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After the recent holiday, it’s time to buckle down and get back to business. We’re not talking about cleaning your email inbox or returning voicemails—we’re talking big picture. Now is the time to tackle the meaningful technology projects that will boost your business’s bottom line and increase your productivity for the rest of the year.

1. Test Your Network

You might be a little slow getting things going after vacation, but your network shouldn’t be. Can your network handle your bandwidth needs? When your network is slow, productivity is slow. Employees get frustrated and lose focus. Customers get impatient.

As technology advances, so does the strain on your network. Make sure your infrastructure can handle the increasing number of devices and required operational bandwidth to keep your business up to speed.

2. Refresh Your Website

Do you remember when you went back-to-school shopping and got a new wardrobe as a kid? Launching a refreshed website is kind of like that. A new look gives you refreshed energy for the remaining year ahead. If it’s been years since your last website refresh, your business can benefit drastically with mobile-friendly design, SEO improvements, modern appearance, and enhanced security.

If you’re unsure if your business is ready for a website update, High Touch offers a free website assessment to get you started.

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3. Explore New Software Integrations

How many software applications do you use every day? If you ever spent the time tallying, you’d be surprised. Oftentimes, opening multiple applications is a result of manually transferring data from one system from another. Custom Software Development isn’t always as complicated as building a new application from ground up. Sometimes, a simple line of code can save you hours of manual labor by automating redundant tasks.

4. Evaluate Your Legacy Software

Just because your business has depended on a particular software solution in the past, doesn’t mean it has to forever. Like other business philosophies, popular software solutions come and go.

Software development frameworks and business requirements are constantly evolving. If your business has relied on custom legacy software to complete operational tasks, it may be time to investigate a software modernization project to improve usability and profitability. For some custom legacy software systems, you may be able to improve performance with a simple software enhancement. In other cases, the entire legacy software system needs to be converted to a modern language. If you’re not sure where to start, High Touch can help with our knowledge of Legacy Systems.

5. Prepare for Upcoming End of Support Dates

If your business depends on one of the following Microsoft products or a Toshiba phone system, you should be aware of the following dates:

Microsoft Products

When Microsoft ends support for a product and you don’t have a replacement plan in place, your business is in immediate danger of cyberattacks, decreased performance, and integrity failure. Through 2020, Microsoft will be ending support for the following products:

  • July 9, 2019. SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2
  • January 14, 2020. Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2
  • October 13, 2020. Microsoft Office 2010

Toshiba Phone Systems

  • October 31, 2019 – End of Add-on Sales. Essentially, after the end of add-on sales, Toshiba phone systems will be trapped in time. You will no longer be able to purchase any licenses or hardware for Toshiba phone systems. This includes licenses for additional users, mailboxes, and ACD agents. Remaining hardware, including phones and cards, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. With increased demand and decreasing supply, there’s a possibility that hardware supplies could run out before October 31, 2019.
  • October 31, 2021 – End of Support. Mitel will end all support for Toshiba phone systems. Software and document repositories may not be available after this date. High Touch will only be able to service remaining Toshiba systems to a limited degree, which means we may not have the resources available for escalated support or hardware, software, and licensing needs.

6. Schedule a Cybersecurity Checkup

New cybersecurity threats are always lurking, waiting for an unsuspecting, out-of-date user to exploit. When is the last time you evaluated your business’s cybersecurity solution? According to an article published by Security Magazine, cybercrimes cost businesses $45 billion in damages in 2018. Consequently, CPO Magazine recently published an article stating that half of all cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses. Yet, most small businesses invest less than $500 in cybersecurity. By these numbers, once single cyberattack can knock a business down to its knees.

Since new cybersecurity threats appear frequently, it’s important businesses have a proactive cybersecurity plan to keep employees and customers safe.

7. Test Your Backups

If you keep up with our blogs and emails, we might sound like a broken record, but testing your Data Backup and Recovery solutions regularly and often is critical to the health of a business’s technology solutions. A data disaster, whether caused by a natural disaster or human error, can happen at any time. The midpoint of the year is a great time to reevaluate your business data backup needs. A few data backup areas to investigate include:

  • Data storage space
  • Automatic data backups schedules
  • Manual data backup schedules
  • Local data backup needs
  • Cloud data backup needs

Not Sure Where to Start?

At High Touch, we bring the human touch to technology. We understand that big technology projects can seem intimidating on paper. That doesn’t mean that have to be. With over 35 years of experience, we can help make things easier.

High Touch offers Technology Consulting services to help businesses build sustainable, dependable technology solutions. Contact us today to learn how High Touch can make technology work for your business.

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