There was a time when computers and network connectivity were optional, especially for small businesses. Today, they are essential. Without a secure, robust IT system in place, your Orange County business can’t engage customers and conduct business on a competitive level. On the other hand, with the right technology and tools in place, you can potentially compete on a global scale with businesses ten times your size.
Every business has different needs and priorities when it comes to technology—so how do you make sure you have a configuration that’s right for your needs? To guide you through, we’ve created the following basic blueprint—a must-do IT checklist for your Orange County business.
Evaluate Your Company’s Needs
Start by conducting a basic analysis of the types of technology your business needs in order to function efficiently. If you have a basic IT system in place, start there. Does your current configuration keep up with your needs, or are you fighting a lot of slowdowns and “down time” due to troubleshooting? Is your current Internet service fast enough? Do you have enough bandwidth to accommodate employee activity? If not, how much more do you need? Do you have a system for backing up data? How many phone lines do you need? How many computers? If you find these questions overwhelming, NetServ can help you conduct a thorough evaluation to determine what components you need to create a robust IT structure.
Do a Cost/Benefit Analysis
Once you have a good idea of what you need, the next question is how to meet those needs in a way that keeps your overhead low. It might be nice to have a top-of-the-line VoIP system with all the features, for example, but if those added features won’t make you more profitable, you might not need to include them in the budget right now. If you need plenty of storage space but on-site servers are too costly to buy and maintain, consider cloud-based storage and cloud computing applications. If you can’t afford a full-time IT staffer, take a look at managed IT services. With all the options available, there are ways to get you what you need without breaking the bank.
Back Up Your Data
Regardless of how simple or elaborate your setup is, data loss can put you out of business. Whatever decisions you make about a system configuration, make sure you include a redundancy system for backing up your data. Optimally, you should maintain at least 2-3 copies of all data, with one copy stored offsite. That way, if your system fails and you lose data, you’ll always have a safeguard in place to get back up and running again.
Secure Your System
These days, cybersecurity is a top priority for Orange County businesses. Besides guarding against data loss, you have a responsibility to protect your customers’ personal information as well as your own. Too many small businesses wrongly believe they won’t be targeted by cybercriminals. For that reason, make sure you dedicate a portion of your IT budget to invest in strong security protocols like firewalls and encryption, change passwords regularly, and train your staff in safe online practices.
NetServ offers a wide array of IT services for your Orange County business, including managed IT, managed security, leasing and software solutions, and more. For a free evaluation of your IT needs, give us a call at 1-877-NetServ.