For many small businesses, summertime can create challenges. Clients have other objectives more often in summertime than any other time of the year - vacations, out of school children, and other summer activities that keep them out of work.
All this can lead to big slowdowns for small businesses. Over the past 18 years we have used this time to help our clients enhance their computer networks to increase performance and productivity leading into the last quarter of the year and into the new year.
Here are some IT opportunities to help business owners computer networks.
IT Assessments are a great tool to ensure all your computer assets are documented, accounted for and will give you a real-time picture of the equipment's age and performance. It will also help answer questions like Am I safe against cyber attacks, do we have enough Internet capacity, do we need to replace aging equipment or is my network configured and performing properly? Also, an assessment is a great place to start if you have never had a solid IT budget so you can plan properly for IT expenditures and not worry about unexpected IT spending. A proper assessment will include asset discovery / documentation as well as existing security posture and give you empirical data points on the status of your network, network speeds and security.
Policy Creation / Reviews
We often find that companies don't have written policies for using business assets, storing data or using personal equipment (BYOD) to connect to company owned assets. Policies are a powerful tool to help manage the use and safety of your computer network for example what is acceptable to do with company owned assets, are they allowed to install whatever software they want, are their kids able to use it to play games on? Other examples - handling your company assets when traveling or working from home, using public Wi-Fi, storing company data on local machines etc.
Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 are coming to end of life in January 2020. This means that no more security patches or updates will be made leaving these legacy systems vulnerable to attacks or bringing companies out of regulation mandated compliance. Reviewing your assessment will give you a clear idea of what needs to be replaced by when and summer is the best time to make these changes before the end of year rush when inventory / labor will be in short supply. We have also found that new computers increase employees productivity by at least 15 minutes a day. Annualized over the course of an average 3 year life span that can lead to big return on investment (ROI).
Training is one of the more important aspects of IT security that is often overlooked. Are your employees up to date with the proper compliance requirements? Are they aware of what phishing is and how to spot it? Summer is a great time to have employees catch up on their training while the demand is reduced from your clients.
Bigger Changes / Projects
Changes like moving offices, changing Internet Service providers, switching to hosted VoIP phones or migrating email to Office 365 are projects that are perfect for the summer slowdown where minor service disruptions can be scheduled to have the least impact on your business.
Do you need assistance planning any of these projects? Give Network Essentials a call today, or fill out the form at the right for a no-obligation consultation.
© Network Essentials Managed IT Services, IT Support and Service Charlotte North Carolina 2019 written by Kyle Elworthy, CISSP