The recent pandemic has forced change upon many businesses. For some this has created challenges, whereas others have reaped unforeseen benefits from more flexible and efficient ways of working.
Many organisations have adapted by migrating the running of their business, and the delivery of their services, online. These strategies have not only facilitated more agile and collaborative working but have provided businesses with greater flexibility to cope with the unexpected. However, these new working practices have placed an increased dependence on reliable and smooth-running IT systems.
Outlined below are some key areas of your business IT that should be evaluated, so you can run your business effectively and maintain resilience through these unpredictable times.
It is important to understand how technology can help your business develop and grow but firstly you need to assess whether your current IT is meeting your needs. By aligning your IT with your business objectives will help ensure investment is made in the areas where it will have the greatest impact. If you don’t have the time or inclination to find out what technology is available and appropriate for your business seek expert IT advice, so you avoid making expensive and time-consuming mistakes.
Evaluate your hardware, such as computers, to assess if they are fit for purpose. Slow or unreliable computers can be frustrating and have a serious impact on productivity as well as IT security. Taking a proactive approach to your IT and fixing issues early before they escalate into bigger problems is always more cost effective in time and money. Ensure that your staff have the right IT equipment to carry out their jobs effectively and ensure that they have been trained how to use it to maximum benefits.
Keeping your software up-to-date is a vital element of your IT security and will safeguard you from cyber-attacks. Regularly check that all software is up to date and still supported and remove software that is no longer used, as this will slow it down and affect performance.
To check your MS Windows updates:
Click the START button, choose SETTINGS and then Update & Security
If updates are available, restart it or schedule your restart.
Regular health check
Looking after your computers will help enhance their performance and useful life. A service, or health check, is a maintenance procedure that helps improve the speed and performance of your computer and ideally should be carried out annually. It involve a series of tests that will determine:
- if upgrades are needed
- presence of viruses or malware
- if temporary files can be deleted
- potential issues that require action such as a failing hard drive
- preventative maintenance such as clearing dust from cooling fans and heatsinks to prevent overheating
Proactive monitoring and maintenance
If your business relies on maximum uptime and security, and you don’t have time to continually check on your computers, you may want to consider a maintenance & monitoring service that provides the following benefits:
- Protection against viruses and malware
- Ensures backups are performing successfully
- Manages updates of Operating System and third party applications
- Preventative maintenance
- Offers practical solutions to ensure systems are running efficiently
A monitoring and maintenance solution (like our Bronze Plan) is all handled in the background, so that you and your staff remain productive.
During COVID-19 cyber-attacks have become more prevalent and present a major threat to your business. Your IT strategy should outline how to safeguard your company data as well as ensure compliance to current regulations. This should include staff training about the latest cyber security attacks as well as highlighting the importance of vigilance when working online.
Tips to avoid cyber-attacks:
- Attachments are the most common method of viruses spreading, don’t open attachments from an unreliable or unknown source
- Do not click on links within emails that you cannot be sure are safe
- Always read security warnings but research them before agreeing to anything
- Choose secure passwords and do not share them
- Be sceptical and aware of phishing scams and don’t give way sensitive data. Phishing is a common way that online accounts are hacked into and can lead to identity theft
- Read pop-ups before agreeing to anything
- Limit administrator rights to minimise problems such as unapproved software being downloaded and security settings disabled
- Set a screensaver with a password to stop unauthorised access to your computer
Embedded in your IT Strategy must be a backup solution. If you are affected by a security disaster, such as a major loss of data or failed hard drive, a good recent back up is the fastest way to recover and it will minimise the disruption to your business.
Many businesses will have experienced staff changes over this period. If anyone has left the company ensure that user accounts, including online accounts, are disabled. If roles and responsibilities have changed ensure user permissions are altered accordingly. It is important to remember that safeguarding against any data breaches is a key element of maintaining GDPR compliance, so check that your staff only have access rights suitable to their position.
IT supports the fundamental operations within a business and can ensure your business thrives. Our IT consultants have the expertise and experience to assess your IT systems and create a plan aligned to your business goals. For more information please get in touch 01603 451810 | firstname.lastname@example.org