These last posts covered a lot of ground: cyber security, data breaches, email security, cloud computing, and we only scratched the surface of each topic. Based on just this cursory overview, you should be doing the following:
- Securing your equipment and network
- Backing up your data.
- Talking to any service providers you use, such as credit card processors, and finding out what they’re doing to secure your transactions and data.
- Reviewing (or creating) your policies on
- Permitted software
- Who should access the company’s network and devices
- Working at remote locations
- Physically securing company assets
- Installing a spam filter on your email
- Encrypting your email
- Evaluating cloud services you use for security issues
- Evaluating what you need to do to put your business on the cloud
That’s a lot to do. It can easily take the majority of your time (or even all your time), when you ought to attend to your customers and clients, run your business, find and qualify new prospects, develop new products or services. Things that can actually make you some money.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. – Edmund Burke
If you take nothing else from these posts, if you do nothing else, at least do this: backup your data every day. You’ll be glad you did this.
What more can you do? Well, you can always hire new employees. But that gets expensive: salary, payroll taxes, benefits, etc. You’re rolling the dice that you make the right choice and don’t end up with “Wally from Dilbert”.
Or you can outsource all of this to a firm that specializes in providing all these services and more, leaving you free to do what you do best: bringing your business and taking care of your customers. Think of it this way: you don’t do your own payroll or accounting; you hire a payroll company and the CPA. This is no different.
Who are these firms?
As usual, the IT industry has its own name for these companies (of course they do). They’re known as managed services providers. They offer a range of services such as:
- Backup and Data Recovery
- 24/7/365 Monitoring
- Network Management
- User Management
- Data Management
- Software – Production Support and maintenance
You can contract with them for the services you need right now, and add or expand as your business grows and your needs change.
Selecting an managed services vendor
Here are some items to consider as you evaluate services vendors:
- Does the provider have demonstrated experience in designing innovative IT solutions?
- What technology competencies does the MSP possess?
- What engineer certifications do the company’s technicians have?
- Has the MSP worked with companies similar in size, scope and industry?
- Is the MSP interested in understanding your unique business issues?
- Does the MSP offer Service Level Agreements and Opt-Out Clauses?
- Does the company provide references?
- Can you visit the company’s site?
The IT experts at Waypoint would love to talk with you about their managed services and perform a free review of your managed IT services needs. Please click here to sign up for a free, no risk IT assessment.