There’s very little that Americans seem to agree on these days – our recent, seemingly endless, election season demonstrated that. If there is one feeling that most people seem to have in common, though, it’s that they’re glad it’s finally over.
Businesses have a particularly good reason to be glad: Election season represents a protracted period of uncertainty, and if there’s thing the marketplace has a problem with, it’s that. To strategize, plan, or budget effectively, you need a reasonably solid sense of what future circumstances are going to be like. Now that this election’s over, we have some sense of that.
Even if the outcome isn’t to everyone’s liking, there’s a lot to be said for certitude: The way it looks right now, the markets have taken the news in stride, and there’s no strong likelihood of major changes that would be disadvantageous for business. For many of the companies we deal with, that amounts to a “green light” towards making long-deferred – and often overdue – investments in their businesses.
The restored sense of national direction coupled with tax advantages afforded by end-of-year capital investments are spurring many to take a good look at strategic IT upgrades. We certainly think this is a good idea: Even though we are a few years past the worst of the “great recession,” many companies in our region lag slightly behind their competitors elsewhere when it comes to IT modernization. That places many Michigan companies at a distinct competitive disadvantage.
So, now that we know what the political landscape is shaping up like, what are some prudent end-of-year moves for business and IT renewal? We can make a few suggestions:
- Hardware and application upgrades. If you’re still working with legacy operating systems, applications, and infrastructure, chances are you’re working a great deal less efficiently than you could – and exposing your company to undue security risks.
- Security Enhancement. Security is a continually shifting landscape; outmoded or inadequate security measures are an open door for a growing, and increasingly sophisticated, army of hackers and data thieves.
- Transitioning to the Cloud. Initial hesitation to adopt cloud services has evolved into a mass migration as companies realize the efficiency, security, and cost savings advantages cloud-based services can offer.
- Mobile enablement. Work-from-anywhere is becoming the predominant preferred mode in many industry sectors – and in some, it’s a downright necessity. It takes planning, preparation, and some investment to make a mobile workforce really work.
If your company has been holding back on its modernization efforts while you’ve waited for the political and economic dust to settle, the wait is officially over; now is the time to make smart decisions, take clear aim at your modernization goals, and pull the trigger. What promises to be a competitive, fast-paced 2017 is just around the corner, and you’ll want to give yourself every possible advantage at the starting line.