The days of dial-up internet and bulky computers are long gone. However, some organizations still retain the mentality (and hardware) of yesteryear.
Instead of facing the same old problems brought on by outdated technology, businesses must embrace the future. To do that, they must turn to modern technology.
But what exactly does that do? Is all modern business technology inherently “good” technology?
In short – no. Not by a long shot.
Having good technology doesn’t necessarily mean having the latest and the greatest “thing”. It means strategically choosing tech that works towards your business objectives. The tech needs to fit into a bigger plan. It shouldn’t just be there to look pretty or cool.
Good technology has to fit both your current needs and your future needs. There’s no point in skimping here and there if you’re expecting to expand your company soon. Conversely, you don’t want to overshoot the target – you need something you can use today.
In truth, selecting good business technology isn’t really all that easy. It takes a keen eye, a little insight and a strategic mind.
Luckily, that’s what we’re here for.
We can show you the importance of good tech (and why it’s important to have it) right here. If you read our guide, you can expect the following:
- Business communications: What does it mean?
- Making the right (phone) call
- Signs of a healthy VoIP system
- Keeping your data safe and sound
- Back, back, back that data up
- …and all that management
Business communications: What does it mean?
American journalist Earl Wilson once said, “Science may never come up with a better office communication system than the coffee break.”
Good one, Earl.
It’s pretty hard to beat, but modern communication systems have come a long way since the latest cup of joe.
Business communication systems are vital. After all, your business relies on communication regardless of field or industry. Both internal and external communication must be flawless in an organization to maximize productivity and efficiency.
So what exactly does a broad term like business communications entail?
For starters, there’s your phone service. It also involves other aspects of business technology that you use to communicate, such as video conferencing tools, email, instant messaging, and more.
Integration of business communication systems together is known as unified communications, and it’s recently become quite a big deal.
The best business communications technology leverages the mobility aspects of the cloud, which keeps employees productive from anywhere on the road.
Related: 5 Benefits of Cloud Mobility
Another one of the cornerstones of good communication technology is the ability to integrate with other communication tools. Doing so decreases cross-channel noise and message clutter.
Simply put, it allows you to quickly get to what matters most.
Making the right (phone) call
Who is it? It’s your phone system. It wants a word with you.
You can’t have a conversation about business technology without talking about traditional phones versus VoIP phones.
First up, the newcomer – VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. In its simplest form, it’s a phone that works over an internet connection.
What really makes it different than plain old telephone service? How can you tell if it fits our definition of good technology?
For starters, we have to objectively examine the state of traditional phone service.
Typical phones run on copper lines, which are actually more expensive to run and maintain than current VoIP infrastructures.Traditional phones have limited features, and they cost more to maintain. Though they reigned supreme in the past, they’re largely a dying breed.
Related: 5 Reasons Landlines Should Die Off
Signs of a healthy VoIP system
We’ve probably made it clear that we prefer VoIP over landlines.
We don’t feel bad because we’re far from alone in that choice.
Many organizations choose VoIP systems due to their flexibility, mobility, and customizability. VoIP systems can become powerful tools for business success, as long as you’re implementing them correctly.
So what goes into that?
We thought you’d never ask. You can start by:
- Choosing quality VoIP phones. VoIP by itself isn’t anything more than a platform for internet-based telecommunications. To unlock the full potential of your VoIP system, you’ll need to actively seek phones that have the features you need.
- Understanding VoIP features and their use. There are plenty of features out there, so focus on the ones you’ll actually use. Remember, the goal is to find good technology that you’ll actually utilize, not just business technology that sounds cool and saves you a few bucks.
- Preparing adequately for a VoIP infrastructure. You’ll want to figure out whether you’ll host your VoIP service on-premise or in the cloud. Either way, you’ll need to prepare for VoIP by ensuring your internet bandwidth can handle the additional data transfer loads. You’ll also want to prepare and configure hardware well before you make the switch.
- Improve your VoIP systems post-installation. Proper configuration takes time, and you’ll want to ensure that everything runs smoothly after your VoIP system is installed. It’s not enough to simply get VoIP service – you’ll need to continually monitor, tweak and change it to fit your organization’s evolving needs.
These VoIP systems offer the flexibility and features to change with your business as it grows. They’re a vital part of your business communications and they can give you a competitive advantage when you use the technology to improve your operations.
Keeping your data safe and sound
When it comes to protecting your business data, you shouldn’t take any chances. There are numerous cyberthreats constantly trying to take your business out of commission … or at least hold it for ransom.
That’s why a critical piece of business technology is having relentlessly good security technology.
And no, that doesn’t just mean setting Windows Firewall to “strict.” Nice try.
Much like business communication technology, the best security tech works with all your other business tools to keep your data protected.
Tools to protect your business data include:
- Antivirus solutions. You’ll want a program that can actively scan and catch malicious programs before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your IT infrastructure.
- Firewalls. These bad boys keep your network protected by acting as the guardian of the data – they sit on the edge of your network and the internet and they filter what can come in.
- Email protection tools. Spam and malware are often sent around through emails, directly to your inbox. Email filtering tools can intercept and quarantine cyberthreats, such as phishing attacks, before they have a chance to affect your computer.
- Secure WiFi. Okay, it’s not technically a security measure. However, choosing a router that distributes WiFi through encrypted signals is very important for network security. After all, you wouldn’t want an additional unsecured access point that leads directly to your IT infrastructure. As an added bonus, these are usually necessary for compliance – so might as well use them from the get-go.
- Web filtering applications. Websites can be dangerous, too. Web filtering apps keep your business safe by automatically blocking potentially malicious traffic. You can also customize these applications to block sites you deem inappropriate.
Back, back, back that data up
Backup technology, much like security technology, consists of software and hardware working in tandem. Part of a good business technology strategy is always having multiple copies of your data in case of a disaster.
Related: Your Go-to Guide for BDR Planning
Disasters can strike just about anywhere. When we talk about “disasters,” most people think of earthquakes and floods.
Everyday disasters include power outages, cyberattacks, malicious employees, and more. Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) technology keeps your business running through it all by providing a reliable source from which you can restore your data.
…and all that management
Let’s take a second to recap it all. Business communications, VoIP, cybersecurity, and BDR are all examples of good business technology that your organization genuinely needs.
However, there’s still the elephant in the room – who’s actually managing it all?
Good technology is only effective if the user knows how to apply it properly. For that, you may need a bit of assistance.
Outsourced IT support essentially runs the show for you. Naturally, you still get to reap the benefits of using good technology in its entirety, but you don’t have to worry about proactive maintenance and upkeep.
In short, managed IT support takes care of it all for you.
With the addition of an experienced technology manager on your side, you can run your technology more efficiently and effectively than ever before, while still gaining additional time to focus on what matters most to you – your business.