It’s a brand new year, and for many businesses in Adelaide, this means coming back to the same old IT quirks and annoyances from the year before. Well, we say it’s time for that to change.

Here are 4 ways you can improve your business’ IT practices and infrastructure to ensure more reliable, robust security and service that lasts for years to come.

1. Take regular backups and plan for disaster

Data loss is never completely preventable, but you you can take steps to reduce your chances of experiencing it, and to lessen the impact should it occur. With a good backup and disaster recovery plan, your data will be automatically saved and stored off site, protecting it in the event of on-site disasters.

Additionally, a good business continuity plan will cover your essential business requirements and activities, so you can keep running in the event of data loss or system outages.

2. Document your policies, processes and procedures

Documentation is a valuable asset for training and quality assurance, and should the need arise (for example, during audits or legal proceedings), it can demonstrate your company’s diligence, commitment to industry compliance, and sense of responsibility over your staff and customers.

Ensure your IT policies, processes and procedures are clearly documented and publicised throughout your organisation.

3. Develop upgrade & maintenance processes

Upgrades and maintenance is usually straightforward – until it isn’t. Your system components, dependent on one another, might not be ready for an upgrade all at once. If a software patch fundamentally changes one component, you may find your system rife with compatibility errors until your other components can be updated. The worst case scenario would be for these errors to pop up during peak hour, taking your systems offline while customers are trying to buy from you.

Set upgrade and maintenance processes your staff can rely on when it’s time to upgrade. Factor in adequate research and analysis time, so potential issues can planned for, and schedule your maintenance activities for outside busy business periods. Plan around leave dates, weekends and public holidays, so there’s always someone prepared to roll back if an upgrade or maintenance task goes wrong.

4. Introduce an on-call roster

Finally, ensure you always have someone to call in the event of an IT emergency, such as a email outage or hard drive failure, or if your website goes down over the weekend.

For on-site resources, set up a roster to ensure you’re always covered when staff go on leave. Alternatively (or as a fallback), talk to your external IT services provider in case they offer additional assistance as part of your contract. For example, all our Geek Platinum clients receive business hours phone, remote and on-site support along with daily proactive testing and monitoring.