If you are anything like me, Spring 2016 went by in a flash. With a busy travel schedule I never did get to my closets but the thought of business people without a dedicated IT resource got me thinking…… what are they doing to make sure their equipment is running up to par? Regardless of your business type or structure you could easily argue that your computer is the most important component to your ability to function and work efficiently. If you haven’t done it yet, Summer may actually be a better time to assess your environment while many people are on vacation or working less hours with children home from school. Completing the following steps will set you up for success come Fall when things tend to pick up again.
Ensure you are running the latest software. Running the latest software on your system sounds easy but there is a lot of considerations. Just about everything you use produces software updates; your browser, plug-ins such as Java and Flash, and the often forgotten printers and scanners. Running the latest software will allow you to utilize new improvements and keep your system more secure. If you are not getting emails from the manufacturers you can find them with a quick online search.
Do some actual cleaning. Your hardware and software need to be periodically cleaned as well. Get a can of air spray to clean out your keyboard and the vents in your desktop or laptop. Replace the batteries in your mouse and keyboard or at the very least make sure you have extra on hand…… batteries tend to die at the worst possible time and then you’re stuck searching for other items to steal them from. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has stolen batteries from a TV remote! Run a virus scan on your computer. Malwarebytes and CCleaner have free online options.
Backups and file sharing. Have you made any changes to your system files since the last time your backup was configured? This is a very common cause of data loss. Users forget to update their backup configuration after making changes or adding files to their system. If you’re utilizing a file share system with others now is a great time to clean it up and organize it to ensure you are working efficiently.
2017 budgeting. Yep, I said it. 2017. We are already half way done with 2016 and it is time to start thinking about hardware and software purchases next year. More often than not, it is cheaper to purchase a new system than it is to fix yours. What is not working for you? Where do you need to be more productive? Utilizing newer technology can help.
Just as you take your car in for an oil change; your technology requires periodic tune ups as well. If the tasks listed here seem daunting, it may be time to engage an IT resource. Smooth running technology is not a luxury, it is a requirement for conducting business effectively. Take the time and make the investment to set yourself up for success.