How to Keep on Top of Your SMB's IT Operations with Regular Maintenance and Security Checks
It’s easy to take your IT infrastructure for granted when it’s running smoothly. You depend on your information technology to provide services, manage employees, and do almost everything else involved in your SMB’s day-to-day operations.
And if you take all this for granted, you may not be prepared for potential issues: server problems, data storage failures, and cyberattacks to name just a few.
Fortunately, regular maintenance and security checks can help you stay on top of your IT operations. Let’s find out how.
How Does Regular Maintenance Help?
Here are some of the biggest benefits of regular IT maintenance:
Ensure Your Systems Operate as Required
Your hardware may do everything you need it to in most cases. High-quality computers and devices empower teams to handle everything from client communications to project management and product delivery efficiently.
But just because your systems seem to be functioning at their best today doesn’t mean they will tomorrow. A small issue that remains undetected could explode into a bigger problem over time — unless an IT expert spots it first.
Allowing an IT specialist to check your hardware and software on a regular basis enables them to address any flaws with the potential to affect your operations, no matter how minor. You and your team will be able to keep working with less need to worry about sudden disruptions.
Reduce the Risk of Costly Downtime
Any technical issues that prevent your team from performing core tasks could result in expensive downtime. This might be a server failure or an on-premise storage device becoming damaged. Whatever the specifics, regular maintenance may prevent hardware problems and save you money in the long run.
When your SMB can’t deliver the services your clients expect, they’ll become frustrated. Some may post scathing reviews of your business online. Others will start to look for more reliable providers elsewhere. Both can lead to lost revenue and reputation damage that makes it harder to attract new customers.
Regular maintenance may be a brief process, especially if your systems are operating as required already. But it can make a big difference to your SMB in the long term.
Identify Opportunities to Improve Your Infrastructure
An IT expert may realize that your SMB uses an inferior hardware or software product while performing regular maintenance. You might choose a device or application that receives lukewarm reviews because it’s cheaper than better options.
But your employees and your customers could be missing out if they lack the latest features or functionality. And low-quality, outdated devices may be more prone to failures than others.
For example, one survey found that almost 70% of transport and logistics businesses in Canada use outdated tech. This could affect productivity, prevent them from leveraging the most up-to-date software and create security risks.
But when a specialist finds improvement opportunities in your infrastructure, you have a chance to create a stronger setup. Your team may be able to do more in less time and deliver a better client experience overall if you upgrade.
Avoid the Need for Expensive One-Off Emergency Maintenance Callouts
If you call an IT specialist in to repair one or more pieces of hardware when something goes wrong, they’ll likely charge a high one-off emergency callout fee.
It’s more cost-effective in the long run to work with a managed service provider (MSP) that will be on hand to perform maintenance, repairs, troubleshooting, and more. You’ll pay a regular fee as part of a tailored plan to prevent emergencies, instead of one-off charges when you need a quick solution.
How Do Regular Security Checks Help?
Regular security checks offer the following advantages:
Determine Whether or Not Your IT Infrastructure is Secure
Nearly half (47%) of Canadian small businesses don’t spend any of their annual operating budget on cybersecurity, according to a survey by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). And the same research found that SMBS lost around $100,000 due to cyber-attacks (on average).
If your business is vulnerable to attacks on any scale, regular security checks will reveal your weak points. It’s up to you to implement effective solutions to prevent breaches, but an MSP will do this for you while you focus on running your company.
Spot Opportunities to Improve Your Security Configuration
Checking security frequently will indicate which software and tools need updating or replacing to keep your SMB safe. It’s easy to ignore notifications that prompt you to install patches, but updates can make an application far safer to use. Run checks regularly and make sure all of your software is up to date.
Implement New Security Software and Policies to Maximize Protection
Your current security measures might not provide the level of protection required to keep your SMB safe. You may be using the same antivirus program you’ve relied on for years, even though far superior alternatives are available at the same price. Or you may lack clear policies that help employees stay vigilant and spot potential security risks while they work.
A security check performed by experts will reveal weaknesses in your overall cybersecurity procedures. Learn from bad decisions and implement a stronger, tighter setup based on your security checks.
Avoid Potential Cyber Attacks and Costly Fallout
The cost of upgrading your cybersecurity pales in comparison to the possible expense of an attack. For example, ransomware demands cost Canadian businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in 2020.
And ransomware is just one type of cybersecurity threat facing your SMB. Others include Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, phishing scams, and spyware attacks.
A comprehensive security check will help you reduce your risk of being hit by any of these attacks.
What’s the Simplest, Most Effective Way to Stay on Top of Your IT Operations?
To keep your IT operations running properly, work with a team of experts with the right skills, tools, and experience. That’s where we come in.
NETWORTH can help your SMB with hardware and software installation, computer repairs, emergency helpdesk solutions, cybersecurity services, and much more.