December 2022 Newsletter
The year 2022 was a big one for IT, experiencing growth in all areas, especially for infrastructure in remote work due to the pandemic. When businesses fail to have updated IT infrastructure in place, regardless of company size or location, their customers’ and employees’ sensitive information is at risk. By investing in proper IT infrastructure, businesses can improve productivity while saving money. It’s a win-win situation.
Keeping that in mind, business owners need to be aware of changes in the IT industry so they can best protect their businesses and customers. The IT industry is continuing to grow, so you must make necessary updates. Here, you’ll find the most important IT news and trends of 2022. Understanding these trends will help foster success into 2023 and beyond.
Increased Need For IT Services Due To Remote Employees
One of the biggest challenges for many industries was the need for reliable IT services for remote employees. Businesses had to send their employees home, so they needed to find ways to ensure their information would stay protected.
To fix this issue, many businesses started working with MSPs to help with their IT and cyber security needs. MSPs can install, support and maintain all the users’ devices and PCs connected to the network. Since they manage devices remotely, they’re
available to help employees with their concerns as soon as they arise. MSPs are also incredibly beneficial when it comes to protecting information from hackers and other significant problems. They’ll be there to assist with issues such as lost devices, hardware failures, natural disasters and many other situations.
A Need For More Automation
Between rising costs due to inflation and staffing issues, many small-business owners are doing more of the repetitive but necessary tasks that don’t bring much value to the business. However, many things can be automated, including email marketing and data entry. Business owners don’t have to do everything on their own, especially when they can automate many of these essential daily tasks. Implementing automation leaves business owners and employees less stressed while freeing up time for higher-valued tasks.
Cyber-Attacks Of 2022 To Be Aware Of
Cybercriminals are getting smarter and bolder. In 2022, we saw cyber-attacks against the Israeli and Polish governments; the school system in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and large businesses such as Uber and Crypto.com. No business is exempt from cyber-attacks. Many small businesses don’t prioritize cyber security, and cybercriminals know this. They will try to target and compromise businesses that they think are an easy target. Proper cyber security training for employees, as well as hiring an MSP, can reduce the risk of hackers gaining access to critical information.
If you’re a small-business owner, it’s essential to include your business’s IT needs in your plans for 2023. Doing so will allow you to stay ahead of your competition while ensuring your employees and customers are well protected. “When businesses fail to have updated IT infrastructure in place, regardless of company size or location, their customers’ and employees’ sensitive information is at risk.”
Leaders often make common mistakes with job descriptions when hiring and reviewing performances, leading to more errors that can become irritating and reduce productivity. These mistakes are entirely preventable and easily overcome, which leads to better hiring processes.
Here are three common mistakes you’re probably making right now:
Describing A Job In Vague Terms
Watch out for “-ing” verb tenses – they are often too basic. “Supporting the marketing team in promoting our products” is undefined. What does “supporting” or “promoting” mean?
What level of performance is considered poor, good or great?
Instead, consider a more specific description, such as “To help our customers modernize their inventory management systems by increasing sales of existing customers by 20% per year through new product introduction.” This is a high-level but specific explanation of why the job exists.
Focusing Only On Actions, Not On Results
Some leaders make the mistake of wording their expectations in terms of only actions, not results. “Contact at least 20 existing customers per week and conduct an account review with at least five per week.” That is a perfectly good expectation of an “action,” but it is insufficient if all of the expectations do not outline any results. The risk is that people perform required actions without feeling the urge to deliver a specific outcome.
Focusing Only On Results, Not On Actions
Other leaders make the mistake of wording their expectations in terms of big-picture results without specifying the actions an employee should take. “Grow revenue at least 15% per year” is a very specific goal. But to make that goal more achievable, it is helpful to also list several of the necessary actions needed to reach that result.
To avoid making these mistakes, we encourage colleagues and clients to practice writing a “scorecard.” A scorecard has a clear mission for the role. It identifies 5–7 outcomes you expect a person to achieve by a certain date. The outcomes are a mixture of actions you want the person to take and the results you expect them to achieve. And you can easily “score” whether someone achieved the outcomes.
Every industry is full of businesses trying to persuade and attract the same group of customers to shop with them, so you can’t just do the same thing as your competitors and expect your business to survive. If you’re looking to start a new business or if your current business needs a refresh, there are things you can do to give your business a leg up on the competition.
Stand Out From The Crowd.
You don’t necessarily need to revolutionize your industry to see success. You just need to stand out more than your competitors. So think for a moment, what do your customers actually want and need in your industry? How can you provide more or something different than your competitors? When you find the answers to these questions, you’ll be well on your way to creating a profitable business.
Personalize The Experience.
When you own or operate a business, you want your customers to shop with you for life. That means you need to come up with some ideas to encourage loyalty. Sure, you could start a loyalty program, but how can you be sure your rewards are better than your competitors? Instead, make each customer interaction about the customer. Personalize their experience
so they feel valued at
Put The Focus Back On Your Work.
We live in a world full of distractions. Every one of us has a smart phone capable of keeping in contact with anyone at any time, searching the Internet for endless information and scrolling through social media for hours on end. These distractions can quickly take away from our productivity, but it’s not always easy to put our phones down. Here are two ways to reclaim your focus so you can get back to work.
Turn Off Your Distractions.
Find out what’s most commonly distracting you and find a way to block it out. If you’re distracted by your phone, turn on Do Not Disturb mode or turn your phone off. If you struggle with talking to co-workers, close your office door. Log out of your social media accounts so they’re not as easy to access.
Break Up Your Schedule.
It’s essential to take breaks during your work to stay focused and refreshed. This is when you should be looking at the things distracting you. Make sure you have breaks throughout the day and set a reminder so you take them. If you actually take breaks, you’ll be less likely to reach for your distractions while working.