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6 tech essentials for your farm office

New gadgets come and go, but these items are must-haves for your business to succeed.

With the constant introduction of new technology, it is often difficult to decide what you need versus what is just the latest gadget. To ensure an efficient and productive farm office, you need to keep and maintain the essentials – both hardware and software. Here are six pieces of useful technology that your farm office should have:

1) Computer security
Security is a critical concern for businesses and is not limited to one piece of software. Your computer security strategy should be multi-faceted and include virus, spam and malware protection, as well as strong password security with two-factor authentication or security tokens. Never use the same password for all your accounts. Paying attention to your computer security can help prevent or quickly identify attacks by hackers, identity thieves or other cyber criminals.

2) All-in-One Equipment
There is no need to have a separate printer, copier, and fax – all-in-one equipment is the way to go. You may find yourself using a printer less and less as time goes on. If you find you no longer need one, consider scanner apps from smartphones or tablets, and eFax solutions to transmit faxes with your email.

3) Accounting software
Using spreadsheets will work to a point, but utilizing accounting software throughout the year will make your life (and your accountant’s life) much easier. You can import and export with ease, sync with bank accounts, and quickly print out reports. If you have not already, find an accounting software to manage bookkeeping year-round.

4) Digital assistant
The integration of digital assistants like Cortana, Google, Alexa and Siri into our desktops, smartphones, and on our countertops is a new opportunity for small businesses. These assistants may seem more home-focused, but the truth is they are an excellent resource for hands-free answers whether in the office or on-the-go. They can search for answers, manage your schedule, assist with emails and even transcribe notes.

5) Cloud storage
There are a wide variety of cloud storage options, and many of them sync to other devices. The ability to access your files no matter where you are is incredibly appealing when your tractor is also a part-time office.

6) Wi-Fi that works
Wi-Fi around metal buildings and across the farm may seem impossible, but there is hardware and equipment that can help you to build a wireless network that works. Learn how a mesh Wi-Fi network can cover your farm office.

Do you have other suggestions for essential farm office technology? Share your recommendations with me and others on Twitter @nerdsquawk or via email at [email protected].

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

 

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