Why These Tech Upgrades Are Necessary For Your Business This Year
Most companies are embracing technology with open arms. Whether you’re a business owner, designer or marketer, having the right tools at your disposal is crucial. It can mean the difference between completing a project on time or missing a deadline due to poor internet connection.
Tech Upgrades to Improve Your Business
In 2023, these tech upgrades are more necessity than luxury. Experts expect the global cost of cybercrime will rise from $8.44 trillion in 2022 to $23.84 trillion within the next four years, so you need to protect your workplace as best you can.
One of the easiest tech upgrades to boost cybersecurity is multi-factor authentication. You can require the use of a one-time passcode when logging into work computers or purchasing through your website, making it much harder for bad actors to access the system. The added security more than makes up for the slight inconvenience of using a temporary code.
Poor productivity isn’t always employees’ fault — sometimes outdated hardware is to blame. Old computers, clunky keyboards and card readers barely clinging to life can make it all but impossible to do your job.
Revamping the office with newer models should help. It’s also important to update computers to the latest operating system.
Ironically, manually clocking in and out can take up a lot of time, especially for businesses with multiple employees. People can also lose their time cards or even falsify their time sheets. Plus, with the percentage of high-paying remote jobs jumping from 4% to more than 15% by the end of 2020 in North America, many businesses require an alternative to physical time cards.
That’s why many companies have embraced time-tracking software. These applications allow employees to press a button on the computer to clock in and out, logging the exact number of hours and minutes they worked.
Certain software applications, like Hubstaff, take periodic screenshots and monitor productivity levels via mouse and keyboard activity. If employees forget to restart the timer after taking a break, they can manually enter the time period when they were working.
An Upgraded Point-of-Sale System
Point-of-sale (POS) systems have gone through some changes recently. A far cry from their distant ancestor, the cash register, modern POS systems often combine hardware and software, such as a card reader, receipt printer, barcode scanner and cash drawer.
Some POS systems operate via a tablet with a card reader included. They can automatically add up the day’s profits, tally the overall number of transactions and even keep track of inventory. This tool can be invaluable on busy days serving multiple customers.
Keeping digital backups of your files is a crucial security measure. One of the most useful tech upgrades is to switch to a cloud-based storage system. It’s especially important if you keep sensitive or hard-to-replace files, but it can also reduce costs, increase operational flexibility and streamline your file search process.
Some cloud-based storage services are free for certain amounts of data storage. You may have to pay for higher storage capabilities.
One of the best tech upgrades to make in 2023 is to optimize your website for mobile devices. Mobile traffic now exceeds desktop searches, so, if anything, a mobile site should be the default.
There are many ways to optimize your website. You can reduce page loading speed by making images smaller and removing GIFs. You can also remove pop-up plug-ins, use a content delivery network service and fix social sharing buttons so they render correctly on a phone.
If you’re building a website from scratch on a site like WordPress, you can choose themes and layouts specifically designed for mobile. It’s also a good idea to use accessible layouts, fonts and color schemes for clients with disabilities or slow internet connections.
Having two monitors can vastly improve workplace efficiency. In fact, a 2017 study found having multiple screens boosted productivity by up to 42% overall. This setup is especially useful if you do a lot of writing or research — you can search on one display and write on the other.
A High-Speed Network
One way to make your job easier is to invest in a better internet connection. Consider upgrading to fiber or gigabit broadband to improve your network speed. Doing so can improve everything from page loading speed to customer response times.
Stronger Remote Work Security
With many employees accessing company networks from home or on public Wi-Fi, hackers can more easily bypass security controls. Security analytics can monitor suspicious activity within a network, proactively stopping the activity or verifying its safety.
AI cybersecurity software looks for trends in past behavior. Then, it can flag any outliers, such as customers making purchases at unusual times or someone logging in from a distinct location, and sound the alarm.
For example, if an employee accesses company files at 4:00 in the morning or stays logged in longer than usual, the cybersecurity software will notice this behavior falls outside the norm. You can program the software to send you a message when it detects unusual activity. Or, you can set it up to lock people out of the network until someone can verify that it’s safe.
Modern Tech Makes a Difference
Tech upgrades improve cybersecurity, provide a better customer experience and boost productivity among employees. They range from simple, inexpensive fixes to complete system overhauls, but they’re all valuable ways to improve your workplace. In the competitive world of running a small to medium-sized business, even slight advantages may prove critical.
Guest Post by Eleanor Hecks
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pups, Bear and Lucy.