If you've been in the business world for any time at all, you've probably experienced a data emergency. Whether it's a ransomware attack, a power failure, or a spilled cup of coffee, it's easy to imagine how quickly panic spreads through the office when a data problem occurs. When something like this happens, the IT technicians ride in on their white horses and get everything working again quickly. However, if you're only interacting with IT when a disaster occurs, you're missing out on 90% of their value. The key to taking a small business to the next level is proactive IT Management.
When your business has a proactive IT service in place, most aforementioned disasters simply won't happen. Administrator controls will prevent malicious code, and offsite backups will prevent data loss in power outages (or coffee accidents). While IT can't prevent everything from happening, they'll always have a plan in place to help you recover. Proactive IT management is about establishing a partnership. While it's certainly possible to piece out each individual service as they're required, a partnership will ensure that you always have someone to rely on. Here's a shortlist of things a proactive IT management firm will take care of that may be overlooked if you're considering IT on an emergency-only basis:
Most network intrusions are missed at first, as potential hackers test that they can compromise a system well before they actually wreak any mayhem. An eagle-eyed IT tech firm can usually spot their probes into your network and get a fix in place before anything happens. Additionally, how many times have you clicked through an annoying error message? Problems on the system tend to manifest themselves as small issues before they stop the day's business altogether. Proactive IT can get minor annoyances patched up before they bring your system to a halt.
Keeping every user's login and password straight can be a nightmare. Some businesses use a standard system along the lines of first initial and last name with a birthday as the password, but systems like this have their own security issues. A helpful IT staff can get every user a unique and secure login to manage files safely and securely. Furthermore, whenever an employee leaves, they're not going to immediately forget their login and password. Immediately locking down any access they might still have to the system is paramount in maintaining security. In addition to deleting inactive accounts, it's important to change any passwords or file paths the ex-employee might still have access to. This can be as extensive as re-coding the entire badge system, but a good IT firm should be able to handle that. On the other hand, bringing a new employee on can be its own ordeal. Proactive IT management can get them set up quickly with credentials, as well as access to the payroll system, accounts, emails, VoIP, and shared files.
If you're working with vendors or industries where security is critical, IT needs to ensure you're up to code. Many vendors will require that your business meets security standards in order to win bids or submit RFPs. Additionally, businesses are required to follow guidelines on how to handle data and ensure certain security standards are in place to keep from accruing fines or other penalties. Furthermore, millions of new malware, spyware, and viruses are created every day, and new phishing tactics are constantly in the works. Having an IT firm that is always looking out for and keeping on top of these things is essential
In addition to the long list of issues a proactive IT firm can assist with, they're also available for emergencies that do arise. If the worst comes to your business, it's important to know where to go. If your business is looking for a lean, agile IT firm that knows their way around data management and security, find them on WhatBench. Our results are full of highly qualified IT firms who can be your partners in all things IT.