Now that you have settled into the New Year it is time to focus on you New Year resolutions for IT or you risk a bad year. It is February 1, 2017 and you now have all the year-end closing of the books, inventory, etc. behind you. Now that your head is cleared up it is time to get more focused on IT.
This blog is a compilation of ideas from Team Alvaka Networks:
1. Roger Nixon said, Keep moving forward by backing up… the importance of good backups for sustainability of a business when things go wrong. Actually almost everyone at Alvaka said something similar. Roger is right. If you have not recently done a complete review of your back up systems you are at great risk. Ask yourself and test whether –
a. Is your backup system running? Is the scheduler running backups at the appropriate intervals?
b. Are you getting back-up errors on the system? You won’t know unless you check the logs… constantly and faithfully.
c. Can you do a test restore?
d. Are copies of your data stored off-site?
e. What is your Recovery Point Objective? How much data can you afford to lose if you have to recover from a back-up?
f. Recovery Time Objective? How long will it take you to recover from a backup when you need to do so? Is that time frame acceptable? Here is another good blog on RPO and RTO - Some Good Questions and Answers on Backup and Disaster Recovery
g. Is your backup system backing up the right stuff? You would be surprised to hear how often backups are running, but the backup job didn’t include the new server or database that was added 19.5 months ago.
2. Albert Lee said, Have your Alvaka engineer or consultant review with you Alvaka’s NetPlan Monthly Scan of your network. There is a vast amount of invaluable data in these reports. Awareness of these valuable reports is way too low on the radar screen with many of you. If you haven’t seen one and talked about it you need to do so. The reports are already generated and waiting for your review.
3. Alex Estevez advises you “retire all your old equipment and get it recycled properly.” He especially warns us all to make sure the “hard drives are properly destroyed.” Make sure you don’t have any secret information of personally identifiable information remaining that can cause you to incur fines. He says once you are done doing that you should “clean up those closets/storage rooms/server rooms etc….”
4. Kevin McDonald advises you don’t “shop with your own wallet. Look to value and not cost.” This is sage advice. Too often we see investments made in IT with the perspective of our own spending habits and what we perceive as a lot of money. What might be a good deal for our router or storage system at home or another small business might not be right for our workplace. A Linksys router is great for home use as is a RAID array if we are looking for storage redundancy. But for a $100M/year business those solutions won’t work well and will turn into a ton of expense and grief in other ways.
5. Kevin also says you should repeat this mantra, “I will manage IT by what is vitally important. I will not let IT run me into the tyranny of the urgent.” Be careful, IT systems can have you running around like crazy and lose focus of the big important picture. As the saying goes, “You can always tell who the IT Manager is. He is the one running around with his hair on fire.”
Here are a few other good tips to consider as you manage your way through the 2017 New Year:
· I will have a strategy and work towards that strategy
· I will invest in convincing those that matter, security is a must not nice to have
· I will do the things that are hard, not just the things I enjoy
· I will advance both my technical and business skills
· I will do everything I can to share my experiences and help those I work with to win