What to Include in your IT Strategy in 2019
As we reach the end of another calendar year, business owners are reflecting on their performance in 2018. While you’re analysing your sales stats and marketing spend from the last 12 months, we want to ask you something.
How did your IT perform for you this year? Was it a hindrance, or a help? Did it blend seamlessly into the background, helping you run your businesses without you even realising it was there? Or was it something difficult that created problems, or couldn’t quite keep up with what you needed?
For many businesses, IT is forgotten in the annual planning phase. Planning what you need and a strategy for implementing it can create a significant difference in your business. So today, we want to share three items to consider in your IT strategy for 2019.
Increased Cyber Security
Cyber security is far from an emerging technology, yet it is something that’s at the forefront of many minds currently. Especially since GDPR made data protection and privacy such a priority for UK businesses.
If you’ve not reviewed your IT security strategy recently (or if you don’t have one at all), then this is a must for your 2019 strategy. Mainly, because cyber security isn’t something you can do once and then leave to it.
The threats your business face are constantly changing, as is the technology used to fight it. Just three of those advancements are hardware authentication, cloud technology and deep learning, along with behavioural analytics. While your business might not need all of these elements, if you want to fully protect your business, you will need some of them in place. As the technology is always changing, you need a cyber security strategy that is flexible, reliable and regularly updated to prevent data loss or theft.
Switch To Consumption-Based IT Services
A lot of businesses will start out buying sets of software or equipment. Particularly with older businesses, they may end up paying for capabilities they don’t need, while having the pay extra for the things they do need. That’s changing thanks to the availability of scalable cloud-based solutions. These allow your business to pay based on what you actually use and need, and stop paying for things you don’t.
The most common example is digital storage and bandwidth. For example, you may only need 1Tb of storage for most of the year, but during the festive period you know you need twice that, just for two months. For many businesses, they would have to pay for 2Tb of space all year round. They would therefore see it wasted for ten months of the year. With consumption-based storage and backup, you could easily scale the storage up for just two months, and then scale it back down when the busy period is over.
Overall, that means more efficiency, more flexibility and the ability to quickly scale up and down when your business needs it. The reality is that consumption-based IT can be applied across your whole business – it just takes some planning!
Embrace AI and Automation
At its core, IT is there to make our lives easier. Over the years we have developed more refined programmes to remove some of the more menial tasks in our daily work and free up our valuable time. Now we are at a stage where artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have never been more sophisticated. Over the last year it has become a familiar phrase in our IT vocabulary. But it gets better. According to Gartner, automaton now goes beyond rigid programming models – it can now deliver behaviours to automate functions previously performed by humans.
New intelligent automation technologies allow businesses to solve a broader range of problems within their business. These also free up valuable time for tasks that require a more ‘human’ eye. Data entry and customer support are just a couple of areas where intelligent automation technologies are making a strong impact. Embracing AI and intelligent automation into just a few key areas of your business can save you a huge amount of time, money and energy.
IT Strategy in 2019
At Indigo IT, we work with business owners who want to improve their approach to IT and make it a strong and high-performing area of their business. At this time of year, we’re doing a lot of strategy planning with our clients. It’s our aim to help them develop a strong IT plan that will make 2019 their most successful year yet.
We spend time getting to know your business, and create tailored plans to suit your business needs and goals. If you would like to find out more, or need some help creating your own IT plan for 2019, just get in touch with us today.