Every business owner needs to have an IT system in place as it simplifies all business activities, saving time and money. It’s no wonder companies allocate a significant portion of their spending on IT, and this budget keeps increasing.
However, implementing an IT system is one thing, and maintaining it to ensure it operates as efficiently and smoothly as possible is another. Only a well-maintained environment can guarantee maximum productivity from your employees because they need it in their daily tasks.
Read on to learn five key IT maintenance tasks that you should do every month if you’re to keep your IT system up and running all through the year.
What Is IT Maintenance?
IT maintenance is how you ensure an IT system remains stable and secure, and it enables the effective operation of your system’s hardware and software. Regular IT maintenance is crucial, whether using a corporate server or a personal computer.
There are four primary types of IT maintenance you can perform. These work simultaneously and include:
- Predictive maintenance: this type of maintenance is as-needed and utilizes data on the state of your IT network and its hardware and software to identify and fix issues that could arise in the future.
- Preventive maintenance: this type is performed on the same schedule, no matter the state of your equipment or network.
- Corrective maintenance: used to repair any issues that currently arise.
- Evolutionary maintenance: this type of maintenance does not fix anything, per se, but develops systems to be better, preventing future issues. This can include software updates, equipment replacements, or new technologies.
Below are the five crucial IT maintenance procedures you should perform every month.
1. Regular Security Scans for Protection Against Intrusion
Your IT security should be number one on your list of priorities. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your company data safe. Remember that leakage of personal information or sensitive data due to IT security breaches can be detrimental to your business’s reputation.
According to a study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, an average data breach can cost your company up to $3.6 million.
What’s worse is there are millions of malware out there your IT system is vulnerable to if you’re not careful about cybersecurity. Ransomware, for example, can attack your IT system, locking you out so that you cannot access your files. When that happens, you’re forced to pay a hefty sum of money to restore your system – just as JBS USA did when they were forced to pay a ransom of $11 million in bitcoin to hackers.
And just because you’re not a huge corporation does not mean you’re in the clear. Larger companies may be who you hear about in the news, but in actuality, small businesses are the target of 71% of ransomware attacks.
Rather than wait until such damage occurs, protect your IT system against attackers and intrusions by performing semi-annual full security scans. To make this more accessible and more effective, always use software capable of automatically identifying, quarantining, and resolving any security issues.
2. Hourly Backups to Prevent Unnecessary Data Loss
Several factors can result in data loss at your business, such as a hurricane or a disgruntled worker. Whatever the reason, losing vital data can cost your business, even derailing your daily operations.
For this reason, it’s best to always have copies of your information within your organization for protection. However, this is not always sufficient, as hard copies are susceptible to getting lost, stolen, or physically damaged – and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with how often you need to backup your data.
Fortunately, today it’s possible to store data somewhere secure and safe, remotely in the cloud. Keeping your data in the cloud comes with additional benefits, including regular scheduled auto backups and encryption.
Always be sure to schedule monthly audits to avoid a situation where you lose data only to realize your backups were not working correctly.
3. Security Patches and Upgrades Keep Your IT System Operating Effectively
There’s no doubt that you want an up-to-date IT system. That entails upgrading your existing software to the latest version.
You don’t want a scenario like the 2017 Equifax data breach. This catastrophic breach was due to the organization’s failure to deal with a security breach even when a patch had already been made available for several months that would have prevented it.
Keep researching the latest security patches and feature updates to be in the best position. Once they’re available, do the necessary updates to your enterprise applications. While this may seem like a daunting task to many, the effort is worth it.
Remember, monitoring the software versions your employees use is not enough. You still need to keep track of those that require an update and implement them.
4. Regular Hardware Checks Are Essential
In general, software problems tend to be the primary cause of IT troubles. However, hardware issues can also significantly interfere with your business’s processes. Therefore, make it a point to regularly monitor your firm’s hardware performance.
Monitoring increases the chances of detecting and rectifying current and future issues, which is essential in preventing unexpected failures and crashes.
Ensure you have the necessary diagnostic tools at all times to help you identify causes of errors such as hanging and lag. That way, you can locate the problem quicker, find a solution, and your employees can resume working sooner.
5. Cleaning Up Data Ensures Maximum Efficiency of Your Databases
Today, organizations store a lot of data. In fact, every organization has an average of 163 terabytes in its databases, and this figure is growing faster than ever before.
However, did you know that not all this stored information is relevant or useful? Statistics show that a whopping 73% of enterprise data goes unused. Sadly, companies still store this information, causing unnecessary clogging that slows down databases.
A monthly review of your data storage practices can ensure you clean up data and discard what you no longer need to maximize your databases’ efficiency and speed.
All of the above tasks can benefit from a VCIO to help streamline your processes and ensure all of the maintenance is properly implemented.
What Is a Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO)?
A VCIO is a technology strategies consultant. Thus, they offer their services as a third party, not in-house.
A VCIO oversees your IT infrastructure, including regular maintenance tasks. They’re also responsible for the smooth running of everything in your business network.
Having a Virtual Chief Information Officer leaves everything to do with IT under their care, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best—overseeing the day-to-day operations of your company.
You’re an expert at running a business. Leave the IT to the professionals so you can focus on your day-to-day processes and growth. You can count on Globalquest’s VCIO services to help you get the best out of your technology for maximum efficiency and peace of mind.
As you’ve already learned, regular IT maintenance is key to the success of your business. Contact Globalquest today for their Managed IT services and VCIO services. You’ll get the best long-term IT strategy for your technology, all within your budget.