Your business relies on technology, and most of us take it for granted. But if you don’t take time to maintain your systems and clean up your data periodically, you can end up with a big problem.
Let’s talk about IT and software best practices and distinguish our services at Mocko consulting from IT service providers.
IT providers are primarily focused on setting up your network. They install and configure servers, operating systems, email servers, and your firewall. They help to set up the backbone of your IT infrastructure. Some IT service providers provide and support software for business operations, but not all of them.
Our focus is on software for business operations. We will help you choose the right software for running your business. In this process, we consider the makeup of your current IT environment, and how the solutions we recommend fit in it.
- Is your IT network humming along, or are you neglecting it?
- Do you skip doing regular backups on your applications?
- Are your backups in your office instead of in a safe or stored a separate location?
- Do you have any computers running outdated versions of the operating system?
- Has it been awhile since you reviewed the software installed in your work computer?
Don’t Skip the Backups
It is not only important to have a backup procedure in place, but also to test the backups on a regular basis. Testing your backups will make it a lot easier to recover your data when there is an emergency. I recently met an accountant who had a customer in a tough situation. Her customer’s computer crashed, and she lost her Quickbooks database. Now this business owner is getting inquiries from IRS, and she no longer has the documentation she needs to provide the legitimacy of her business records.
Your backups should include the following tasks:
- Backing up your data on a regular basis.
- Keeping a copy of the back up in a fireproof safe or use a cloud based backup service.
- Testing your backups on a regular basis.
Update your Operating Systems
If you have any computers or laptops running an older version of the operating system, you are exposed to security breaches, which could expose you to a hacker attack. Operating system updates are constantly being released to provide security patches, that’s why they are so important. Our friends at Altitude Technology have a great video on IT security available in this link.
Get Rid of Unused Software
When you have software installed in your devices that is not being used, it is consuming resources and slowing down your system.
Work with your IT service provider and your staff to do a full inventory of the software applications in all workstations in your office. You might also learn about applications that are being used by a few that could benefit the entire team.
This is also a great time to communicate with your staff which applications are supporting the company operations, and which ones are not.
This is Just the Start
These are only a few practices that come up frequently when we are talking to business owners in the community. Security is another issue, and yes, you need to keep your antivirus updated, but there is a lot more to security than just antivirus. As I mentioned before, our friends at Altitude Technology are experts on IT security.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. Let us know if you have any questions or comments!