The more your technology struggles to perform, the more your company will struggle to perform — which is clearly a recipe for nothing good.
So what’s the solution?
You need to keep your infrastructure healthy, and you need to do what you can to catch IT problems before they cause operational issues.
To steer you in the right direction, we’ve created a short list of tips that can keep your technology in top-notch shape.
Responsible use policies
Malware can be a huge source of IT problems. Not only will cyberthreats create issues for your reputation, but they will slow down your equipment.
This means you need to patch vulnerabilities as soon as they form and maintain your cyber hygiene 24/7.
Unfortunately, your employees are often the biggest point of failure in network security. They might visit the wrong website and bring malware back. They might create a weak password for a sensitive business application. And they might lose a device that contains company data.
Whatever the case may be, these behaviors put your company’s technology (and data) at risk.
Because of this, it’s important to take the time to draft a comprehensive cybersecurity policy for how and when to use technology to promote privacy and security. When employees know the rules, it’s much easier to protect your technology.
Educating your users
Speaking of cyberthreats, hackers and scammers have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. And these days, phishing attacks are not all emails about a lottery win in a country you’ve never visited.
Spearphishing, or highly targeted email attacks, use tactics like CEO fraud to gain access to sensitive information. What’s worse is that these emails can be incredibly difficult to identify as fraudulent.
Just think about it … if your boss sends you an email asking you to download an attachment, you’re likely going to follow directions.
However, the FBI says the cost of CEO fraud may have exceeded $2.3B over the course of three years — in other words, it’s time to educate your employees.
You need to implement some measure of cybersecurity training within your company – and provide regular updates. This way, employees understand what cyberthreats to look for and how to avoid them.
Early reporting options
When something isn’t working well, that’s typically a sign of a deeper issue.
Is your email loading more slowly than usual? Does your computer take longer to wake up in the morning than you do?
While these issues might not require an emergency helpdesk ticket, they should be documented. They can indicate a larger problem, particularly if they’re affecting multiple networked computers. Teach your staff to report IT issues early, and make sure these particular communication channels are clearly outlined.
Working with a managed service provider
Even if you have a fully staffed internal IT department, contracting with a managed service provider (MSP) can help reduce the burden.
If you’re like most companies with an internal IT staff, then this team already handles your hardware, researches new tech, and acts as your first line of IT defense. They might even be your go-to web team or work hand-in-hand with your marketing department.
If this is the case, then they don’t exactly have a lot of time left to handle routine maintenance, security checks, and highly technical upgrades — which is problematic.
However, with an MSP at your side, your team can gain back some of that lost time, your network can benefit from current knowledge and expertise, and your company can benefit from the proper resources to keep your technology in prime working condition.
Promoting personal responsibility
Aside from policies and training, your company as a whole should adopt a healthy tech mindset.
Sure, you might have a policy in place that says you need to be safe and take care of company devices. But what’s to stop them from forgetting that phone in a grocery cart? Kicking the printer when they’re angry at it for not working? Or clicking a malicious email because they’re moving too fast?
However, with the right company mindset, this can all be avoided. Make it a positive thing to treat your technology right, and you might be surprised by the outcome.
Want to learn more about technology for your business? Check out our definitive guide to business technology.