This IT support for business guide has been prepared to outline a number of best practice IT maintenance tips that will help you reduce downtime that often disrupts business operations.
Better operating IT means you can focus on driving business productivity.
Fundamentally improving business productivity is about increasing output while reducing input and good IT performance can enable productivity improvements on both fronts.
Tip 1 - Patch management and Anti-Virus updates
Make sure to download all critical application updates when they are released to ensure all your users are protected from the latest threats such as viruses, spam, spyware and hackers.
Tip 2 - Anti-Virus scan
Manually engage and run a virus scan using your Anti-Virus software eg. Symantec to scan for threats such as viruses, spam, spyware and hackers. Do this on every computer at least once a week. Ideally you should do it daily. Anything the software finds can then be dealt with. A ‘clean’ PC and server is a happier, more stable environment for productive work without interruptions.
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Tip 3 - Optimisation task
On a basic level this can include:
- Defragmenting data to prolong hard disk lifecycle – this can be undertaken once a month on every
- PC and server to consolidate data and remove fragmented information
- All users to delete or backup and archive emails older than 28 days
Tip 4 - Check licence compliance
Make sure all software licences are up-to-date and remember that whenever you commission a new IT user all your licensing will need considering. This includes Microsoft, Sage, CRM and Anti-Virus software.
Tip 5- Condusting and checking tape back-ups
Make double sure that the full data backup has completed successfully, then ensure that the tape is stored in a safe location ideally off-site every day. There is no point in undertaking a data backup process if you’re only going to leave the tape in an unlocked drawer next to your server, only for a fire to wipe out both the server and tapes.
Or, you could backup your data to the cloud and do away with manual tape backups altogether. Check out our cloud backup options.
Tip 6 - Performance monitoring
Performance monitoring can help maximise the performance of your key applications and databases whilst enabling you to discover potential issues before they occur.
Tip 7 - Install power-down software
That’s right, power down your hardware whenever it is not in use. Millions of pounds are wasted every year due to desktop and server hardware left running overnight and during the weekend. It will save you money and help reduce CO2 footprint.
Tip 8 - Enforce some key policies with PC users
whenever it is not in use. Millions of pounds are wasted every year due to desktop and server hardware left running overnight and during the weekend. It will save you money and help reduce CO2 footprint.
- Do not install any new programs to your PC without approval.
- No large desktop wall paper images
- No downloading music, video material or unauthorised material
- No unauthorised use of USB connected devices
We offer a further guidance document on IT User Policy that can be provided on request. Email here
Tip 9 - Implement a disaster recovery plan
This means assess the risks of downtime and disaster. Consider how to overcome them. Implement processes to protect your server structure and critical business data. Then test, test, test – a DR plan is useless unless it is well rehearsed and capable of recovering your organisation to normal availability in the shortest possible time.
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Tip 10 - Consider implementing an annual IT audit
This is a top line health check on your entire IT estate, considering what needs refreshing, updating or recycling. It should equally consider whether your IT network could be configured better for more optimum performance. It is widely acknowledged that ICT is a business optimiser, so make sure you do an IT health check and maintain it like a vehicle.
If the above actions are followed and implemented rigorously on a weekly basis a small to medium sized business can expect to:
When done properly, and depending on the initial condition of an organisation’s IT infrastructure and network, it is possible to unlock approximately half a working day in time per PC user per month.
Cut and control costs
- Increase organisational performance and productivity to add value to the bottom line
- Reduce licence costs
- Iron out issues before they become costly problems
- Extend the lifespan of computers & servers, so reducing your IT overhead
- Reduce energy bill and CO2 footprint with better power management
- Improve Backup and Disaster Recovery
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