Despite Uncertainty, You Should Still Plan Now for 2021

2020 has been a challenging year, and the one thing we can all rely on is that life is unpredictable. But uncertainty is no reason to forgo 2021 planning. Your business will still need to maintain or update its hardware and software and be protected against cyber threats. Now is the perfect time to start thinking through your IT plan for the year.

Plan for Hardware and Software Updates

Your business’s hardware and software requires regular maintenance and updating. The Now IT Connects team can perform most of this maintenance remotely. But if it has been a few years since you’ve replaced your hardware or reviewed your software to see if it still serves your business, 2021 is the perfect time to assess your IT needs.

If your servers are older or if you still rely on old removal devices to protect your data, consider upgrading your hardware and moving your backup process to the cloud. New systems are faster, more reliable, and can process more data, while cloud backup can save you space in your server room and time switching removal devices, as well as improved peace of mind knowing your data is securely backed up in real time.

You likely also depend on a variety of software or web-based applications to run your business, including project management tools, accounting software, and inventory management applications. Unless you perform regular audits of your IT inventory, you may be missing out on new tools that could improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. In 2021, take a look at all of the systems you have in place at your business. If your list includes several programs that no longer serve you, or if none of your tools are integrated, give Now IT Connects a call.

Protect Your Business against Cyber Threats

This year, we’ve featured several blog posts from our partner Secure Net Pros. If cyber security is not a priority at your business, plan to make it one in 2021. Cyber attacks from bad actors will continue to threaten companies, with small businesses being especially vulnerable to cybercrime. If you do not have a cyber security plan in place for your business, we recommend connecting with the experts at Secure Net Pros.

Find a Trusted IT Partner

Finally, if you are managing the IT at your business all on your own, make 2021 the year you partner with a managed IT provider. Not only will you save hours of time, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your systems and data are maintained and protected. Contact the Now IT Connects team today to discover the possibilities.


Building with Your IT Needs in Mind

building with IT in mind_Now IT Connects_Minnesota

The COVID-19 pandemic will permanently change the way we all work. The health and safety of your employees is vitally important. But so is the ability to stay connected, especially when a portion of your workforce is working remotely. Here are a few ways you can design your workspace with your IT needs in mind.

Integrate, Don’t Retrofit

Your company’s IT needs should be integrated into the design of your workspace. Don’t wait until you finalize plans and put up walls to consider what your IT needs are. Include your IT team in the design process so you create a space that will meet your current and future technology needs. Your IT experts can advise you and your architect on what space you need to house your IT infrastructure and how to integrate ethernet and USB ports and WiFi networks into the structure of your space to make it easy to stay connected.

IT Needs for Individual Workspaces

What IT does each individual worker require in your workspace? At a bare minimum, they likely need plentiful electrical outlets, USB and ethernet ports, and a strong WiFi connection. Screen privacy should also be a priority, especially for employees who work with sensitive information. Consider the hardware you will need to support. Will you invest in desktop computers for everyone to encourage desk use, or provide laptops or tablets to empower people to work where they choose?

IT Needs for Conference Rooms

Due to COVID-19, it is likely that a portion of your workforce will be working remotely over the next few months and perhaps permanently. Meetings with clients and vendors may also occur virtually. It will be vitally important to include a space to facilitate collaboration between remote workers and in-office employees.

Conference rooms require IT infrastructure that makes collaboration easy and seamless. To do so requires forethought during the design stage to hide network and AV cables behind a wall to supply a projector or in a floor trench to serve the conference room table. To facilitate video conferencing, you’ll need a webcam as well as a projector, and a mic as well as speakers. If you plan to use an app-based room scheduler, having a tablet outside the door of the room can make it easy for workers to review the calendar and schedule their meetings.

IT Needs for Common Areas

As flexible workspaces become more popular, common areas of your workspace will need to be technology-friendly. Employees should be able to stay connected to email and other essential applications wherever they are.

When designing your common area spaces, carefully place WiFi routers so every square inch is covered. If you have a lobby, consider installing digital signage to direct visitors and share information in real time. Remember to add the IT infrastructure to support any access control system you require.

If you need help determining what IT infrastructure you’ll need to support your business in your new space, Now IT Connects is here to help. We can design, install, and maintain your network, hardware, software, and web applications to keep your team productive. To get started, contact us today.