IT Resolutions to Kick Start Your New Year
New Year is a time for re-focusing, prioritizing and setting yourself up for success in the coming year. But too often your IT gets left out of that strategic plan. Here's a few IT resolutions to support you in all your 2019 goals.
Start running – your backups
Do you have reliable back-up solutions for your business data? This should be at the top of your New Year’s resolution list. All it takes is one nasty piece of malware or even something as old-school as an office break-in for you to lose all of the valuable company and customer information kept on your server. Back-up solutions are exactly that, your back-up plan in case the unthinkable happens. Your data is safe in a secure storage space that you can reload onto a new or freshly wiped server.
Some businesses already have a back-up solution but it is located onsite. Ideally you want your back-up stored in a different location in case of something like flooding or a building fire. Your backup does you no good if it met the same fate as the rest of your equipment.
Cut out all things toxic – with anti-virus/malware
Hackers are some of the most creative people out there, too bad they are working against us! They are always finding new ways to circumnavigate even the best defenses, which is why you need an anti-virus/malware that can keep up. When’s the last time you evaluated the anti-virus software you’re using? If it’s been a few years and you’re running the same program unchecked, it’s time to start comparing other software to see how yours stacks up.
A good malware defense doesn't include a stagnant software, it need to be constantly updated to detect newly created threats.
Deep clean – Your equipment
You probably don’t peak into the insides of your computer often, if ever, so you might not realize your IT equipment collects dust. A LOT of dust. Add to your resolutions to open up your workstations and server and blow them out with forced air. Over time, your computer’s internal fans will draw in enough dust to smother components blocking air from flowing around internal parts. Excess dust can cause your machine to overheat, under-perform and even fail. It seems overly simple, but it’s one of the easiest and most important things you can do to keep your equipment running its best.
For something small like a keyboard, compressed air is great, but if it’s big job, grab an air compressor. Make sure you have a vacuum handy to pick up all the excess dust you have lying around after you’re done so it doesn’t get sucked back into the machine when you turn it back on. If possible you can even take your equipment outside to do the blow out.
Get on a healthy schedule – for replacing your equipment
Replacing a workstation can be pricey, but if you plan for it before it’s an emergency it could save you money. Technology advances quickly and workstations will only perform their best for 5 years (if you’re investing in quality ones suited for your workload). The best way to control this cost is to put your equipment on a replacement cycle. If your goal is to replace your workstations every 4 years, budget to replace 25% of your company’s workstations every year.
Start with the oldest 25% and keep replacing 25% every year until you’ve replaced every workstation in your office. For some companies this will mean users get a new computer every four years, others give super users the newest machines and trickle down older models to lighter used locations. Either way after four years you should have every workstation in your office replaced.
The same thing can be done with printers, servers, tablets, phones etc. The important part is staying consistent. Postponing upgrades or skipping years will just make upgrades more expensive down the line.
Work toward peak performance – for your computer
Having unnecessary programs continuously running or storing too much on your machine can really inhibit its ability to perform. In your task manager under the performance tab, you can see how much memory your computer is currently using as well as check disc space and CPU usage.
High usage of any of these can be causing your machine to under-perform and eventually crash. This can be combated by deleting old or unneeded files and by avoiding programs running automatically or in the background unnecessarily. Talk to your IT support to find out where performance can be improved on your machine or if it’s time for an upgrade based on your usage.
Time to purge – your old files
Speaking of deleting old files, if memory usage is a constant issue for you, it may be time to ask yourself; are you a file hoarder? Have you been holding on to old files on the off chance you’ll need them in the future? Time to clean house! Your computer is likely full of old files, temporary files, or just plain junk that should be purged to improve the performance of your computer.
If permanent deletion is too much of a commitment for you, try migrating some of your files to a separate cloud storage for archiving.
Get organized – starting with your email
Your inbox is your biggest opportunity for organization in the New Year. The unpopular truth is that unless you work in an industry whose email communications are considered public information, hanging onto all those emails only creates more for your email software to sift through to find what you’re searching for. If it’s truly information worth keeping we suggest documenting it in a more official project portfolio or company records folder. Bottom line, there are better storage options than your inbox.
Manually sorting through all the communication that hits your inbox can be tedious, but there are tons of filtering and filing rules you can create to sort, file or auto-delete your mail for you, taking the task of managing emails off your plate.
Start journaling daily – your company passwords
When’s the last time you updated any of your company passwords? If it’s been awhile, now is a great time! Updating logins regularly will lower the risk of your accounts being hacked as well as insuring that any ex-employees aren’t maintaining access to your company’s information. Once this is done make sure you’re updating documentation and that it’s secure in either a password manager or a password protected folder on your network.
If resolutions aren't your thing, leave it to us! NW Technology handles all of this and more for all of our Service Agreement Partners. Interested in being a partner? Contact us!