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New Year, New IT Strategy? 6 Small Business Tips to Start Strong in '21

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Helpful Tips

Executive Summary

  • At long last, 2020 is finally over, and it brought with it plenty of lessons for small businesses. In this guide, we’ll share 6 essential business IT tips to help you start strong in 2021.
  • Whether your team is working from home or still heading into the office, these IT support tips will help you stay productive and keep your business secure – even when you’re working remotely.

Introduction

With the New Year finally here, people all over the world are saying their (not so) fond farewells to 2020.

While last year was certainly a challenge for small UK businesses, that’s no reason to assume that 2021 needs to be more of the same. In fact, with the right guidance, your small business can come back even stronger this year – especially when it comes to your IT support and technical infrastructure.

So, without further ado, let’s ring in the New Year together with 6 essential IT tips for small businesses in 2021.

#1: Make the road ahead clearer with an IT roadmap

It’s easy to charge headlong into the year and tackle IT support issues as and when they arise, but it’s not always the most cost-effective approach.

Take a leaf out of the Get Support IT Director’s handbook and start the new year by planning out your IT strategy for the next 12 months. Note down what you expect to need in terms of new hardware, software, and any essential infrastructural upgrades, like internet connections.

#2: Make work-from-home as straightforward as possible

If there’s one thing that 2020 taught businesses, it’s that being agile and responsive to change is essential.

When you’re never sure if you might need to suddenly switch to a work-from-home setup, having the right infrastructure in place can be vital.

At minimum, you should ensure your team have access to a reliable laptop for home working, and ideally you should get up and running with a digital collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams, too.

#3: Invest in the cloud

Part of the commitment to enabling remote working is ensuring that teams who are working remotely can still do their jobs and access essential files.

You’re probably already set up with remote email access, but, if you’ve always relied on locally installed software, accessing files and business software is another matter. The solution we always recommend here at Get Support is Microsoft 365.

A fully featured business suite packed with cloud services (like remote storage app OneDrive) and the classics like Microsoft Office, a subscription is perhaps the best money your business will spend all year.

#4: Focus on cybersecurity

There’s a very good reason that we spent a lot of time in 2020 focusing on cybersecurity and malware – and that’s because the shift to digital has opened the door to cybercriminals.

In fact, according to reports, the first UK lockdown resulted in an enormous 72% jump in financial cybercrime incidents in a single month.

With so many businesses moving to a digital workspace, it’s no wonder that opportunities for crime are more common – but you don’t have to be a victim.

Be sure to focus on the essentials of cybersecurity and you’ll already be more protected than many businesses out there today. As a general rule, even the most basic of preventative measures will be enough to stave off common cyberattacks.

(Cybercriminals are a lazy bunch, it seems – so be sure to take full advantage).

#5: Supercharge your internet speeds

The digital workplace has brought focus to another area which is making a regular appearance in the 2021 IT strategy for many businesses: internet speeds.

With so many of us working, chatting, and video calling 40+ hours a week now, there’s never been more of a demand on the country’s internet infrastructure. If your business has been suffering from buffering, it might be time to upgrade your business internet to faster broadband or even a business fibre connection.

A new line will help you make instant connections to colleagues, send files without delay, and even make crystal clear internet phone calls via VoIP.

Need a fast, reliable business connection, but not sure where to start? We can help.

#6: Have a backup plan (just in case it all goes wrong)

Something else 2020 might have taught you is that you simply never know what’s around the corner.

With this in mind, we strongly recommend every small business to develop a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it’s a lot more than simply backing up your critical data (though that does play a part).

Disaster recovery for small businesses is all about restoring your systems and minimising downtime as quickly as possible should your IT systems fail unexpectedly. This failure could be something as simple as a single server going kaput, but even that is enough to cause long-term damage.

There’s more to cover here than you might imagine, so our Ultimate Guide to Disaster Recovery Plans is a great place to start.

Start as you mean to go on with Get Support IT Services

Whether your small business is still adapting to the “new normal”, or you’re a start-up braving the new world, the crack team of IT experts here at Get Support is here to help.

The tips we’ve shared above should get you off on the right foot for 2021, but for a more comprehensive IT support solution for your business, call us today on 01865 59 4000, or check out our IT support services now.

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