As you enter the new year, you will already have a number of targets and KPIs set up – perhaps as well as some personal goals you want to achieve. But are there any things that you as a business owner can or should commit to doing with your software and hardware in 2019, that will improve the way you work and deliver additional value to the business?

Here are five suggested IT resolutions that will help you become more efficient both as an organisation and as individual members of the team.

Resolution 1: Create a Process Map

Every function of every business has processes, but they are often not documented. It’s not until we start mapping out our process flows that we become fully aware of every step that is taken to complete an action. This is an eye-opening exercise that helps us not only understand how we work today, but it gives us a chance to spot any obvious gaps or challenges that should be addressed.

Needless to say, this is the ideal starting point when looking at purchasing software. Before even considering a new solution, map out your processes to determine exactly how you want to operate – and how the software should support that activity.

Resolution 2: Upgrade your devices

The older a device gets, the more vulnerable it becomes. It slows down, it’s more likely to break, and it may be unable to support new features. Look at putting policies in place for how often hardware should get replaced within the business, and negotiate with providers to get good trade-in deals and fully serviced switch-overs when it’s time to change.

Alternatively, you may want to look at working with an organisation like Computers for Charities who can help your old equipment come to good use by supporting good causes.

Resolution 3: Perform a Security Audit

The biggest threat to the business is the one you’re not aware of. When was the last time your business conducted a full security and vulnerability audit? For peace of mind, you may want to consider bringing in an independent security auditor who can help identify any risk areas and determine what the business should be doing to address them. And needless to say, this is not a one-time job. The threat landscape is constantly evolving, so you should make sure the business gets audited on a regular basis.

Resolution 4: Review Software ROI

Software is a profitability area that often gets overlooked when it comes to reviewing various parts of the business. Many low-cost software solutions are not evaluated in terms of ROI the same way that major investments would be. But what about the way that software is used in the business? Is it actually making people productive? Is it easy or complicated to use? Does it crash or cause frustration? And how does it compare to other solutions?

Encourage your teams to evaluate the software they use on a regular basis, and keep an ear to the ground for new functionality and innovations that could make their processes easier.

Resolution 5: Invest in Training

When it comes to training in the business, it’s not just about providing workshops or qualifications for your staff. While you may want to set up individual development programmes for employees, don’t forget to do the same for you. You must continue to invest in yourself as a business owner and in your own skills.

As a leader, you are under pressure from all sides to perform and to deliver value. Fitting in any type of training around your busy life may seem impossible. However, when you do take time to step away from the business and focus on growing and developing, it often provides you with fresh perspectives and new tactics that can make a real difference to your job. And thanks to online training, audio resources and virtual classrooms, you can choose a time and a place that suits you.

Make 2019 your best year yet

If you have had a challenging year, it may feel like you’re entering the new one on a bit of an uphill slope. But rather than simply power on into January, take the opportunity now to stop and think about where you want to be in another year’s time – and what you’d need to achieve in 2019 to get there.

Hopefully these five IT resolutions help to spark some ideas, but we’d like to encourage you to take some time to create your own. And if we can help in making those resolutions become reality, let us know!