Now that we’ve reached the home stretch of winter, it’s time to think about some business IT spring cleaning to get systems and technology in order. Now is the perfect time to start some long-overdue IT initiatives that will help your local business and staff be more productive and efficient. Here is a short local-business IT spring cleaning checklist that all businesses can use.
1. Dispose of Old Hardware
It’s fairly common to have servers, desktops, and other hardware that are no longer used or minimally used that have yet to be properly disposed of. The first step is to remove all sensitive data. If you aren’t sure how to properly remove any data and dispose of the hardware properly, an experienced managed IT services company can advise you.
2. Get Identity Access in Order
According to the 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity report from the Ponemon Institute, 59 percent of SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) have no visibility into employee password practices, and 65 percent with a password policy do not strictly enforce it. Now is a good time to institute single sign-on tools that are backed by an enforced security policy.
3. Implement Asset Management and Audit
Now is the perfect time to implement or bring order to an existing asset management system and perform a complete audit.
4. Inventory All Technology and Current Expenses
Speaking of asset management, conduct an inventory and assessment of all desktop electronics; other IT supplies; and even printers, paper, and toner. Look at your usage and your costs to see if there are ways to cut those costs and/or use the assets more efficiently.
5. Organize Cable and Power Management
Look at ways to improve office cable management and shared printer setup areas and how other IT hardware is set up physically. Check all power supplies, extension cords, and surge protectors to make sure that everything is adequately protected and organized.
6. Perform Desktop and Server Data Scrub
Performing a data scrub should be done at least annually when it comes to desktops and file servers. Most businesses will have accumulated junk files and old applications, patches, and tools that can be cleared to free up space.
7. Scrub Cloud Storage Data
That same type of accumulation happens with cloud storage and virtual instances, so implementing a cloud resource audit program can enable a scrub of the accounts to remove all unnecessary data.
8. Bring Shadow IT Applications Into the Light
For a local business, IT can tend to accumulate some shadow IT applications in the areas of messaging. Now is the time to begin managing this area and ensuring that the applications have some protocols for use and that they are brought out of the shadows.
9. Evaluate and Reassess all Service Contracts
Now is a good time to look at all service contracts to ensure that they are relevant to current and future needs. There may be ways to save money through purging of unneeded equipment and services (or modifications of those services).
10. Incentivize the IT Spring Cleaning Process for Staff
In all of this local-business IT spring cleaning, the foundation is to review all IT policies for their relevance, completeness, and adherence. Also, it’s a good time to integrate new policies for new services that have recently been added. Ultimately, everyone in the company should be involved in this type of IT spring cleaning, so it’s good to make it as enjoyable as possible rather than tedious.
Look for ways to add incentives to the different aspects such as having catered lunches or treats as part of the process. This type of spring cleaning may not seem to impact employees in ways that they can see every day. Despite that immediate impression, it will surely help streamline business processes and general operations that position the business for growth moving forward.