I predict a very strange year in technology for businesses. Technological innovations are making no signs of getting in a rut. In fact, with Web 2.0 and the rise of web-enabled mobile devices, this is probably the most exciting time in technology since the mid-90's.
Brace yourself. The economy, I predict, is going to bring a lot of that to a screeching halt.
With that in mind, here are my five New Year's resolutions every small to midsize business owner should consider making... and keeping.
1. Invest in wireless. It'll be easier to move all the gear to a cheaper lease if you need to be nimble to weather an economic downturn.
2. Before you start laying off staff, why don't you try letting them work out of their home full-time first. Not having to provide a desk, square footage for cubicle space, utilities to keep their work space lit and online, all will save you a chunk of change. Plus they'll be so happy not having to pay $3.29 a gallon to commute to work, they'll likely forgive you for that whopping 2% raise you plan on offering this year or pay cut if it's really bad.
3. Swear off upgrades this year, unless it's for security or really core aps that will pay for itself by streamlining the business in other ways.
4. Invest in network security training this year with your staff. Firewalls, spam blockers, applying security patches the second they come out aren't much help unless your staff is savvy about protecting company data. Establish some security protocols and make sure they get it. Spot check how they're doing from time to time.
5. Use web-based aps more: Google docs & spreadsheets, Zoho, Wikis, etc. Most are free and really useful tools to make collaborating with offsite colleagues a breeze. Don't forget web-based videoconferencing. It's a dirt cheap way to take a meeting.
Last updated: Jan 1, 2008
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio