If this year taught us anything about technology, it’s that you should really focus more on protecting and securing your data. No matter how far digital technology has evolved; no matter how advanced today’s tools seem to be—they will remain vulnerable to a lot of different factors. So we thought this IT and tech checklist to achieve just that can help.
Manager’s Round Up: Your Comprehensive IT and Tech Checklist For 2019
As a manager, we understand that streamlining your IT and tech in time for 2019 isn’t the only thing on your mind as the year winds to a close. So to make the task less frustrating, we’re ending this series with a Manager’s Guide to wrapping up IT and tech.
IT And Tech Checklist #1: Do a comprehensive equipment audit
We take so much of our gadgets for granted, especially given how many you probably use on a daily basis.
That said, there’s no better time than the end of the year than to take stock of all your business equipment and make sure everything is running perfectly to welcome the New Year. From desktop computers, to laptops, tablets to smartphones, routers, printers, scanners—make a comprehensive list of anything and everything that you use to communicate and collaborate and be sure to detail the condition of each one.
IT And Tech Checklist #2: Beef up your data security and implement a backup strategy
Cybersecurity is not something to be taken lightly, especially in this day and age. It’s not enough to simply have the basics anymore. There are hackers that will take the time to seek out your vulnerabilities and exploit it. Ff you’re not careful, your important business data will fall prey to their malicious attacks. In addition to this, there’s also the concern that force majeure—any natural disaster or calamity—will cause you to lose critical work data.
Leaving your data vulnerable to these kinds of losses can have a significant impact on your productivity. In fact, according to research, the average cost of a data security breach can reach up to seven million dollars. Even worse, 60 percent of companies that experience data loss tend to close within six months.
That’s a very high price to pay for something preventable.
With a reliable security and data backup plan in place however, you can easily avoid such dire scenarios. Here are a few pointers on where to get started—
- Assess your company’s backup needs. Consider all short and long term possibilities. Do you need to make sure that you’re able to restore data quickly? Do you need to guarantee consistent service clients, regardless of any internal issues or breaches? How quickly do you need to back up databases, files, operating systems, and applications? Which data do you want to recover on priority in case of an emergency?
- Where are you most vulnerable? You want to include all possible circumstances and factor in current and previous scenarios. For example, if your company was previously hacked before, do you know where the breach started? Are employees a consideration when it comes to security? Does your geographic location leave you vulnerable to natural disasters or weather-related damages such as earthquakes, floods, or wildfires? Do your customers or company stakeholders have access to your data?
- Make sure your backup and security infrastructure matches your current needs. Taking all the different factors that lend itself to your data’s vulnerability, you want to consider multiple backup solutions for recovery. For instance—if you’re located in an area that’s prone to natural disasters, having an off-premise back up and security solution might be ideal. You might also want to consider having regular physical backups of files and data in case your cloud-based security and back up fails.
IT And Tech Checklist #3: Evaluate your tech and IT management options
After you take stock of your tech and IT needs, you need to consider what your best options are to maximize efficiency and ensure reliability. There is no one size fits all option when it comes to finding the right solution—so what might work for one company, may not be ideal for another.
That said, choosing the right one is a balancing act, usually between your budget, your needs, and your resources. Consider the following—
- How much are you willing to invest into this? What is the maximum amount that you want to spend?
- Do you have the budget and resources to allocate towards an in-house staff to manage and maintain your tech and IT needs? And if so, is your in-house “IT guy” taking a proactive approach to your IT needs, or just showing up when you call your IT support because something broke or isn’t working right.
- Would opting for software solutions be more feasible? Have you ever considered partnering with a managed services provider?
- How much would it cost your company if you lost critical data? Or how much would a data breach cost your organization?
The bottom line, don’t fall into the trap of underspending on your security and backup systems. Most managers do so on the premise that tech and IT management don’t generate income. In reality however, having a reliable plan in place is critical for prevention—you’re essentially saving your business money by making sure that you protect it from potential losses down the line.
For a more comprehensive manager’s guide on everything you have to take care of for the end of the year, be sure to check out our previous posts tacking everything from employees to accounting to taxes.