While you’re nearing year end, who’s watching your network? Just because things might slow down, doesn’t mean you’re free from security breaches, system errors, and more. Read our six-part series to learn how you can ensure your data is safe while you and your employees take time off from your business.

If your business slows down during the year end and holiday season, it can feel stressful. Its a great time to take advantage of possible Section 179 tax savings, take advantage of this time to upgrade and optimize your network. Over the holidays and the start to a new year is a wonderful time to take stock of your systems and prepare them for the next busy season.

Any aspect of your network is a viable option for upgrades during the summer. Maybe your website and social media pages need a facelift, so you can consider upgrading your branding and digital presence. You could review existing processes for fulfilling operations or your accounting software. You can also work with an IT consulting company to analyze your software, network, and data center to determine if they are running at full capacity, and to see if they can help you achieve any goals you have pertaining to the results of the analysis.

If you’re considering upgrading any part of your network, here’s how you can make it a stress-free process this summer.

  1. Communicate

Your upgrade will go smoothly if everyone knows what to expect. Make sure all stakeholders know why you’re upgrading and give them a chance to contribute ideas or voice any concerns. You need everyone to be on the same page and on the same team as you go through the process.

  1. Learn the System

First, you need to understand where you are, so you can figure out where you need to be after the upgrade. This will help you figure out who needs to be involved in the upgrade, what your hardware and network requirements are, as well as your overall needs.

  1. Make a Plan

If you’re hoping to upgrade your enterprise management software, there are a few options. You can go the traditional route, which is faster but riskier. This is because the old system is replaced with a new one all at once which creates opportunity for error. In an incremental parallel upgrade, you’re replacing the solution in a phased approach, making it slower but safer. This step by step process allows everything to be checked as you go along, so things won’t slip through the cracks.

  1. Don’t Forget Third-Party Software

When you upgrade one part of your network, everything else should be upgraded as well. Most importantly, any third-party applications should be updated to ensure they work with your new system.

  1. Test, Test, Test

The last thing you want is to finish the upgrade, bring your system back online, and face errors as soon as a customer tries to use it.  While you’re still in the slow summer season, make sure you have a test system in place. Testing gives you a place to make modifications and test the process, without affecting production. This way you can make sure everything goes smoothly when it finally goes live.

Taking advantage of the slow season to upgrade your network and your business is a great way to come back stronger than ever. Instead of spending the summer feeling like you are running behind, you could spend it putting yourself in a better place to achieve your end of year goals. What upgrades are you considering for the new year?