It is hard enough running a business, as it is stressful and time-consuming. However, of course, when things are going well, it can be tremendously satisfying and rewarding too.
I hear so many stories when I talk to customers.
I know that many businesses have some key things in common. When it comes to their IT, data, and telephone systems, this boils down to getting the basics right.
Are the computers, laptops and server all up to date? Not just the operating system but installed programs, device drivers and all installed software and firm wares too.
I come across many businesses that do not do any of the basics and are taking some very big risks, missing opportunities and gambling on their futures – and the futures of their employees too.
This blog is to inform you of the basics! Of course, for your business to run efficiently there are many things that have to go right. I recommend that you complete our IT health check. This can be arranged by contacting us on 01909 738343 or by going to our website https://jc-pc.co.uk and book an appointment. If you are ahead on these essentials, then you have good IT system foundations in place and you can build from there. To get a clean bill of health you need to be able to answer the following 8 questions!
Do you know exactly what your IT service provider is giving you? How long are you in contract until and the main thing is it value for money (How long will your business be down if you did not have this?)
Do you keep records of all the types of data your business uses, how it is stored, protected and used? Have you assessed the impact of losing each type of data so you can manage and mitigate the risk? (What backups do you have in place?)
Do you have an up-to-date inventory of all your IT equipment, software, and devices? (Spreadsheets or logs of all hardware) and are these labelled?
What security measures do you have in place such as managed anti-virus, firewalls and multi-factor authentication (like online banking uses) Have you checked any of the Government-backed, programs? https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cyber-essentials-scheme-overview and www.cyberessentials.ncsc.gov.uk
Is your data backed up? How often? By who? How many copies are backed up and can you access those easily? Do you check that backups are being completed 100% successfully? What about cloud file storage like Dropbox or Livedrive – these are not backups in their own right although livedrive does keep shadow copies.
Do you regularly assess the risks should any aspect of your systems fail or be inaccessible? Do you have a disaster recovery plan? Just because a server backup is done does not mean you will have instant access to that data in the event of a failure; it could be days or even weeks depending on what plans you have in place.
Is your operating system and software automatically updated or are you using old, unsupported tech, possibly with security holes waiting to be hacked?
Do you have measures in place to control how your employees use your IT so that they use it efficiently and safely? Simply training them on how to spot a spam email could save your business from a cyber-crime.
We really hope this helps and gives you an insight into what is needed for business IT systems to be kept running efficiently and optimised.