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New Year’s Resolutions

Posted 27 Dec 2009 | Comments Off on New Year’s Resolutions | 1,275 views

As we roll into a new year, we felt that it’s appropriate to make a few New Year’s Resolutions. The new year is a good time to refocus on our work and to recognise areas where we need improvement. We’ve heard that making lists are good, so we’re presenting ours in Top 10 format. Here’s what we recommend…

10. Keep current with patches and updates. Vendors are continually releasing software updates through out the year. There’s probably nothing worse that learning that a compromise could have been avoided by simply applying an update. If applying patches is taking up a lot of man hours, look into a patch management solution. Avoid vulnerabilities and get performance enhancements.

9. Install a solid antivirus application. Defending against computer viruses is the cost of being online. Install a good antivirus solution from a reputable company that you trust. Surprisingly, there are quite a few good free packages out there. Even more surprising is that some people still do not run an antivirus application. After it’s installed, keep the virus definitions up to date. Running a host based firewall wouldn’t hurt either.

8. Backup critical data. Some say that data loss is inevitable. Make sure that you have a way to get it back. The road to recovery is difficult if you don’t have a plan in place. If you have a backup solution in place, test it. The middle of a crisis is not the best time to realize that your backup strategy is faulty.

7. Be mindful of changes that you make. Architectural changes are always full of gotchas. Do research to see how your change will use the limited resources that you have, and how it will affect the interaction with your services. Even small changes can have a big impact. Proper planning can help you avoid a lot of headaches.

6. Reduce complexity. Sometimes the best goal is not adding new functionality. Complex applications and processes are the most difficult to manage and the most difficult to fix. Streamlining your processes and your code could save valuable time, which makes our application and your organization seem more responsive.

5. Take time to investigate intermittent problems. That occasional server slow down may just be result of traffic surge to an underpowered server, or it might be side effect of getting owned. Fix it before your customers experience it. It may seem like a small problem to you, but your customers will definitely be vocal about the impact.

4. Reach out to your customers. Find out what they want, and what they need. Hopefully you can deliver one of the two. Make sure that your customers understand your growth plan. Don’t make them feel like your drifting away from the services they want.

3. Manage your social media experience. As more employees start joining and participating on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it becomes increasingly important for companies to be aware of the image presented by employees and the data that they are releasing.

2. Investigate disruptive technologies. As the name implies, they are disruptive and distracting to the status quo, but occasionally they do provide benefits. Early adopters usually get the most benefit from worthwhile new technologies. Allocate a little time each week to researching new trends and technologies. Who knows? Somebody out there might have created that perfect tool that you can embrace and increase your business.

1. Enjoy the ride. Work hard, smart, efficiently, or however you want to say it, but enjoy the journey. Have a good year everyone!

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