The start of a new year is an excellent time to reflect on the previous 12 months and set goals for the next year. This is particularly crucial for small enterprises, which have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. The epidemic, like many other disruptive events, has provided many lessons for small businesses to learn from.
We’ve whittled it down to five resolutions that small businesses should think about as they approach 2022.
1. Whenever possible, accelerate innovation
COVID disrupted operations and threw businesses of all sizes and industries into confusion, but it also demonstrated that innovation doesn’t always take a large budget, a lot of resources, or years to achieve.
To survive, small firms had to embrace and drive innovation. Many of us anticipated that remote work and digital transformation would take a few years to develop, but COVID swiftly disproved that view. We also discovered that businesses could quickly adapt to remote workforces and online business models. A crisis was all it needed for many small businesses to realize that they are capable of quickly and cost-effectively innovating.
Don’t miss further possibilities to boost innovation within your firm as you head into 2022.
2. Change is inevitable, even with technology.
Making real change (hello, New Year’s resolutions) may be difficult, especially when it comes at a cost. One of the most expensive modifications for small firms is usually with their IT solutions. Why mend something that isn’t broken in the first place?
In the last 18 months, small businesses have discovered the benefits of new technologies such as cloud-based services, managed networks, WiFi connectivity, video conferencing, virtual desktops, and more. Employee productivity, collaboration, security, and engagement – all while promoting a positive customer experience. Even better, these services proved to be controllable in-house, decreasing the requirement for outside IT.
Keep an eye out for methods to accept change even more in 2022. Adopting a new conferencing solution or an end-to-end security platform might be as simple as that.
3. Pay attention to the (hybrid) future
It’s crucial to keep in mind that the work model changes that have been imposed on us all over the last year and a half are likely to be permanent. That indicates we still have a ways to go before we can fully convert to a mixed work environment.
You may still have on-premises technology from your primarily in-person workplace, as well as whatever new technology your team adopted as you went remote. Video conferencing, remote file access, and offsite personnel are here to stay, which means your IT needs to adapt. It’s vital assessing your current setup to ensure that you can accommodate this new working paradigm quickly and safely in 2022 and beyond.
4. Switch to cloud-based solutions.
Prior to the pandemic, the transition to cloud-based solutions was sluggish, with most small businesses still relying on on-premises IT, such as servers, networks, and desktop PCs. Businesses discovered they could move their technology, essential apps, and data off-premises and onto the cloud smoothly last year, and cloud-based IT took off.
Employers could now provide remote workers access to virtual desktops and applications from anywhere, providing them with all of the data and tools they need to be productive and engaged. Businesses were also able to minimize their IT requirements, as well as their expenditures (and headaches) in the process.
Cloud-based solutions and software-as-a-service (SaaS) will continue to provide high value in 2022, allowing small firms to innovate and scale as needed. It’s as if you’re getting two resolutions for the price of one.
5. Say it again: SECURITY, SECURITY!
Many small firms may have had a false feeling of security prior to COVID, believing they were too small for hackers to bother with. Hackers, on the other hand, don’t care how big or little your company is; they only care about how inadequate your security is. So, if you thought you were getting away with it, think again.
Cybersecurity breaches can be disastrous, and hackers took advantage of the chance when organizations began allowing workers to work from various locations and on personal devices. The good news is that thanks to cloud-based solutions, protecting your data, devices, and business against assaults like these is now easier and more economical than ever.
We strongly advise you to evaluate your cybersecurity solutions if you just plan to do one thing as a small business in 2022. From your email to your network to your endpoints, a powerful yet simple security approach may help safeguard your entire business.
The New Year brings with it new technology.
With the new year well underway, now is an excellent opportunity to assess your present technology and determine what, if anything, needs to be changed. Here are some questions to ponder:
Is my technological environment and equipment prepared to handle the demands of the moment and to respond to future crises?
Do we have a nimble infrastructure that can react to change quickly?
Will our network bandwidth be sufficient to handle the demands of a crowded office and days when the majority of employees work from home?
Are we sufficiently safeguarding our individuals and their personal information?
Will we continue to collaborate via video conferencing or provide services and products via the internet?
Check out recent episodes of the Cisco Designed “Small Business, Big Solutions” podcast for more information on these topics and more.
We’re ready to support and accelerate your digital transformation by linking you to simple, secure, and scalable solutions that support and accelerate your business goals for 2022. Please contact our sales team to learn more about our networking, security, and collaboration solutions, as well as how to schedule a one-on-one demonstration of any of our small business products.
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