Creating an Information Technology Plan that works (Part 1 of 2)

Welcome to part one of this two part series on information technology.  In today’s article I want to look at the ‘defensive’ side of information technology, which is really the IT tools you need to protect your business.

Technology is an exciting and constantly changing area. It seems that within 2 months of buying a new computer, a better one becomes available. Technology can be a great tool to rapidly advance your business. It does however require careful planning and consideration. There are two key rules that I recommend all entrepreneurs apply in their business.

Rule One

The first rule for information technology is to get expert – upfront and ongoing advice.

Aside from being a constantly changing area, many small businesses don’t acknowledge the true value of the data until something happens to it, either positive (it dramatically improves the business) or negative (customer data is lost or exposed). Think of your data like you’d think about an expensive piece of jewellery that needs to be protected!

Second Rule

The second rule is to use Information Technology systems to improve your business and give it a competitive advantage. Don’t just think of it as an expense that needs to be managed. The proper use of many of the new technologies can dramatically increase your bottom line.

Equally, you don’t need to buy into the latest technology fad. Carefully assess what technologies will boost your business, do your homework and trial a number of systems. Measure their success and keep what works and discard what doesn’t.

The Defensive Side of Information Technology:

Here are some considerations to protect your business:

➢ Storage of data
o Where are you going to store it? (On site/Off site)
o How will it be stored? (DVDs, Drives, Cloud)
o Who can access stored data?
o Should it be stored in multiple countries?

➢ Cloud-based systems
o Which system will you use?
o Who will be responsible for controlling it?
o How established is the Cloud company?

➢ Back-up software
o How will you back up your Servers?
o Where will your website be backed up?
o What about individual employee computers?
o Are there additional redundancies that need to be in place?

➢ Anti-virus software

➢ Website firewalls and scanning software/malware cleaning
o What software will you use to prevent attacks on your website, servers and individual computers?

➢ UPS – Uninterrupted Power Supply
o What would happen to your business if the power went out? Would data be lost?
o A UPS provides power to your servers and computers in the event of a power outage and can take them through a proper shutdown process rather than allowing the potential damage from an outage

➢ Surge Protection
o This protects your IT equipment against power surges that may damage the equipment.

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