Why IT Maintenance is Essential for Small Businesses

3 Mins read
  • Your IT system needs to be carefully maintained in order to keep your business running smoothly.

Small business owners have a lot of issues that they have to keep track of. One of the most overlooked is their IT system.

You can’t underestimate the importance of IT as a business owner. A poorly maintained IT system can cause massive problems for your business, slowing down employees when they’re trying to complete tasks or putting your company at risk of a cyber-attack. Most businesses today rely on an IT system, so it’s essential that you keep yours up to date and secure for a well-functioning business. Here are some maintenance tips you won’t want to miss.

Keep your operating system updated

One of the most critical features of an IT maintenance plan is keeping your operating system updated. It’s also one of the easiest ways to ensure your infrastructure is secure and performing at its best. Whether you have a Mac, Windows or Linux system, when updates are available, you should take the time to keep the system up to date to stay at the cutting edge of performance. Windows will keep your system in check with a daily update check, which is an automated scan that takes place in the background. System updates keep the performance of your computer at its best and ensures you have the latest features.

Replace the UPS battery

If your UPS is older than three years old, it’s worth investing in a new APC battery cartridge to keep the power supply working well. UPS batteries are a vital aspect of an uninterrupted supply of power to your system, and it’s what provides the UPS system with power if there’s a mains failure. An old or poorly maintained battery set can cause major issues if there’s a mains failure. Make sure you’re using genuine APC batteries as a non-APC battery can result in lower runtime or damage.

Monitor threats

Security threats are something that every business faces, but when you don’t maintain your IT system, you’re more at risk. Online security threats can seriously damage your business so part of the maintenance for your company should include keeping firewall software in place, making sure you’re using the latest security software and ensuring that virus and malware scanners are up to date. These will monitor your IT devices and alert you to any threats to keep your data secure.

Renew your licenses

Something that often gets overlooked by businesses is renewing software licenses, which leaves your business vulnerable in the worst-case scenario and can impede productivity. Make a note of when all your software licenses are due to expire, as well as the age of hardware such as keyboards, screens, and mobile devices, so you can stay on track with renewing or replacing them as needed.

Back up data

Part of looking after computer equipment is understanding that at any point, they may fail and being prepared for that will minimise the impact it has on your business. Your computer might crash, there might be a glitch in some software, or your hardware might break down – whatever the cause, having your data backed up will ensure you’re not left without anything if the worst happens. Full backups to cloud software or heavy-duty external hard drives will give you a duplicate copy of the most important documents, which can give you confidence when you’re working with IT systems every day.

Update your passwords

Passwords may seem like just a standard part of using IT devices but backing them up is part of your maintenance routine. Over 80% of hacking related breaches for businesses are the result of stolen or weak passwords, making it easy for hackers to gain access to the systems you have in place. It’s all too easy to choose simple passwords to make them easy to remember, but it also makes them easier for other people to guess them, so basic IT maintenance should include changing your passwords regularly and making them difficult to break by choosing a mix of numbers, letters and characters, and upper and lower case. Make sure your passwords are at least 10 characters long which can also strengthen them.

Final thoughts

Maintaining your IT infrastructure will ensure you have optimum power and performance, whatever project you’re working on. It will keep your data secure, prevent productivity issues within your team and keep your business working at peak performance. This is going to require both maintaining your computers and your IT system as a whole. A breach or hardware failure can set your business back and can impact your reputation, so make sure that maintenance is a regular occurrence within your business.

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About author
Ryan Kh is a big data and analytic expert, marketing digital products on Amazon's Envato. He is not just passionate about latest buzz and tech stuff but in fact he's totally into it. Follow Ryan’s daily posts on Catalyst For Business.
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