When disaster strikes – seven tips to keep your business running
by Keris Lahiff
When you’re a small business owner, there is enough stress without worrying about technology failing.
And, with IT systems growing ever more complicated, the potential for tech meltdowns – from viruses and hard drive failures to application and software issues – is even greater.
“Small business owners should ensure they have a back-up disaster recovery plan already in place,” says Danielle Watts, Intel’s small business marketing manager and Switzer’s technology expert. “Think of what could be lost if you haven’t invested in this – it can potentially bring your business down for days, slows productivity, not to mention all that lost client history.”
Thankfully, there are preventative measures you can take when integrating IT into your business that will ensure disasters are minimal to none.
1. Invest in quality equipment
While savings may seem a priority, more often than not, the money saved is often blown on repairs and replacements further down the track. To save time and stress, stick to trusted brands to ensure your IT system is reliable.
2. Keep your equipment up-to-date
Research shows that PCs older than three years are more susceptible to failure (whether that be from viruses or simply burning out) and costs a business 1.5 times more to maintain than a newer model. To improve productivity and reduce overheads, update your business’ technology when it becomes outdated and inefficient.
3. Keep virus protection software up-to-date
Keep operating systems safe with scheduled updates. These can be configured on your system so that routine checks are performed automatically.
4. Back up your data
For many, information is critical to business operations. To avoid the pain of accidental loss, ensure you perform daily back up of data to a secure external drive.
5. Do I need a server?
If you have a sophisticated website or remote access is required or you employ a number of people consider investing in server technology. Not only are servers reliable, they also back up data, make it easier for authorised persons to access information and act as a stable foundation on which the business can grow.
6. Keep staff in the know
Give all employees a crash course in IT etiquette, including avoiding virus risks (such as not opening suspicious emails), maintaining data security and awareness of customer privacy issues.
7. Warranty and support can be a blessing
When purchasing equipment, added protection in the form of a warranty is a must. And, if your business has a complex IT system, consider enlisting support from a reliable IT supplier or reseller, just as you would for accounting or legal matters.
“A word of advice is to keep your equipment up-to-date, ensure you have disaster recovery plan, back-up processes in place and have good security software running,” adds Watts.
By having a forward-looking IT trajectory, a business can avoid major meltdowns and solve them efficiently should they occur.
If you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching.
Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
Published on: Tuesday, October 05, 2010