4 Tips to Improve Small Business IT Support Services

Posted by Sean Kline on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 @ 10:01 AM

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In order for any small business to thrive, it needs to have an IT process that is capable of being both proactive and adaptable. Asset Management, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Proactive Process and a Security Process are some areas that can greatly reduce potential risks, lost productivity and improve return on capital investment. These are just a few examples of processes that need to be executed to generate results.

Asset Management

Your business can’t run without its assets, and it can’t run at its best without an Asset Management process. A proper Asset Management process ensures that you’re using assets to their full capacity and that you’re prepared to replace an asset that’s approaching the end of its lifecycle (and avoid any nasty surprises). Such a process will help you set your maintenance schedule and make sure your assets stay functioning for their entire projected lifecycle as well. An Asset Management process can also save money by ensuring that asset needs are met with available unused resources, instead of purchasing something new.

Backup and Disaster Recovery Process 

It would be wonderful to be able to avoid a disaster altogether, but that is not always possible. One example of this happened in 1999 when Bell Canada had the worst power outage they had ever experienced after a fire broke out.  It took hours to restore service to the community, leaving many residences, schools, businesses, and hospitals without detrimental communications.  The best way for a company to endure and continue to prosper after a disaster is by being prepared, which is why having a Backup and Disaster Recovery Process is critical.

Proactive Process

When creating your IT processes, it’s critical (though often overlooked) to include proactive elements. It’s natural to think of the reactive elements of a process (how quickly do servers come back after they crash, how long does it take to resolve a support issue, etc…), but proactive measures are more difficult to quantify and thus can be overlooked. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to bring a server back up after it crashes if your server never goes down in the first place. Proactive measures, including software updates, hardware audits and preventative maintenance show their benefits by the problems they prevent as opposed to the problems they solve.  There’s another, more subtle benefit too: proactive processes can be planned and scheduled for times when they’ll create the least amount of interruption, where reactive processes happen without much warning (and often during a critical time). Even if a support issue can be resolved very quickly, it still took time to report the problem and work was interrupted while the solution was being deployed.

Security Process

According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, there were 828,249 data breaches reported in the US in 2012. This staggering figure only reiterates that a crucial aspect of a prospering business is managing security process. In this often unstable market, it can be difficult for small to medium sized businesses to foresee potential IT risks, such as a data breach. When a company is applying security best practices, they retain control of who has access to confidential information. Some of the ways to build comprehensive security processes include, controlling who views product secrets, having effective password policies, and safeguarding customer information.  In addition, the company could get audited and must be able to show that there is a process in place to ensure their company's information is backlogged and easily able to restore, or access at a later date. 

When determining the best processes for a driven and successful small business, keep these four ideas in mind and explore the many more options that can create well rounded IT support services:

  • Having an in depth and tailor made plan to Asset Management is key to running efficiently.
  • Be prepared with a robust Disaster Backup and Recovery process to ensure accountability.
  • It is better to have a Proactive Process in place rather than to be reactive.
  • Protect your business with distinct Security Processes aimed at keeping your company's information private and powerful.

 

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Topics: small business it support, Online Backup, Disaster Recovery, IT Security, Asset Management, IT best practices, IT infrastructure

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