If you own a small business in this digital age, having reliable IT (information technology) is key. You and your staff most likely rely on computers for most of your daily functions, from billing to shipping to promotion. If your system goes down or becomes overrun by glitches for even a single afternoon, you're losing money and credibility.
There are data privacy considerations as well. You most likely store sensitive information and important documents digitally, so privacy and security have to be well taken care of.
Setting up your IT Systems is not a DIY project. In this blog post, we explain four simple ways you can work with an IT Consultant to improve security, and boost your productivity and profits.
Secure Your Small Business Server
Your server is the lifeblood of your small business’s computer network, allowing you and your employees to access, manage, and update important data. An up to date server means better reliability, speed, security - and less downtime and risk.
Using a workstation as a server is not recommended and can really let you down in terms of data backup, lack of redundant drives and security. There are other ways to save money in your business - this is not one of them. Investing in the right tools for the job makes all the difference when it matters.
Older servers like Windows Small Business Server 2008 have reached their end of life and no longer have security updates, so it's important to upgrade if your server is aging.
Small form factor servers and virtual servers are a better option for smaller offices, medical and dental office servers.
Qualified IT consultants and technicians can help you choose the best server options for you and assist you with every aspect of your server, including:
- Set up a new LAN (local area network) and server in your office
- Configure cloud computing (using a remote server accessed through the Internet) for your company
- Transfer key data from one server to another if you're upgrading or moving offices
- Take care of all your server security updates to help you avoid both glitches and network breaches
Get Managed IT Services
Once you have a new or upgraded server, who is going to take care of it?
Some small business IT support services operate on an outdated “break-fix” model, offering repairs for damaged devices, crashed computers, and sluggish software once they stop functioning. Of course some clients demand“break-fix” service because of the old "if it ain't broke" adage. While this may seem to save you money in the short-term in that you only pay for help when you need it, break-fix support can actually cause quite the headache, especially when lots of minor things go ignored for years and amount to a quite big thing. Usually, this quite big thing ends up being a major, costly error right at the peak of your operating hours. And with IT threats rising sharply, having a well trained and experienced computer technician overseeing your network security is a sound business decision.
Managed IT services are the modern model for IT management for SMB's. With Managed IT Services, you pay a monthly fee to outsource IT management and support needs to a qualified company. These companies are commonly known as Managed IT Services Providers. They will perform daily and weekly system checks and patches for all your computers and server, stay ahead of IT problems before you experience interruptions, oversee IT security, provide your team with help desk services so they have access to IT support when they need it, and provide ongoing IT consulting and planning to help keep your business running smoothly.
Train Employees After IT Upgrades
Let’s face it: not many people enjoy opening up a hefty user’s guide or struggling to learn the interface of a new device, but IT upgrades are necessary. When you make big changes, like replacing your server with Office 365 & SharePoint in the cloud, but don't budget for some training to orient everyone on the changes, you will have a team of frustrated and unproductive employees.
Budgeting for some video tutorials and even just a half day of hands on team training will give your team the confidence they need to buy in and adapt to new tech quickly.
Invest In A Suitable Business WiFi Solutions
Small businesses increasingly operate on a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) model, so having stable and secure WiFi is a must. There are many layers of user permissions and mobile data management to consider when you are allowing employees to connect to the business network. Be sure to speak with an IT Consultant to secure your business data.
When it comes to WiFi range, just about everyone is left wanting more than what their router can provide. If half the team works too far from the router, they get no signal. If one user streams Youtube while working, they hog the signal and choke out everyone else. If you are presenting for clients but the meeting room has weak signal and keeps dropping, your presentation may not go smoothly.
Switching to scalable, reliable WiFi could help you say goodbye to spotty WiFi forever, and allow your team to stay connected in the office. While there are very advanced and costly WiFi solutions, there are also simple, effective, powerful and affordable WiFi solutions too.
Toronto SMB IT Solutions: TUCU is an IT support Company located in Toronto, offering IT Consulting, IT Services, Network Setup & Support, WiFi Solutions, IT Security Solutions and more. Established in 2003, TUCU has been serving the community for many years, and has earned a highly rated reputation for great service and expert solutions. Small business IT is not a DIY project, so please call on us today to discover how we can help you get things setup and working well for you.