Put the “Active” Back in Proactive

What good is tech if it isn’t helping you to be more productive (and therefore, making more money)? Technological investments can certainly have a powerful impact on your team’s ability to work faster and more effectively while ensuring that you avoid costly network intrusions and hacks. But it’s important to choose the right systems.

Below, you’ll find a list of some of the more proactive improvements you can make to your existing networks, applications and security processes to build more active, productive IT systems. Consider it your tech “to-do list” for the next few years.

Convert Aging Internet Connections to Planned Structured Cabling

Planned cabling infrastructure may not sound all that exciting, but structured cable networks are the infrastructure you need to build robust, high-performing wireless and high speed internet systems.

Professionally planned networks help you avoid the pitfalls and site obstacles (concrete barriers, dead zones) that sink internet performance. Additionally, with a high-speed cabled ethernet or fiber optic connection on site, you can take advantage of some of the fastest network speeds around, giving you the capability to transfer gigabyte upon gigabyte of data over long distances.

These networks allow you to take advantage of power over ethernet (PoE) or power over fiber optic (PoF) structures, where audio equipment, surveillance cameras and access controls can be powered through your cabling rather than through electrical outlets.

But where does the “active” part come in? Your decision to convert to a cabled network now future-proofs your IT infrastructure for tomorrow’s innovation. Cabled networks will play an integral part in powering the businesses of the future, since organizations will no doubt require even more advanced network capabilities for data-intensive tasks such as IoT operations and big data processing. Get on board now, and you could save yourself a lot of pain down the line.

Migrate On-Premise Databases and Servers to Cloud or Hybrid Networks

By now, you’ve probably heard at least a little bit about the cloud. Tech leaders have waxed long and poetic on the benefits of cloud-hosted systems, extolling their virtues of convenience, cost savings and scalability.

The number of cloud converts increases by droves every year—some 90% of businesses have either moved over already or will make the decision to by the end of this year. Yet some companies remain reluctant to switch from aging physical servers. The reasons vary, but there’s certainly just cause for caution since integrating with the cloud may impact your business security and industry compliance.

That said, however, it’s highly difficult for modern companies to get around cloud-based technologies. Customers expect the digital experience and responsiveness of online solutions—which means you need to implement customer-facing and internal cloud applications as well as online servers that can deliver data faster and more predictably. Engaging an IT partner to help with these needs can ensure that cloud migrations go smoothly and updated data security protections are in place. There’s no need to fear the cloud!

Reduce Repetitive Work with Unified Communications Systems

One too many employees giving you the side eye lately? Your communications systems might be to blame. Older, out-of-date phone systems, video conferencing and text applications make daily tasks more work than they have to be—and make it difficult to get your whole team communicating through the same channels.

All-in-one unified communications platforms take some of the pain out of meetings, phone calls and chats. Enabled using voice over IP (VoIP) phone networks, unified communications systems, combine all these functions into a single platform. That means your team can launch a video call directly from a chat window or initiate a conference using the same contact details they have saved in their phone address book. It may not seem all that advanced, but these tools cut down on repetitive copy-pasting and duplicated communications through different applications. And that can really add up in the long run!

Partner with an IT Service Provider for Better Data Security and Disaster Response Plans

After highly publicized security events like the Equifax breach and the WannaCry ransomware attack, more and more business owners are reconsidering their company’s security solutions. While it’s great that businesses are taking a second look at cybersecurity, one or two improvements may not be enough to completely prevent an attack.

Hackers’ methods are constantly changing, which means businesses need to stay one step ahead if they hope to outwit malicious attacks. Security solutions from IT partners and services providers give businesses the means to outfox attackers while offering encryption, backups, firewalls and continuous monitoring—in other words, top-tier tools that can give you the protection you need to face down a hacker without fear.

Curious how these solutions translate to productivity and cost savings? In our e-book, “Strategic Ways to Increase Efficiency in Your Technology Platform,” we examine the effectiveness of various technological improvements, both as they relate to business processes and budgets. Download it now and put your IT systems back on active duty!