It is that time of the year when the budget books have opened up again, and you need to start thinking about how to best invest your company’s IT budget. As IT gets more and more complicated, it may be overwhelming to figure out just where your limited resources should go. Here are some suggestions as to how you might invest your IT dollars in 2016.
Is your network safe from intrusion? If you answered “yes,” you are probably not correct. Hackers move quickly and evolve. Software manufacturers are reacting to flaws found in applications and are rarely patching security holes before they are exploited. IT departments who have resources to invest in security can stay one step ahead of the criminals.
The first place to invest would be in your firewall. Is it up to date and running the latest versions of the software, or does the security budget keep getting put off again and again? Firewalls are your first (and sometimes only) line of defense against hackers. Having one with security flaws can be a serious issue. Consider a new firewall appliance to replace old software applications. They provide tightly integrated security protection.
What do the data cables that are running through your office look like? Are the phone lines in the same kind of shape? Data and Voice networks are only as fast as their weakest link, so if you are still running CAT3 or CAT5, consider upgrading your cable infrastructure. Not only can current cabling help to increase your network speed, but you might be able to do away with your traditional phone lines and switch over to something new.
Run a separate voice network for your new VoIP system. Businesses no longer have to be slaves of the phone company. VoIP has come into its own in the past few years offering affordable, flexible and feature-rich phone service, more so than ever before.
What about hardware upgrades? Instead of carrying around file folders and notebooks, your staff could be more efficient by going paperless. What about upgrading all of those desktops to laptops or tablets? The latest laptops and tablets come loaded with technology so your staff can have everything they need at their fingertips to work anywhere.
Lenovo has put out two very nice solutions: the MIIX 700 tablet and the X1 Carbon laptops. These products are developed to work with network architecture, and they make a great option for a business looking to upgrade hardware and move towards more efficiency. Versatile, light and able to fit inside a small bag, they are the ideal solution for a workforce on the go.
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