Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, managing technology can easily become a full-time job. If you are only calling a technician when you are dealing with a computer issue, then you might be sitting on a ticking time bomb. Whether you have internal staff responsible for managing your IT, or you rely on a third-party, you’ll want to make sure the following tasks are getting done.
Microsoft pushes out security updates and product updates for its operating systems regularly. Traditionally, these updates come out on the second Tuesday of each month, but additional updates and patches may be released on a different schedule. On top of that, if you get behind on your updates, sometimes it can take longer to apply them all, or there may be conflicts that prevent you from being able to automatically run updates. These updates are critical, and you shouldn’t rely on your individual users to keep their own laptops or workstations updated.
While Microsoft has a pretty regular schedule for updates, the other software that drives your business might not. Your IT department will need to be aware of everything being used, and how to check for and apply updates, and in some cases, have a testing bed to run updates on so they don’t disrupt day-to-day business.
Virus definitions are updated on a very regular basis, and for your antivirus to fully protect you, it needs to have the latest definitions applied, and it needs to be kept updated as well. This is usually an automatic process, but the end user can sometimes delay it from happening. Having a centrally managed antivirus solution can help remedy this, but even still, someone needs to be monitoring it, and making sure scans are run regularly and that the utility is doing its job properly.
You wouldn’t believe how many IT “professionals” skip this. It’s absolutely critical. If your company’s backup device isn’t properly taking backups, it’s not doing you any good. If something were to happen that causes you to need your backup, it would be a nightmare to only discover then that you haven’t been running backups for several months.
It’s important to review backup logs and check for corruption and audit the entire backup regularly. If this isn’t getting done, you may as well assume you don’t have a backup in the first place.
At least once a week, the daily backup check should also involve a random restore to make sure the process is working and that files and directories are actually being backed up properly. Each month, this should be done even more thoroughly.
This is another daily task that needs to be done, and can catch a lot of potential issues before they start affecting your staff and your bottom line. Server logs will often pick up on problems that are about to become bigger, so reviewing these daily will allow IT to make proactive adjustments and decisions to prevent downtime and solve issues before they escalate.
Done for both servers and active workstations, a full hard drive can bring your network to a stop and cause some pretty ugly issues depending on the device and how the drive is utilized. It’s a very quick check if your business has the right monitoring tools in place, and it can save you from a lot of hassle, especially in cases where you can’t simply free up storage and need to physically add more storage to a device.
It’s important to know who or what is connecting to your network. Understanding network behavior and looking into traffic spikes and other unexpected events can often find problems before they get too big. Not only can this data be used to prevent network slowdown and other bottlenecking issues, but it can potentially detect fraudulent activity on the network and hopefully allow techs to stop it before it turns into something devastating.
This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but on top of all of the critical IT tasks above, your IT department (or IT person/company/agency) needs to also be able to handle day-to-day support requests so your staff can continue to do their jobs without getting caught up with computer problems.
These are just some of the regular tasks that our techs perform for all of the businesses who entrust us to manage their IT. There’s a huge difference between just having a computer person on call to fix issues as they arise, and having a company contracted to fully manage your IT. If you feel like your technology isn’t getting the TLC it deserves, give SouthBridge Consulting LLC a call at (281) 816-6430 today.
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