2014.10.08 Tech Corner

4 Essential IT Functions That Many Small Businesses are NOT Doing.

Article By: Rich Silva – Founder – Pain Point IT Solutions, Inc.

1) Watching their Data Backup Systems

Many small businesses have a data backup system in place. Most have even taken the next step and either send copies of their data off-site (into the cloud), or move the data to external USB drives that hopefully they are at least sneaker-netting off-site. The problem with this is the majority of them check their systems manually maybe once a week to make sure they are actually working. A large majority have no systems or process in place to watch that the backups are happening and even less perform any disaster recovery scenario drills or restores of the files or images to verify their integrity. If any of this sounds like what is happening at your organization, let’s talk. What do you have to lose ?

2) Watching their Anti-Virus Status

Many small businesses have anti-virus protection in place. However, their (in)formal policy is “make sure you have anti-virus on your computer”. A majority of clients we’ve completed site surveys for have only a small percentage of computers with no protection. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they have multiple vendors solutions scattered across their domain of computers and no centralized process in place to observe the machines are being protected and updated. Worse, they have a false sense of security because while many of their anti-virus software clients are active and running, their subscriptions to signature updates have expired. If any of this sounds like what is happening at your organization, let’s talk. What do you have to lose ?

3) Watching and Gathering Critical System Stats

The large majority of the small businesses we have surveyed have no process or method in place to gather network and system statistics for their critical servers, storage systems and network devices. Their plan of attack is to wait for something critical to go down and REACT / panic when the time comes. They have no system in place to alert them that they are getting dangerously close to a failure event, they have no historical trending to refer to when attempting to isolate the root cause of an issue; and most disheartening to me, several of them seem to have little concern about this. One client even suggested that I may have jinxed them by mentioning it. If any of this sounds like what is happening at your organization, let’s talk. What do you have to lose ?

4) Using A Phone System That Adapts to Personnel

Many of the small businesses we have surveyed have antiquated phone systems in place. I realize that the core purpose of a phone system is to allow verbal communication between two or more people. These antiquated phone systems do that, and they do it very well. However, what if on a snow storm day, the person who typically risks getting to the office for the sole purpose of having to be there to answer the phone could bring up their office telephone as a app on their iPad and work from home ? What if a sales person or VIP had peace of mind that the phone system will alert them and e-mail a audio file copy of the voice mail to them on their smartphone, tablet, or laptop immediately after the message is left ? What about knowing that should disaster strike, the antiquated phone system will go down with the proverbial ship; whereas with a hosted PBX phone system, we could have your phones back on line in another office as quickly as we could get the phones ? If any of this sounds like what is happening at your organization, let’s talk. What do you have to lose ?