IT is not an optional business expense anymore. Every business needs to use IT and that means that IT maintenance is also no longer an optional expense. Whether you’re defending your system against massive data breaches or simply making sure your tech works as designed, there’s no escaping the need for IT support. Beyond network disaster recovery planning, sometimes you need a good old-fashioned IT facelift.
Backup Your Data
Before taking any further steps, always make sure that your old data is safely backed up to prevent any losses. In fact, this should be a step that is taken regularly to prevent major losses in the case of a catastrophe. Back up your data monthly or weekly or even daily. Consider setting up an automatic system or using a professional backup service. There are both cloud network and on-site options available for businesses and individuals, it’s simply a matter of finding the best one for you.
Replace or Refurbish Old Hardware
Once your data is safe and secure, assess your hardware. Does it meet your minimum requirements? Does it need to be replaced or can it be upgraded? Remember to consider refurbishing or repairing your electronics before you jump straight to replacing them. Refurbishing is frequently less expensive, and it can help cut back on e-waste. Be sure to recycle anything you can’t re-use.
Keeping on top of updates on a day to day basis is a good policy, but remember that there will likely be hiccups when updates are initially installed. Be prepared for that. Interfaces may have changed or well-known systems may be slightly different. It’s tempting to stick with the system you know, but getting behind on updates leaves you open to vulnerabilities that may have been eliminated. In addition to plain old software updates, remember that the software package you’ve always used may no longer be the best one available. Consider your needs and do some research to make sure that you are keeping up with standards in your industry.
Prepare for the Future
The hardest part of IT maintenance is that technology changes so fast and so much. It is essentially impossible to predict what your needs will be in ten years, or five years, or even two years. The best you can do, sometimes, is to keep on top of things day to day. Regularly refreshing your IT approach also helps. Stay open and flexible, ready to meet change as it comes.