IT Support Blog for Small Business Owners

What Is Your Company's IT Fitness Level? | IT Assessment

Posted by David S. Mulvey on Wed, Aug 14, 2013

Will Your IT Practices Pass The Physical?

IT Fitness Assessment

As I was preparing for a 100 mile backpacking trip with my youngest son this summer, I realized it was time for me to take a harder look at my own personal fitness. I had gained a few extra pounds, I was not in great aerobic shape, and wondered how healthy my heart was. The thought of being out in the middle of a desert in New Mexico without access to quick medical help, I knew it was time toassess my own fitness level before placing a 50 LB pack on my back and heading out to the wilderness.

After a stress test, which turned out better than I expected, and a discussion with my doctor regarding how much weight I needed to loose and a plan to get into aerobic shape; I had a 6 months of activities to complete to meet my goals. I successfully lost the weight (plus another 15 pounds after the hike.) There is no question in my mind that taking a proactive and consistent approach to improving my health for the trip was the right path to take and as it turned out, my son and I had a blast and have safely returned home with some great memories.

I am sure you know where I am heading with this... Your own company’s IT fitness level is much like your own personal fitness level.  Personally, I had let my fitness slip away and although I was not lying in a hospital bed, I was certainly not in the best shape.  IT fitness, like our own health, can get away from us because there are so many other things to focus on in a business that before you know it there could be a virus outbreak, a dead Laptop or a missing back up tape. Just like our own personal health, our company’s IT health needs a proactive and consistent approach to remain healthy and avoid disease. You need to keep an eye on your IT support!

So what are a few things you could do to keep your Company IT Fitness level in great shape?

It’s honestly very easy, the trick is in the consistency at which you do the following things. You already know that occasional and sporadic exercise will not improve your overall personal fitness, the same is true with these IT fitness principles, they will only work if you are methodical and consistent with their application.  So let’s take a look at some of the things you can do that would be at the top of my list:

IT Fitness Goal #1

Stay committed to backing up your files at least every month. Ideally, every week and also every year. I wish I had a dollar for every business owner who told me they thought their company data was being backed up.  A back up is like an
insurance policy, you don’t want to use it, but you are grateful to have it when you need it.  There are so many inexpensive ways to get your data backed up, consider your accounting data first and work through a list until everything you feel you will need again is backed up, and ideally taken off site.  Business Continuity is a function the Owner should be interested in ensuring. You can easily devlop an IT Disaster Recovery Plan for your company. 

Your Company data can be streamed off site, so if there is a fire or a flood you know you have everything in a safe place.  With the price of USB connected disk drive being less than $200 dollars, you can probably get almost all of your company data on one portable drives. Wouldn’t you sleep better at night if you knew your company data was backed up in a secure location?

 IT Fitness Goal #2

Turn on automatic Windows updates.  With so many Microsoft patches coming out every two weeks, you simply can’t afford to not keep up with Microsoft security updates.  By keeping your PC up to date, your Virus Scanning software does not need to work nearly as hard. It’s easy to do and its free, so make certain every PC has auto updates turned on.

Keeping up with your personal physical fitness is a good thing but performing safe IT Fitness can be just as important. So, let’s get going… In the next blog I will continue my list of easy things you can do to insure your Company IT Fitness is in great health and be sure to register for our August Webinar!

 

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Topics: IT Support, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity

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