Companies go to great lengths to establish a budget, given financial challenges from advertising to building maintenance. One area that often gets shorted is IT infrastructure. Updating computer systems can seem wasteful when everything seems to be working fine. But in the digital age, your company’s productivity is dependent on its technology. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your computer systems.
Provide Adequate Support
Don’t entrust the care and maintenance of your network to amateurs. Many smaller companies choose whatever “techie” they have on staff to address computer concerns after a problem has already occurred. Instead, you should hire an IT professional, or contract with a managed IT services provider, who will have the skills and education to keep things running smoothly. Having someone who can handle problems quickly and efficiently is worth the investment.
Replace Outdated Systems
Microsoft suggests that the lifespan of office computers is less than five years. Before you reach that point you’ll start to experience network bottlenecks, hardware failures, and other issues. Replacing computers is expensive, but it’s better than relying on a network that’s not only unreliable but under-performing. You should also consider updating applications just as often. Typically, programs written for newer and better hardware will also work faster and include more features, enabling your employees to get more done.
Emphasize Network Security
You’ve undoubtedly seen some headlines of major corporations with deep pockets who’ve nonetheless experienced serious data breaches. Failure to keep security measures updated can mean hackers gain access to company or customer financial data. They can also steal intellectual property or take your systems hostage in the form of ransomware. All of these are serious setbacks not only to productivity but to consumer confidence. Having the latest security upgrades in place is your only hope of dealing with the latest cyber threats.
Perform Regular Backups
Backing up data is essential. Loss of customer files could leave you clueless about your own business transactions. Without system files, your operations could cease altogether. This can happen not only due to hackers but through employee errors or computer failure. Be sure to make copies of all changed data throughout the day. This way, if files disappear or become inaccessible, they can be restored with minimal loss. As part of your network maintenance, you should have your electrical systems checked. Power failures can be just as damaging if they bring down servers or cause backup systems to fail. Arrange with your local electric company like Supreme Electric to have a technician perform inspections regularly.
When you consider the financial impact of network breaches or failures, keeping your computer systems in good order should be a priority. Neglecting your infrastructure not only means rampant inefficiency but raises the risk of a catastrophe that could put you out of business.