Small and medium business IT is similar to the IT of larger organizations, but with the added difficulty of tighter finances. A full IT team may not be in the budget, but you can create a comprehensive checklist that anyone in your organization can fulfill which covers critical data, potential security risks, and prevents cyber attacks. This may sound like a miracle solution, but it's simply an efficient IT checklist.
Initial IT Setup Checklist
Setting up your IT infrastructure is a similar process to setting up an office relocation plan. Of course, if you've already set up your IT infrastructure then you can ignore this step, otherwise, these are the first few points to prioritize. The checklist should cover:
IT Infrastructure and Stability
While new equipment is enticing, if you don't know how or where to install it, it's a moot purchase. It's not uncommon for a small business to grind to halt for hours or days as employees attempt to install a new service or software "just like we had at our last job". Your last job probably had a dedicated IT department. Here, it's all hands on deck with some people knowing more about some aspects of your IT than others.
Additionally, some small businesses make the mistake of purchasing equipment in their office based on similar equipment used at home. Home use and work use are not the same, despite some people's insistence. You have to ensure that the equipment you purchase is suitable for a business network environment.
Create an infrastructure checklist that covers:
Preventing Security Threats Through Software
Software licenses are valuable assets for your company. Installing software is simple, but it's even easier to forget that it's there. Similarly, it's easy to forget if you have a service contract, what it includes, if you should renew, and when the renewal date is.
Picture a situation where you forgot to renew your domain name. Despite numerous emails, it slipped your mind due to your high workload. Although domain names are cheap, they're the identity of your business. Slipping up leaves the domain name open for squatters or opportunists to grab and hold over your head for a hefty price.
To avoid situations like this, you should standardize the processes for purchasing, licensing, renewing, and updating. Someone should be responsible for it and keep everything documented somewhere easily accessible. Without a system in place, you open yourself up to potential cyber threats or network security issues. Other items to consider are:
Protecting Sensitive Data With The Cloud
The cloud offers customizable solutions for your small business that lets you scale your infrastructure and keep up with growth both rapid and slow. The cloud is perfect for small businesses because it's fast, affordable, and flexible. Sadly, it isn't all rainbows and sunshine. Before shifting to the cloud, you need to consider some critical questions, which includes:
The Importance of Cybersecurity
Unfun fact: 46% of all cyber attacks are targeted at small businesses. Why? Because odds are you have a much smaller or possibly non-existent IT department that isn't fully equipped to deal with security threats. With every new technology you adopt, the need to have cybersecurity vigilance grows.
Your IT security checklist should at least cover:
How to Use Your IT Checklist Effectively
Combining all of this together, you get a complete IT checklist that covers all of your small business technology needs. Running through each of these points may be overwhelming, but if you compartmentalize everything further, you'll have a simplified four step plan.
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