A Technology Recipe for Success

In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s difficult to follow all the developments in technology. As a result, small business owners often make poor technology choices for their business because “they don’t know what they don’t know” about technology. Establishing best practices is the key ingredient to ensure a recipe for technology success.First and foremost, one must assess the business’ technology needs. Does the business rely heavily on email? Is everything driven and run through a specific line-of-business application, e.g. legal software, accounting software, or ERP system for manufacturing? In many service industries, most users simply need email, Web access and basic document and spreadsheet sharing.Once the needs are identified, business application selections are made which leads to decisions about in-house vs. cloud-based servers. Assuming an in-house solution is selected, it is strongly recommended to use virtualization technology on servers combined with a strong backup solution. Virtualization allows your business to efficiently leverage server hardware resources and gives you flexibility for future changes and disaster recovery.A strong backup solution should include first and foremost all critical business data. Second, it should run automatically with as little user-intervention as necessary. And, lastly, it should proactively notify you of any potential issues that may occur.Businesses are encouraged to develop well-thought-out data storage practices. These days, business data follows the Paerto principle, 80% of the data is “there” and not used. Only 20% of the data is meaningful to your business. By thinking through your data storage practices, your users can easily access and reference the data they need.When it comes to the actual users, the following should be emphasized:

Business-class desktop or laptop models with adequate memory and CPU speeds, generally less than 3 years old, and running a current operating system, be it Windows 7 or Snow Leopard/Lion
Anti-virus and anti-spyware software
Regular security patches
Proper power protection with either a quality surge protector or uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
Training, particularly on productivity tools like Office and core business applicationsIf a user is given the above, they will experience better performance (e.g. boot times less than a minute, rapid data access) and experience less downtime which results in better productivity.A good technology environment is prepared from the ground up. This includes:

Proper network cabling
Business-class gigabit network switches
Business-class firewalls
Locked-down wireless networks
A reliable Internet connection with redundancy, especially if a cloud-based solution is in heavy useBy following these basic best practices, your business can cook up success using technology to operate and grow. Interested in a free Technology Assessment and Review? IT Radix is here to help.