We’re all painfully aware of the challenges and uncertainty 2020 provided. If you’ve kept your company afloat, you’ve done a remarkable job.

COVID-19 has been a major catalyst for business transformation, with more than 75% of respondents in a recent SWZD survey saying their business has resolved to make long-term IT changes as a result. These changes will shape the future of how we work, and our companies will require proactive IT solutions that can move and grow with the business.

Before you flip the calendar to 2021, take these last moments of 2020 to reflect on everything you’ve learned so far, and plan the first steps towards a proactive, resilient IT strategy.

Network Tech has helped many small- and medium-sized businesses throughout Kansas and Missouri meet the challenges of the last year head-on. Today, we want to share the items at the very top of our 2021 to-do list. Write these down, meet with your IT team to talk them over, and then call us if you need any assistance. We’re always here to help.

Cyber

For many area organizations, COVID-19 opened up unprecedented cybersecurity gaps. As most of us transitioned from secured office networks to insecure home WiFi, the sudden change exposed vulnerabilities in our security that left space for bad actors to gain access to critical data and assets.

Moving forward into 2021, IT departments should be focusing on a secure IT plan that closes these gaps and makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your system. This type of plan often starts with something as simple as a security audit, but ultimately companies need to work holistically to ensure that all staff are educated on the potential dangers they may face, from an email phishing scam to compromised WiFi. If your business has not taken a close look at acquiring cyber liability insurance, it’s time to do so.

For more information on cybersecurity, read our latest resource: Advanced Tools for Network Security and Compliance. Investing in an intentional IT cybersecurity plan with us will help keep you safe from ever-evolving threats.

Cloud

Another way that remote work has changed our workplaces is through our heavier reliance on cloud-based tools. Back in Q1, many organizations still relied heavily on on-prem servers and were too distracted on short-term strategies to focus on cloud migration.

Cloud-native technologies will continue to have a huge impact on our work and, as a result, global trends are moving away from hardware investments and toward investments in serverless, cloud-based platforms and tools. The cloud wasn’t new to 2020, but this year truly cemented its importance.

If you’re still on the fence about the cloud in 2021, it’s time to have a strategic conversation with a managed service provider about how you can implement cloud computing for your business.

Business Continuity

If you’re like us, the last thing you want to think about after a year of dealing with COVID-19 is a natural disaster. Although Kansas and Missouri are typically spared from ongoing natural disaster concerns like wildfires and hurricanes, the unthinkable can happen at any time. A burst pipe in your server room can wipe out your backup or a social engineering attack can shut down your system, with no access until everything has been cleaned up.

These events disrupt not just your IT, but also your business as a whole. A resilient IT plan takes a variety of business continuity situations into account. It’s the only way to ensure that, despite any type of physical and technical disruption, your business will stay on track.

Regardless of where your business continuity plan stands now, partner with Network Tech to create, test or adjust the most resilient plan possible.

Remote Workforce Productivity and Efficiency

As most of us learned in 2020, working remotely is neither productive nor efficient overnight. It takes time to evaluate the tools you were using for in-office work and find suitable programs to facilitate communication and teamwork remotely.

Prepare yourself well for 2021 by doing a detailed IT audit to see what’s working and where your team could use a bit more support. Even if you were already using great tools like Microsoft 365 for your in-office team, your needs will change when your entire staff switches to remote work. You may be able to leverage the same tools, but you should schedule an IT consultation with a strategic IT expert to make sure.

Getting your tools evaluated will help ensure your team is working as efficiently as possible. An IT expert can also make recommendations to fill all necessary gaps, keeping your team productive even when they’re spread out.

Compliance

Despite the challenges that 2020 has brought, compliance requirements have stayed rigorous. Only now, companies are being forced to adhere to core compliance processes with fewer staff and resources in a heightened risk environment.

Before the end of 2020, sit down with compliance officers at your company and talk about how IT can support their work. Moving into 2021, staying in compliance with industry standards and laws remains a key requirement for many businesses to stay in operation. Whether you’re running a financial institution, a healthcare facility or dealing with customers’ personal information, the pandemic has accelerated risks and made it harder for anyone working in compliance to do their job.

Fortunately, we know compliance. Let us help you build a compliant IT plan that keeps your organization protected.

How Network Tech Can Provide Proactive IT Solutions

This year has shown us that it’s almost impossible to predict the future. Before the end of the year, companies across Kansas and Missouri should have a plan to ensure they can tackle the challenges of 2021 head-on. Outsourcing IT can help by taking pressure off your existing IT department, leaving them available to handle the day-to-day challenges that only they can solve.

Call us today for an end-of-year checkup. Armed with knowledge from your checkup, our experts can offer support where you need it most.