5 tech resolutions to enhance your IT strategy roadmap in 2018

By Martin Thurgate | February 8, 2018

IT resolutionsWith the New Year upon us, we share our Top 5 technology resolutions that should be an essential part of your IT strategy.

Resolution 1: IT Security - Reinforce employee education on ransomware and other cyber attacks

With repeated reports of Ransomware and Cyber threats circulating, we recommend you add IT security as a topic at your next staff/team meeting.

Sharing experiences and knowledge could be the difference between a painful outage as a result of malware versus being malware free and staying productive. A member of my family was recently the victim of a scam, and while it may seem obvious, it’s the strategy behind it that you need to talk to your staff about.

Whilst on Facebook, she clicked on a banner ad that caught her eye, presuming this was a trusted environment. However, Adware (malware that’s included within advertising links) is becoming more and more common. Immediately after clicking the ad, her computer locked showing a screen indicating she had a virus, and needed to call tech support to get it resolved including an 1800 number. The computer was also making a constant, high pitched noise which of course raised her anxiety. In a panic she called the 1800 number, and paid $700 on her credit card to have the message and sound removed.

Fortunately, she spoke to me soon after and I explained it was a scam and to cancel her credit card, but this type of threat is on the rise.

Resolution 2: Plan the required service transitions in your IT roadmap

With Telstra announcing their digital grade service (ISDN) will be disconnected in the coming years, due to the nationwide rollout of the NBN and the incompatibility these products face with the new technology, it is important to have a transition plan to VoIP now.

Whilst Telstra anticipate final disconnection will occur in 2022, some businesses could face losing services as early as 2019 depending on their location.

This could mean your business phones are disconnected and permanent loss of your numbers, causing major disruption to your business. Many businesses, who have a fast approaching disconnection date for their landline phone and internet service, are leaving the transition to the NBN to the last minute.

Transitioning to the NBN is not a trivial matter and requires a significant lead time, which should be carefully planned with your IT and Voice system providers. Leaving it to the last minute significantly increases your chances of business interruptions and outages, therefore we recommend you order your NBN service at least 3 months before the disconnection date. Check out our recent NBN webinar to learn more about this transition.

Resolution 3: Start including Artificial Intelligence tools into your IT strategy

Definitely a hot topic of late and into 2018, more and more companies are looking at ways that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can enhance their business. Often associated with large enterprise, small to medium sized businesses are now taking full advantage of AI.

Website chat bots are becoming increasingly popular, allowing businesses to become more engaged with customers through the website without having to have someone on-hand to reply. These tools provide customers immediate answers they may require without having to leave the website or picking up another device. Couple this with “live chat” for an even greater impact.

Popular chat bot platforms / tools to implement in your IT process include:

  • Mobile Monkey: you can build a chatbot for Facebook Messenger in minutes,
  • Meokay: allows you to make an emotional connection by customising your discussion,
  • Botsify: allows you to create AI chat bots without coding,
  • Flow XO: smart chat bots made simple,
  • Chatfuel: allows you to launch a full featured chat bot in 7 minutes…

Struggling to keep abreast of what competitors are up to, AI for competitive intelligence tools can enable businesses to track activity across a number of channels – websites, social media and web applications.

With the array of automated virtual assistants now available, we recommend taking the time to understand how these can work for your business. We recently used Microsoft’s Cortana to set up a virtual team meeting across 3 difference companies. Cortana took care of the invitations and the juggling of schedules till an ideal timeslot was found and locked in…

Resolution 4: Design a solid password policy

Now is the time to update that password you have been meaning to change for some time now… With the password “brett1” taking only 54 milliseconds’ to crack, “brett123” a minute and “brett2016” only 42 minutes, password attacks are real.

Selecting a secure password can be complicated. The trick is to find methods that provide enough complexity to make your password too hard to bother for a brute-force attack, without making it too hard to live with.

Guidelines to update your password policy include:

  • Using the first letter from a favourite phrase
  • Adding a few numbers and characters
  • Include some capital letters

An example of this I saw several years ago was the line from Gone with the Wind – “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn” was turned into the password “Fmdidgad“. The “How secure is my password” site gives it 22 minutes to survive a brute force attack. By adding just a few numbers and characters – “Fmdidgad12#%” will take 34 thousand years!

Don’t open your business up to risk, change that password today!

Resolution 5: Get inspiration from Tech influencers like Elon Musk

Want to impress your colleagues with your technology knowledge? Follow Elon Musk using your preferred social media platform. Musk is revolutionising transportation both on earth and in space, and is also changing the way we supply power by using battery storage and other technologies. According to Forbes, Elon Musk is the #12 richest person in Tech and the #21 most powerful person in the world.

An amazing entrepreneur and widely considered the technology successor to people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, as well as the real-life inspiration for Iron Man’s Tony Stark, Elon Musk is a fascinating subject to follow.

Read the Elon Musk Post Series on the “Wait but why” website for more insights, particularly on his vision for global energy potential.

How can Diamond help?

As featured recently in Hunter Headline, 2018 will be an exciting year for technology and we look forward to working with you through this evolving landscape.  Talk to us about how we can help enhance your IT Strategy. Contact us below or call us today on 1300 307 907.

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TAGS: Managed IT Services, Business Value, News and General, IT Security

About the Author
Martin Thurgate

Director (BAppSci, MCSE) @ Diamond IT - After moving to Newcastle in the mid-nineteen nineties, Martin finished his IT degree and worked in a technical role in the internet services sector. He joined Diamond in 1998 as an IT technician and in 2000 he became a director and equal owner of the business. Over the next two decades Martin assumed various roles inside the business, including customer facing technical roles, direct sales, Sales Manager, Technical Services Manager and General Manager. This mix of hands on technology and business experience combined to make Martin one of the leading ICT experts in the region, with unique skills in helping businesses realise the potential benefits that ICT can deliver to increase productivity and reduce costs. Martin is most passionate about providing a superior customer experience, and helping other businesses harness the benefits of utilising technology. “Having built a highly dynamic, efficient, award winning business, I’m passionate about sharing my experiences and helping other businesses gain a competitive advantage through the use of technology.”