A Return to Routine

by Michael Anderson

September 14, 2011

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365 Technologies Inc. - Worry Free IT™ - Winnipeg Computer Network Support

While January 1st marks the beginning of a new calendar year, it is always the beginning of September that has more of a ‘new year’ feel for me. The end of summer holidays, the start of the school year, the reappearance of flocks of geese – it’s a return to routine, and I love it.

As you settle back in, take some time to evaluate the current routines around your company’s technology. Are there areas where routine has gotten off track? Are there new routines that should be put in place?

Here are 4 good places to start:

1. Backups

  • What is being backed up? Are all critical file stores being included? Has anything changed?
  • When are backups happening? How often? When was the last backup restore test done?

2. Security

  • Have you established routines around password management? Are you enforcing strong passwords? Do they expire regularly?

3. User Management

  • Is there a documented process for setting up a new employee in your business systems? How is access granted / controlled?
  • Is there a documented process for departing employees? How are your systems secured/protected against former employees?

4. Asset Replacement

  • How are computer assets replaced? Is there a routine in place to review inventory and ensure oldest assets are replaced first?

Finally, if you are using a service provider to support your business network, ask what routines underlie their service delivery.

We rely heavily on routine to support our 365Care+ clients. Our most important routine is our monthly best practices visits. Our team has developed a comprehensive set of best practice checklists, covering important areas such as network security, infrastructure, and backup & disaster recovery. Once per month, a 365 Network Administrator is dispatched to each client site. Using a checklist, they look for areas where a client’s network may be short of the ideal standard. From there, we identify potential risks to the client, and a plan for remediation.

It takes our new clients a few visits to get used to seeing a technician on site when there’s nothing wrong, but they soon learn to appreciate the importance of these proactive visits to ensure the ongoing stability and reliability in their business systems.

It’s a great time of year to start fresh, to improve, and to do something new. Investing some time in evaluating your current technology support practices can reap significant benefits for the year ahead.

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