Technology resolutions SMBs should follow in 2021

Technology resolutions SMBs should follow in 2021

It goes without saying that 2020 turned the world of work upside down. It showed us that remote work is here to stay, and that means technology will play an even bigger role in our everyday work. To stay competitive in a fast-changing, tech-driven business world, you must master efficient collaboration without compromising on data security.

The key to achieving this is to leverage the right technology and implement best practices. Here are five technology resolutions that SMBs should follow in 2021.

1. Back up all your data, files, and settings properly
Companies that operate without contingency plans have an extremely high rate of going bankrupt or shutting down for good after a single mechanical failure or security breach. This is why it’s so crucial to have a comprehensive backup and recovery solution for when crises occur.

Cloud technology has made data backup so much easier for businesses of all sizes. Many managed IT services providers (MSPs) also offer managed backup services, which essentially include geo-redundant data centers, system settings backup, and round-the-clock monitoring. This ensures that when a disaster strikes, your applications and data will still be accessible so you can resume operations as if nothing happened.

2. Discourage everyone from reusing the same passwords
Since the average user has access to dozens of business and personal online accounts, it’s common for them to create two or three strong passwords and reuse them across multiple accounts. Even with a few changes in letters or symbols, password reuse still poses a real data security threat to both your company and your people. This is because once cybercriminals get a hold of an employee’s password for a single app, they can use that password to access many more, if not all of your company’s tools and confidential files.

Worse yet, hackers can easily commit identity theft or financial fraud if the employee uses the same password for their social media accounts and banking apps. An easy solution to end password reuse is to get password managers like LastPass or Dashlane. These secure and user-friendly tools let your users generate strong passwords and keep them all in an encrypted vault protected by a master password. If users need to log in to a specific app, they can simply use the password manager to recall passwords for particular accounts with a click of button.

3. Get project management tools that work best for your teams
Without reliable and easy-to-use task management tools, staying collaborative in today’s fast-paced business world will be a daily struggle. Fortunately, there are a bunch of intuitive and easy-to-use collaboration tools like Asana and Trello that you can leverage to minimize silos and maximize productivity.

However, different apps have their own perks and limitations. The tricky part is finding the right tools for your company. The solution to that is to shortlist a few and try them out with your teams. Most of these tools are available for a per-user, per-month fee, which means your teams can always explore different ones without breaking the bank.

4. Take advantage of productivity tools
Your employees might already be avid users of Microsoft 365 apps, or your remote workforce has probably just started using Zoom recently. Regardless of how familiar your teams are with these tools, there is always so much more to learn about them.

It’s important to note that each of your team members adapts differently to new technology. So helping everyone get accustomed to basic app capabilities like integration with other tools or an auto-sync with company calendars or email accounts will play a big part in your overall efficiency in the long run.

5. Make cybersecurity a top priority
The more reliant your business is on technology, the more cybersecurity risks you are exposed to. This is especially true with remote work, as your teams are accessing your company’s systems and confidential files on different devices and networks.

In addition to investing in effective security solutions and keeping everything up to date, you must also minimize the risk of human error. An easy, practical, and cost-effective solution to this is online security awareness training. These sessions are practical, easy to understand, and easily accessible on many devices. This means your employees can learn during their most productive hours and at their own pace.

Today’s business technology and tools offer different levels of flexibility and data protection for different needs and budgets. If you need more information on how to leverage certain apps or choose the right backup option for your business, the Athens Micro teams are ready to help. Give us a call today.

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