Are you a New Jersey business owner? Do you have a solid plan for your IT and computer support in place? Today’s blog is for you! At Quikteks we handle many of the same business-related issues as our customers. Like you, we also spend time on taking the business forward, marketing, dealing with taxes, formulating internal policies…the same things that most businesses do. We deal with maintaining your IT infrastructure, but we also have our own IT infrastructure that requires maintenance. Our expenses are much the same as yours. For example, when our technicians are working internally on our own technology, that’s time that could be spent doing their main job – looking after your IT systems.
Our blog today comes out of our twin experiences of running a business and maintaining IT. It’s about the big mistakes that businesses can make. Here’s the thing – it’s much easier to prevent these problems than fix them down the line, when damage and disruption has occurred.
1. Weak Backup Procedures (or None at All!)
This is something we see often. We get a lot of calls from desperate clients who found us because they’ve had a problem that’s resulted in data loss and their current provider has told them there’s nothing that they can do about it. The reality is that there are expensive services, some costing many thousands of dollars, that might be able to get some of the lost data back, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. You might be lucky and total restoration is possible, or you might only be able to retrieve a few files here and there.
To avoid finding yourself in this kind of situation you need a reliable backup solution that can be checked to ensure it’s doing what it’s meant to do. You also need to back up the right data. We’ve done IT and security audits that show that their backup solutions aren’t actually backing up the data they need most! This can be catastrophic for any business, and studies have shown that up to 50% of businesses that experience major data loss cannot recover. It’s also important that you have a copy of your valuable data stored offsite, in case of a major disaster.
2. No Surge Protection
Too little or too much electricity can both cause serious problems with your IT, including loss of data. Even if it’s not immediately obvious, fluctuations in electricity can damage your devices over time. There’s a common belief that a power strip that costs $12 can protect your hardware from lightning that delivers hundreds of millions of volts of electricity. Power strips actually give no protection against the much smaller, but far more typical, ebb and flow in your power supply. What you really need is UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supplies). To protect against power outages you should also ensure that key items of hardware (such as servers and NAS devices) have battery backup. This will ensure that your server has time to shut down properly if an outage occurs.
3. Software Licenses
This is another very common issue. Of course software is expensive but, even if you have licensed software, keeping track of it all can be a problem. If your software isn’t licensed then you should be aware that software companies monitor illicit usage and can issue heavy penalties for misuse. At Quikteks we routinely keep a database of your software licences and the workstation or server that they’re installed on.
4. Inadequate Spam Protection
Spam can be no more than an annoyance but it can also be a real problem for businesses, with potentially costly consequences. It’s been estimated that as much as half of all the emails that are flying around the internet are spam. It impacts productivity, since staff have to sort through it to identify the ones that need attention and get rid of the bad stuff. That has to be done because malware, phishing scams and other cyberattacks are routinely carried out by means of email.
Spam can be avoided, especially when you know what looks suspicious and needs to be ignored. We can help by providing you with cost-effective spam blockers that catch it all before it reaches your inbox, network and servers.
5. File Chaos
If you don’t have some kind of system for organizing your files it’s easy for things to get completely out of control. A time-saving system would include things like establishing best practices for naming and storing your documents. Not only does a chaotic filing system make it hard to find what you want when you need it, but it makes running effective backups more difficult. A simple measure is to ensure that files are saved to appropriate directories.
If optimizing your systems seems daunting, or if you have a disaster on your hands right now, contact us for help. We will assess your needs and assist you with strategies for keeping your data secure and well-organized. You don’t have to be an existing Quikteks client, so call us at (973) 882-4644.