Made your New Year’s Resolutions? Here are 4 more you may want to include in your list:

1. Upgrade We blogged recently about the impending retirement of Windows XP – the grand doyenne of operating systems. What still amazes us is that with just over 12 months before this momentous event occurs many UK businesses are yet to make any plans to upgrade.

So what’s the fuss about upgrading anyway? Surely it is just another money-making scheme by Microsoft to get businesses to spend money on unnecessary OS when XP works fine? Well…not quite. Come April 8 2014, Microsoft will stop supporting XP. This means you will no longer receive important security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information. When you consider that the vast the majority of viruses and malware that are designed today are specifically for Windows XP – upgrading may not seem like such a bad idea!

However operating system upgrades require a lot of planning and preparation. You need to decide what version to upgrade to (Windows 7 or 8?); consider the impact of the upgrade on legacy applications which may only run on XP (you can overcome this by running a virtual XP machine on Windows 7); cost implications (spread the cost or consider cloud options); and time limitations

During the next few months, Client Services will be speaking to those of you who are still running XP to get the ball rolling on upgrading. If you want to speak to someone about upgrading before then call Angela Hart on 0800 001 5942.

2. Laptops and Notebooks The old adage “Prevention is Better than Cure” is one which we hold dear to our hearts at Supreme and when it comes to protecting your data and ensuring your business is able to continue functioning after a “disaster” there is nothing better than having a disaster recovery plan in place.

Theft, employee sabotage, fire, flooding, snow or even volcanic ash can impact work massively– so what failsafe’s do you have in place to ensure that your business operates as normal if a disaster occurs? A disaster recovery plan is a documented process to recover and protect a business’ IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster. We give you a free Disaster Recovery Plan Template (worth £299) when you purchase any one of our DR solutions – our Client Services Team can help you complete the plan for free if you are pressed for time.

Greg Markwardt our Technical Liaison Manager will be speaking to those of you who do not yet have a DR solution in place during February and March. You can call him on 0800 001 5942 if you would like to discuss your requirements earlier.

3. Cloud Technology The New Kid on the Blog – but one that will completely revolutionise the way we all work. The main benefit of the Cloud is that it allows you to work from wherever you are. Plus it is very cost effective.

This video by Suzie Evans Business Development Director at Supreme Systems introduces you to “the cloud” and gives you some ideas on how you can use Cloud Technology in your business.

During 2013 we will be holding several workshops that will help you better understand the cloud plus showcase some of the latest cloud technology. Dates will be published in our monthly newsletter and on our blog so look out for those

4. Going Green We are still surprised about how much paper businesses still use – the biggest culprits are accounts departments who still send out paper invoices, statements and remittances. Not only is this bad for the environment but because the cost of postage continues to rise, this practice is also very experience. We have worked with most of the leading accounting packages and all can (or can be customised to) send invoices, quotes and the like via email.

Another area where businesses can earn their “green” stripes is by cutting down on unnecessary travel costs. Applications such as Microsoft Lync or GoToMeeting allow you to conduct and attend meetings from wherever you are. You can share documents, share your computer screen and even have a video conference from the comfort of your office or home (a great failsafe to include in your Disaster Recovery Plan).

In March we will have a “Green Technology” feature that will give you more ideas on how you can use IT to make your business more green so look out for this.

What other IT Resolutions Do You Have? Share yours below or on our Facebook Page