If there’s one thing we wish every business owner knew, it’s the importance of what we call “proactive IT.” Rather than waiting until the next catastrophic event to fix, upgrade or replace IT hardware and software, proactive IT focuses on routine maintenance, updates and patches, training employees how to help keep the network secure, and planning for future tech upgrades so they don’t break the budget.
We know that a busy manager or business owner doesn’t have a lot of time to spend thinking about IT, and that’s the point! Proactive IT actually helps take your mind off your technology, because you know it’s going to work day after day.
How to Practice Proactive IT
Don’t skimp on security.
Is your network protected from unauthorized access by a firewall? Are you running up-to-date virus protection software on all of your company’s computers? Are your remote employees using a VPN every time they access your network? Do your employees practice proper password protocols or know how to avoid phishing emails?
If you can’t confidently say “yes” to each of these questions, your network may not be as secure as you think. The first step in proactive IT is maintaining strong security standards.
Don’t ignore updates and patches.
When things get busy, it’s easy to click “Remind Me Later” when software update reminders come up. However, those updates often contain critical bug fixes and security gaps…so if they are ignored, your whole network could be at risk.
Have a backup and disaster recovery plan.
If a fire breaks out in the office or a malware attack takes out the network, how will you recover your data? A proper backup and disaster recovery plan should include off-site storage of all business data to ensure you’re up and running as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to train your team.
Your employees are on the front line when it comes to maintaining the security and integrity of your network. In fact, a survey of IT experts found that employees pose a larger threat to a company’s security than a hacker. Train them on simple security measures like locking their computers when they leave their desks, creating impenetrable passwords, and shredding sensitive paperwork.
We recommend setting up company-wide training every six months and keeping data security top of mind with periodic email reminders, posters in the break room, newsletters, etc.
How Is a Managed IT Services Provider a Proactive IT Partner?
Most business owners are busy running their business, and don’t have the bandwidth to focus on IT day-in and day-out. With so many moving parts to consider, many rely on a Managed Services Provider (MSP) to take the added weight off their shoulders. Here’s how an MSP can help lighten the load:
An MSP ensures all IT components are updated and patched automatically, helping to thwart viruses, malware and unauthorized network access and ensuring your tech never goes down.
Planning for future changes
A strategic MSP partner will sit down with you and discuss your business IT needs today as well as down the road based on growth projections. Planning to add a new location or two? Not a problem! An MSP will ensure any changes to your network are handled without a hiccup.
24/7 systems monitoring
MSPs work around the clock to monitor and provide preventive maintenance for a company’s IT infrastructure. This ensures that everything is secure and running smoothly.
Experienced techs to solve any problems
An MSP provides a team of IT experts who can troubleshoot and solve any tech issues, from laptops to servers to disaster recovery concerns.
Questions about proactive IT or any aspect of managed services? Feel free to contact us!