Posted by: Heather Toll on June 8, 2018 at 8:00 am
6 Ways to Use the Summer Slowdown to Improve Your Business Computer Network
Ah, summer. It’s finally here. With it, you may find that your customers are, shall we say, “less engaged”?
The summer slowdown is a real thing for many businesses. Customers and clients are on vacation, wrangling out-of-school kids, hitting the beach, or taking a well-deserved mental health day.
Are things a bit slow at your office? Then the summer slowdown can be a good opportunity to catch your breath, recharge, and take a fresh look at improving your computer network to boost growth and productivity.
Here are 6 IT-related opportunities to get your computer network in better shape, arranged from least to most intensive:
Assessments. Is your network safe from a cyber attack? What connectivity issues do your employees have? Should you move your network to the cloud? These questions and more can be answered with an appropriate network assessment. Assigning a network assessment to your IT provider is fairly hands-off: make the appointment, let them conduct the assessment, then review the results. Whether you decide to follow up on the results or not, at least you will have a clear understanding of your network security, speed, and status.
Planning. Often following a network assessment, project planning is another good use of the summer slowdown. Look at what computers and network equipment you have, equipment age, and projected company growth. Then, plan a schedule to complete necessary upgrades, additions and replacements, before older equipment starts to fail and decrease productivity. Side note: Microsoft will end extended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, and Windows 8.1 is already out of mainstream support, so plan now for the inevitable operating system upgrades.
Training. Is your staff up-to-date on the latest industry compliance requirements? Do they know how to spot a scam email or phishing attempt? If your staff has extra time on their hands this summer, then it’s a perfect time to brush up on cybersecurity and other training.
Policy reviews. What’s your company policy on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)? Working from home? Handling monetary wire transfers? Using public Wi-Fi? These can all be major security risks. Make sure your company policies are up-to-date with modern business cybersecurity requirements
Smaller projects. A project may sound like a lot of work, but there are several IT-related upgrades that minimally disrupt operations, while positively impacting your business in a big way. Upgrading to a remote cloud backup system and installing a backup and disaster recovery appliance (BDR) are inexpensive ways to fortify your business against a natural disaster or cyber attack. Cloud-hosted VoIP is far more functional than older phone systems, and can cut expenses as well. Even upgrading to a managed firewall provides enhanced security with one 30-minute network interruption.
Bigger projects. If you have a big IT project in the works, then the summer slowdown can be a perfect time to get it done. Migrating email to Office 365 or upgrading servers are best done while workloads are low.
The summer slowdown doesn’t have to be all lost productivity and busywork. Get your staff and network refreshed and prepared for growth and productivity going into quarter 4.
Do you need assistance planning any of these projects? Give us a call today, or fill out the form at the right for a no-obligation consultation.