New Year’s Resolutions For Problem Free Computing

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Even though we’re a few weeks into the new year, it’s not too late to take a look at your company’s network and make a few resolutions for better computing in 2012. Here are a few suggestions.

Better backups – now!
Implement a better, more reliable backup system to ensure your critical business data is properly protected. If you’re still using tape drives or not employing the latest professional-grade backup software, there’s no bigger New Year’s resolution that you should have.

You should have both an onsite and offsite backup of your data that allows you to restore files fast. Your backup should also be image-based, not just file-based.

Data loss can happen from human error, hardware/software failure, fire, flood, theft or other disaster. Every hour that you’re without your critical business information could cost you thousands of dollars.

Check out the cloud
Is cloud computing is right for you? In many cases, parts of your IT infrastructure can easily be put in the cloud to save you money and give you better service. It is important to talk to someone who can honestly assess your situation and tell you the pros and cons of making the switch to the Cloud. It’s not for every business but it’s worth exploring closely.

Dump the old PCs
I know that no one really likes spending money on new computers but think about how much unproductive time your staff spends waiting for their slow machines.

You can get an entry-level business desktop now for as little as $600, and speed upgrades to newer machines are very reasonably priced. What’s the cost of staff sitting around waiting for their computer or dealing with computer problems?

Upgrade your server
New servers are light years ahead of the ones made three, four and five years ago. Your company is less productive and less profitable with a server that slows everyone down.

Change your passwords
Most businesses regularly have employees leave, including those who were involved with supporting the computer network. Changing passwords regularly will improve security and protect your valuable customer and business data.

Perform a security review
We’re seeing all sorts of increased threats from hackers these days and you need to make sure your security approach is up to date. There are many parts to your security that you should examine including password strength; anti-virus software; and getting a strong firewall that will prevent intrusions, attacks and other malicious activity.

Keep up with your preventive maintenance
Downtime and annoying IT problems can be prevented with regular maintenance on your computers and network. If you’re not doing this now, it’s time to start!

Start the year right with a full audit of your network to develop your IT plan for the year.

Our top of the line network audit is a 27-point review of the security, performance and reliability of your network, and includes a full hardware and software inventory, plus checks on the health of your server, firewall, and network backup.