Whether you’re starting your business or looking for ways to upgrade in the New Year, it’s always a good idea to take stock of your current IT practices and find ways to improve.
But what are those “current IT practices”? How do you identify areas for improvement without leaving anything out? And what if your “IT department” is just one business laptop?
Our 15-point technology check offers a clear process for identifying your IT needs. Start by inventorying all of your technology, and work your way through each point on this list. At the end of the process, you’ll know what needs to get done—and can start making a plan to knock things out!
15 Ways To Boost Small Business Technology
- Inventory computers and network hardware. Note how many PC and Macintosh computers you have dedicated to your business. Write down the model numbers, operating systems, memory, available disk space, and installed applications. If needed, identify programs or technology that could use an upgrade.
- Address antivirus and anti-malware. Do you have antivirus and anti-malware installed? If it’s installed, is it fully up to date? If it’s up to date, is it turned on?! Double-checking the status of your security software can help protect against unpleasant intrusions, ransomware, and other security threats.
- Identify performance issues. Does your computer have trouble running hefty programs like Photoshop or CRM systems? Does it take a year and a half to download a file, open a web page, or start up? If you’re dealing with crashes and other performance issues, identifying the problem is the first step toward finding a solution.
- Test Wi-Fi connections and performance. In this step, take a look at your current Wi-Fi coverage to make sure it meets your needs. Identify any potential dead spots where coverage is lacking, and test the speed of your connection to make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.
- Take stock of mobile devices. Like the inventory step, follow similar documentation procedures for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. If your employees use their own mobile devices, make sure you’ve set up mobile device management procedures to lock down their security.
- Update your operating systems. Sometimes, common issues like crashes and slow load times have quick fixes buried in the patch files for the latest operating system upgrade. Check your laptops and desktops for any OS-specific upgrades.
- Check your email. No, we don’t mean take a break to shop for sales. Document all employee and shared staff email accounts currently in use. If you’ve got too many floating around, consider ways to consolidate these into shared inboxes.
- Integrate Microsoft Office. Are Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint up to date? Are you still using Word 07? A quick check of your Microsoft Office programs will help you identify software updates or other quick fixes, and will help you decide if you need to upgrade to a more business-savvy subscription.
- Check data backup systems. Do you have a data backup system in place? Is it onsite or in the cloud? Is there a separate hard backup sitting in a filing cabinet somewhere? Identify these backup systems and make sure your team knows where and how to access them if needed. If you haven’t set up a data backup system, make that your first order of business.
- Consolidate data. While you’re checking on your data backups, identify any places where data can be consolidated. Email duplicates, multiple copies of the same large design files, early drafts of company memos—these can all take up an alarming amount of space on company storage systems.
- Brush up your printers. Follow inventory procedures for your printers, too. Ink? Check. Drivers? Double check. Wireless connectivity? That sounds cool—let’s upgrade!
- Check in with your ISP. Do you know who your current Internet Service Provider (ISP) is? The major names, like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, often offer better rates or subscriptions designed specifically for businesses. A quick phone call to your ISP can help you identify areas of improvement in your Internet contract.
- Simplify file sharing. If you have a file sharing system in place, check the way it’s accessed by various employees, and make sure access is secured. If you need to, set up OneDrive and SharePoint to integrate with employee devices.
- Simplify file folder structure. While you’re at it, identify your current methods for storing files. Are they in neat folders labeled by date and client, or jumbled in one giant folder named “IMPORTANT”? The up front time that goes into setting a new organizational structure can be extensive, but it’ll be so worth it down the line.
- Identify staff training opportunities. Finally, take stock of your employees’ IT knowledge and needs. Are you happy with their security knowledge? Are they working efficiently? Are there ways they could benefit from training, seminars, or workshops? Speak with other members of your team to see if there’s anything that could improve their workday—you never know what your employees might get out of a quick training session!
Not sure where to start? Let us handle it for you! The best way to guarantee a solid grasp on your IT needs is by working with a professional.
At Grand Technology Solutions, we offer FREE 15-point technology checks for all our new clients. During this onsite check, we’ll help you take stock of your current IT procedures and identify areas for improvement. Give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started!