IT can make or break firms; be it offline or online ones. The magnitude of this vertical of business is reflected by the fact that every company today is expected to have a top notch website and online social media presence if it is to be considered at the forefront of its industry.
So here are the 5 biggest IT mistakes companies are making and how to deal with them; most of the solutions are easy hacks that will get you on your way in no time; often, without the need for dedicated IT departments.
1. Antivirus: Don’t buy antivirus software. As simple as that. Free solutions like Avast, AVG and Windows’ own Microsoft Security Essentials are good enough to provide your firm with the basic security you need to keep the buck rolling. Moreover, the only useful features of the paid AV solutions are things like firewalls and online monitoring, which are built into the Operating System anyway.
Resource: Avast recently announced a FREE corporate package, which protects from viruses and allows admins to remotely monitor all computers in the system.
2. Web Presence: Firstly, websites are the ‘cool office’ of the 21st century firm. They are the first point of contact for prospective clients and partners. This is why it is paramount that companies have a top notch, well designed and interactive website. There are countless examples of established firms not giving due importance to this aspect of the business, even though it has among the highest ROIs.
Secondly, the world has gone social and there is no business that can afford to overlook this. This calls for concerted content marketing efforts for firms to establish brand awareness and establish leadership in their respective industries. Remember, if you don’t do this, your competitors will.
Resource: For websites, you can use WordPress templates and learn the basics of web development in a jiffy. Or let web services do the heavy lifting for you. For social media, create a free wordpress blog (you can migrate later) and do regular posts on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Then use Hootsuite to schedule weeks ahead of time according to your social media strategy
3. Hardware: One of the most commonly held misconceptions is that good CPUs and RAM make a computer fast. Unfortunately, the most important component in a high performing PCs/laptop is often overlooked. It is, lo and behold, the hard-disk. It is the only mechanical part of a conventional computer and holds back the entire setup from performing to full potential. So next time you go for a new computer, try to fit in an SSD. It’ll make your computer go like stink (e.g it’ll boot in 15 seconds).
Another often misunderstood component is the printer. If you want to rack up the savings to your company and get brownie points, then realize this; printers, whether inkjet or laser, have very little to differentiate themselves within a certain price range. So go ahead and buy one that cost BDT 7,000 and network it to the system. I can guarantee that you’re going to get the same output as a unit twice its cost, with half the maintenance.
4. Collaboration Tools: In an increasingly collaborative work environment, managers should encourage fluid flow of creations by setting up their teams to maximize their output by leveraging the power of activity syncing. Too many times, there is a firewall between the efforts of individual team members causing problems ranging from duplication of effort all the way to botched project deliverables.
Resource: Managers should look into their business case and design a constantly evolving, and at the same time stable system around the use of Google Hangouts for communication, Calendar for scheduling (segregated by function), Dropbox/Drive for file syncing and Asana for tightly strung projects. Remember, all this costs NOTHING.
5. DIY (Do It Yourself): I recently talked to someone who designed the website for his consulting firm, while holding down a full time job in another company. What people have to realize is that the ease of technology has reached a point where traditional “IT Departments” aren’t really required until you reach a critical mass.
In short, startup founders can teach themselves the ins and outs of all their technology in no time, given the right resources and intentions.
Resource: If you want to learn about the tech that helps your company tick, choice is actually your enemy; there’s just too many resources vying to get your attention. So, I would recommend just these few to get you started; after which you can figure out everything else you need.
Here’s to browsing Facebook smoothly at work!!!!
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