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Protecting your small business’ IT investments


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Small business owners have enough on their plates without adding IT woes to the mix – that’s why Intel recommends you have a back-up disaster plan in place so that you can minimise downtime should your technology take a tumble.

According to Intel’s small business marketing manager, Danielle Watts: “Think of what could be lost if you haven’t invested in this – it can potentially bring your business down for days, slows productivity, not to mention all that lost client history.”

Thankfully, there are also preventative measures you can take when integrating IT into your business. Seven of ‘em, in fact…

1. Invest in quality equipment

Savings ain’t really savings if the money eventually goes towards patching up your budget IT solution. Do yourself a mahoosive favour and stick with trusted brands to ensure your IT system delivers the goods long term.

2. Keep your equipment up to date

Research indicates that keeping your PCs until they’re pensionable (ie, for over three years) leaves you vulnerable. Unsurprisingly, older model PCs are more prone to failure – whether due to viruses or burn out. Plus, they cost more to maintain. To improve productivity and reduce overheads, update your business’ technology when it becomes outdated and inefficient.

3. Keep virus protection software up-to-date

‘Duh!’ you may well be thinking, but many businesses fail to ensure adequate virus protection. Configure your system so that routine checks are performed automatically, to remove the risk of human error.

4. Back up your data

As with virus protection, it’s easy to fall into a ‘mañana’ approach to backing up your data. Ask yourself this: is the information in my business’ PCs critical to my business? If the answer is yes, then for goodness sake perform daily back up of data to a secure external drive.

5. Do I need a server?

Defo consider investing your pennies in a server if your small business has a sophisticated website, if remote access is a must, or if you have a number of employees. Not only are servers reliable, they also back up data, make it easier for authorised persons to access information and act as a stable foundation on which the business can grow.

6. Keep staff in the know

It’s safer to assume any new hires are nincompoops when it comes to IT etiquette, than to stay schtum and scratch your head when one of their friend’s cute dancing kittens email crashes your whole system. Give everyone a wee lesson in avoiding virus risks (such as not opening suspicious emails), maintaining data security and awareness of customer privacy issues when they first join your company.

7. Warranty and support can be a blessing

When purchasing equipment, added protection in the form of a warranty is a must. And, if your business has a complex IT system, consider enlisting support from a reliable IT supplier or reseller, just as you would for accounting or legal matters.

By having a forward-looking IT plan in place, your business is more likely to remain techno-meltdown free. Or, should you suffer a system crash, you’ll be able to solve the issue efficiently.

And while you’re at it, look for laptops and desktops with Intel Inside for the very best computing experiences both at home and on the go.