As the year approaches its final weeks, we all find ourselves spending equal time reflecting on the past and preparing for the dawn of something new. As leaders, many of our New Year’s resolutions focus on our careers and personal fulfillment, and we make a pact with ourselves to make these items top priority beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Jan 1.
But here’s the kicker: Only about 8 percent of us actually see our resolutions through to the end.
People have been making and breaking resolutions for thousands of years (since the Babylonian era, to be exact). No real harm, no foul. But businesses no longer have this leeway; not with the rapid sophistication of technology threatening the efficacy of your processes. If you want your businesses to keep pace, you need to set zealous goals for 2017 and, more importantly, stick to them. Here are five technology resolutions every business should make for 2017.
1. Commit to Increasing Your Cybersecurity Budget
Global cybersecurity spending is expected to surpass $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021. Currently, the median spend on security is about 7 to 9 percent of an organization’s IT budget. Plan to spend at least this much to put the proper technologies in place, upgrade systems, work with third-party professionals and more.
2. Resolve to Spend More Time Training Staff
Cybersecurity isn’t the responsibility of your IT department or your CTO—it’s a responsibility shared by every single person who works for your company. According to numerous 2015 reports, human error was the leading cause of cybersecurity incidents. If you do one thing to better your organization in 2017, spend more time training your staff on the proper handling and management of data.
Keep in mind, the issue of cybersecurity goes far beyond incorporating the right securities and training staff on how to use them. It’s about adopting a culture of security-minded employees.
3. Plan to Create or Improve Your BYOD Policy
More than 72 percent of the workforce will be mobile by 2020. Hopefully, creating a BYOD policy was a resolution you completed in years past. But if not, you can’t afford to put it off any longer. Every mobile device used to communicate information or share documents is an open doorway for hackers and thieves. Here are some critical steps you should take to create or improve your BYOD policy:
- Define allowable devices (including wearable technology)
- Create a set of policies in which your employees will realistically comply
- Be specific about how devices may be used for work and personal life
- Limit employees to work-related apps that do not store data on the device
- Detail the level of IT support you will provide
- Communicate this policy clearly and frequently
- Include a remote wipe clause (just in case)
4. Finally Rid Your Company of Inefficient Technology
Any technology that absorbs more resources than the value it creates is a waste. Here’s how to identify if any of your technology needs to be replaced:
- The technology is slow
- It regularly crashes or requires frequent maintenance
- Your employees complain about it
- The technology doesn't integrate with other technologies
- The manufacture date is 5 or more years old
In some cases technology concerns may be user error—the result of improper training. But if training yields little to no change, it’s time for a refresh.
5. Track Assets
Only the leanest, most efficient operations will prevail in 2017. If you haven’t already incorporated asset tracking software into your workforce management strategy, add it to your resolutions list as a top priority.
Asset tracking software is a centralized management solution that provides detailed insight into the location, contract details and maintenance information of every single piece of technology and equipment at your organization. This software decreases administrative costs, increases accountability, helps you scale your business for growth, reduces unexpected equipment or network hiccups and will ensure your organization maintains any industry-specific certifications.
If you struggle with resolution follow-through, break down each goal into smaller, more manageable tasks and divvy up the responsibility among other leaders in your organization. Technology is critical to every business and every industry, and your dedication to tech-based goals will determine your success in the year to come.
Editor's Note: This post was previously published on Inc.com and has been republished here with permission.