It’s hard for smaller companies to keep up with changing technology. In fact, there are only two basic ways to do it: rely on an expert, or get your hands dirty. The latter route takes time and effort, but here are a few tips to help keep your IT up to date.
Shop Like a Techie
Make regular visits to a big tech retailer. Apple was the top retailer last year. Browse the hardware and software that interests you. Make note of the prices, features, and specifications on the box. Ask questions. This way you’ll get a good picture of what’s out there. If visiting a physical store isn’t possible, you can browse their online sites at your leisure. Make this a fairly regular habit and you’ll always have a good idea of what’s available.
Other Online Resources
Sometimes the next big thing is pure guesswork or twenty years ahead of its time. But visiting technical blogs and e-magazines can get you informed fairly quickly about the latest trends and developments. You can subscribe to RSS feeds to get updates and posts sent straight to you. You can join Google news and select topics to find articles you’re interested in. Don’t overlook review sites to learn the pros and cons from people who are already using the latest tech.
Have Your Own R&D department
You could appoint your IT staff members to launch your own research and development effort, even if it’s only part-time and tightly budgeted. The people who know your business and your systems may have the best idea of what to focus on. Ask them to look into anything that seems relevant to the latest issues or projects. As your company grows, R&D grows with it.
Create a Comprehensive Plan
Every business, no matter how big or small, should create an action plan for IT maintenance. This will include updating and patching your software on all of your computers. If you don’t have a dedicated IT team, you may need to ask your employees to update their computers on a regular basis so you don’t miss out on security updates. You can also automate updates to save time. Make sure you also update your mobile devices and cloud platforms.
Find Your Own Expert
Find someone in your company you can go to for advice. Alternatively, you could hire a consultant. Managed Ottawa IT support companies can be found without too much effort. Usually for a flat monthly fee these types of companies will provide consulting, system design, network monitoring, desktop support, security, or custom IT solutions for your particular needs. When in doubt, turning to the pros is the reliable solution.
The problem is not only keeping up with technology, but knowing which options are right for your business. Sometimes it’s a matter of acquiring knowledge, and sometimes it’s a matter of funds. The sensible solution is finding resources that help on both counts.