Okay, so let’s talk about the top four reasons you should overhaul your technology environment. Well, probably the most important reason is disaster recovery. We live in Sunny Florida but we have things like hurricanes. What happens if a giant hurricane comes in and the flood wipes out everything? You need to have a disaster recovery in place.

Let’s talk about a case study. We have an architects firm. I have about ten employees, file server. They’re doing it right at this particular firm. They have these awesome Xeon Workstations and everything gets backed up. They have monitoring on their workstations, making sure everything is running good but most importantly they keep their important stuff on the server, which is the way it should be. If any workstation happens to crash at any particular time, nothing is really lost. Everything is on the server.

The server is backed up locally for a fast backup regularly, and then every night everything is backed up to the cloud. They could actually have a category five hurricane come run through, rip through the office, everything is gone, but their most important drawings and data every night is going to the cloud. It’s safe. Their business is not lost and all the drawings of all the past years are completely safe.

All they would have to do is get a new server, buy some new workstations and they’d be back in business in a couple of weeks. That’s the way it should be done. It can be done for small businesses too, very simple. Something as simple as Carbonite can take it to the cloud for just a few hundred bucks a year.

Second thing, the second reason you should overhaul your technology environment is stability. Downtime costs money in staffing and productivity. We have a chain of retail stores. A lot of times there’s only two cash registers in the store and we live in a volatile area. When we have heavy storms especially on Sanibel and Captiva, it can easily power surges can take out somebody’s workstations even when they’re on battery backups. Surges can come from anywhere, through phone lines, through actual power lines, through the credit card machines, things get fried.

It’s good to have backup workstations, but that’s one thing having backup workstations especially when you’re in an area like that. Having stability is a big deal, because downtime you’re paying employees when they can’t check people out and you’re losing product you could be selling.

Security, don’t let one angry employee ruin your whole business. You need to have security. If you have a shared drive, like let’s go back to the architect firm. If you have a shared drive and all those drawings of past years are free and open to everybody and there’s no backups and one person comes in and can delete everything, that’s a big problem because you could have a guy who’s been there six months, he’s unhappy with his pay and he decides he’s going to leave.

Before he leaves, he goes in and Shift Deletes everything, no recycle bin, everything is gone. That’s a big problem. That’s another reason to have backup, have some security where the new guy can’t come in and delete. Even the people that have been there for years sometimes you just want to have backups. You want to have permissions. You want to have security really.

Performance, have you ever called notorious when you call eight hundred numbers and you’re talking to people and they’re like, “Oh I’m sorry, your systems are running slow today.” It’s just performance, people don’t want to replace their equipment. Have you ever called there and you’re just waiting and waiting and waiting on hold for people’s computers to catch up?

If your employees are complaining their computers are slow, there’s realistic expectations and then there’s you know what, they can’t complete their jobs in a reasonable amount of time. Take a walk around your office. When I worked in corporate, there was people couldn’t actually do their jobs sometimes. When I worked in IT, we actually had to make a push for upgrade.

Sometimes when there was budget cutbacks because of the crash in 2009, we could do little things. We could do memory upgrades. We could do things because we weren’t cycling on the three-year cycle like we should have been in corporate. Those are other things to think about.

Now that our economy is coming back, maybe it’s time to get back on track and do some cycling in our workstations and get things working a little faster again. Time is money and if you’re paying employees to sit around and wait when they could be actually productive, it could be costing the business money.