain and manage your IT better, then talk to your IT support provider and ask about managed IT services.
4. Review training requirements and budget
Kick off the year by making some training resolutions.
It’s great to have technology and processes but are you getting the most out of your investment? Ultimately performance comes down to the people in your organisation.
Training need not be the exclusive domain of companies with cushy budgets for seminars in exotic destinations. Luckily technology comes to the rescue.
Odds are that you may already have all the tools at hand already. Here at GrassrootsIT we make broad use of technology to keep our #nerdherd on the pointy edge of their knowledge to equip them to deliver what our clients expect.
Online Training Courses.
Online training can be ideal for small businesses because team members can be flexible with their study. There are no travel costs, and it’s convenient for all concerned.
If you are already using Office 365, it can be extremely easy to create your own customised training content through Microsoft Stream to engage employees with interactive online training. The best part is that not only is it free, it is super easy to do.
Of course, if you would like something more customised to the way you work then go ahead and talk to your friendly IT provider.
5. Conduct a Best Practice Review
Odds are that like many Australian businesses, you are in good company using Microsoft Office 365 to punch well above your weight. The Office 365 Suite offers far more than just Word and Excel. Microsoft has invested a remarkable amount of time and resources into making the user experience of Office 365 as simple and powerful as possible through sharing lessons learnt across the globe from a broad range of industries.
Are you taking full advantage of all the capabilities that the modern digital office offers?
Mobility, Collaboration, Security and Productivity. I bet you hear these words quite a lot, but really you can sum it all up into a simple question:
“Can I do my job easier, or not?”
Have you ever wondered how other organisations are utilizing their business software?
Check out this recent webinar on some Best Practices in how businesses are fully extracting the value of their technology investment in the real world.
Start mapping out your 2019 business plans with solid, realistic goals. Get our free checklist to help you have a better view of which things to consider for your new year business goals.
If you would like to Power Up into 2019 with some dedicated attention from the experts, then consider a Grassroots IT Power Up Package. Our specialists will sit down with you and consult with you on your business goals, review your current business systems and processes and design a comprehensive report, written in easy to understand terms, outlining an optimised solution based on industry best practice whilst taking into account your organisation's unique requirements and goals.
Talk to us today about whether a Power Up package is right for your business.