6 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your IT Business Plan
Article By: Rich Silva – Founder – Pain Point IT Solutions, Inc.
Here in New York, after what seems to have been a long cold winter, spring has finally arrived. I cleaned up my yard, changed the batteries on the smoke detectors, opened the windows to air-out the house and now it’s time to take a fresh look at my computer systems and networks that I rely on to do business. After all, I am addicted to my data. I need it to survive. Here are 6 things as an IT person that I will be looking at to make sure are in order and ready for the upcoming year.
1) All of my critical computers and data are being backed up and those back ups are actually working.
If I THINK my data is being backed up, but in reality it isn’t. That really stinks. If you discover maybe that your data backup has not worked for month’s, don’t fret; most people and companies I visit for the first time are in the same boat. Use the spring as an excuse to do something about it NOW.
2) All of my critical computers have anti-virus applied and have received an update within the last DAY.
That free 30 day subscription you got with your computer 3 months ago expired before your very eyes and despite being warned with annoying pop-ups, you clicked on NEVER SHOW THIS MESSAGE again and now have been vulnerable for a while. Use the spring to get a handle on this NOW.
3) Review your business continuity plan and data/disaster recovery plan.
Do you have a written plan of attack on what you will do if a critical server or machine dies in your office? Do you have a written protocol in place as to what you will do if there is a natural or man-made disaster that destroyed your data or critical machines at the office? Well, spring is a great time to get that template together.
4) Clean those computer exhaust fans.
With all of the heavy clothes we wear during the winter, it’s amazing how much of that dust and material makes it way into your computer(s) floats around in there and then gets exhausted and stuck in the back of your computer. Take a vacuum and relieve your computer of the crap that accumulated there. It will make your computer last longer, you will save money on electricity, and it will make your computer person happy because sometimes computers are NASTY.
5) Evaluate your IT Consultant or Managed Service Provider, Internet Service Provider, and Telecommunications costs.
Many companies that I have consulted with have little idea that they can consolidate their voice telecommunications costs by converting to a voice over IP communication system. They also blindly pay their IT Consultant for services that they do not understand or know whether they need. Lastly, many have internet service that has automatically renewed year over year not understanding that faster speed alternatives may be available at a lower cost. Conduct an internet speed test (I have a link on our website under Tech-Corner) to see what upload and download speeds you receive and then look at your bill versus what the ISP is offering today and you might be surprised. Spring is a great time to do this. Even if your current contract ends in October, at least you’ll have it marked on your calendar.
6) Take on a project to change your passwords and store them in an encrypted file.
Many of you have a “DEFAULT” password that you have hung on to for years. Maybe we add a number or a ! to the end of it, but it’s still our go-to password. Many keep their passwords in a little black book or on yellow post-it’s under their mouse pad or keyboard, or even right on the monitor. Take spring time to create an MS-Word file with your passwords in it and encrypt that file with a password. To learn how to do this, use your help option in MS-Word and search for either password, protect, or encrypt and you’ll see how to do this on your version of MS-Word. Then back up that file and throw those papers and post-it’s away.