Every company is faced with an array of IT challenges. To get ahead and stay head, companies are seeking to use their resources more efficiently to build up their internal communications, data analysis, marketing, technical capability and sophistication. However, companies have to make choices about where to spend resources including time and money. With careful foresight and strategy, a firm can take advantage of the newest technologies to meet their goals. In general, investing in new technology works to the company's benefit over time. There are a few key elements to IT strategy. Software Development Whether you are a retail company, an education company, a media firm or a dozen other types of companies, the app economy is becoming more important. Firms are developing their own mobile apps to help their partners, customers and stakeholders interact and access information. Companies that are keen on forming a new, more engaged relationship with their customers should seriously consider building an app. Entry level app development no longer is as time consuming and expensive as in the past. Internal software is also crucial for the company. For example, logistics firms without a serious ERP system are at a huge disadvantage to competitors. These systems align a company's purchasing, trip scheduling, sales and HR on the same system. That creates serious efficiencies in long-term planning and helps keep deliveries on time and costs low. Similarly, any serious business from manufacturing, to technology, to retail to health care that requires coordination and planning needs to acquire or develop a software system to accommodate everyone's needs. Storage Storing data is a big question that companies answer in all different ways. Some companies simply store all their info on their own computers. However, this is an extremely risky strategy and is actually illegal in the case of health care, finance or other types of firms due to the possibility that the data will be lost. Most firms develop, buy or rent third-party server space. In fact, companies like Amazon and Dropbox have revolutionized the storage space by allowing companies to rent a small amount of space for a monthly fee and scaling up or down rapidly based on their needs. This storage is extremely safe and will be held in multiple locations to prevent loss. For most companies, renting this type of off-site storage is the optimal choice until they are large enough to demand customized servers. The largest companies such as Facebook and Google actually develop their own servers and build independent facilities. But most companies are not at that level. Telecom and Networking Companies with far flung workers or travelling teams need to step-up their networking capabilities. Executives need access to company data, email and voice wherever they are in the world that has internet connectivity. VOIP systems now have hundreds of features to choose from. Of course, the office itself should have a top flight internal network with excellent broadband for desktops and the wireless network. Downloading, sharing, saving and uploading data through the network should be a breeze. Security Last but not least, companies must ensure a strong and robust security system. That includes anti-virus software, firewalls and multi-level permissions within the network. Employees should be educated to avoid phishing attacks and also change passwords regularly. In fact, as hackers infiltrate the Internet more and more, the CTO must make security a top priority. As the recent hacks of Sony Pictures, Yahoo! and Bank of America show, no company is immune from malicious hacking. Unstoppable Software is a leading technology consulting business. The firm's associates have decades of industry experience, helping to build up small and large companies into thriving businesses by harnessing IT. For more information, please contact us.