(Updated on March 25th, 2022)

Small businesses account for more than half of all private-sector employment and create about two-thirds of all new jobs. As a small business owner, it’s important to make sure your technology is up to date and can support your growing business.

What Is Your Plan for Protecting Your Data?

As your business grows, you will likely accumulate more and more data. It is important to have a plan in place for protecting and managing this data. This plan should include the following:

-How will you protect your data from unauthorized access?

-Who is responsible for backing up the data?

-What happens if a backup is lost or corrupted?

-How will you protect your data from being destroyed in a disaster?

Failing to properly protect your data can lead to lost revenue, decreased productivity, and even lawsuits. For example, if you do not have a plan for protecting your data, someone could steal your customer list or your confidential business plans.

What Firewalls and Security Software Do You Have in Place?

In order to protect your data and systems from unauthorized access, it is important to have a robust firewall in place. In addition, you should also use up-to-date security software to help protect your devices from malware and other security threats.

You need to start considering enterprise-level security as you grow that offers more features than the basic home office set-up.

Have You Implemented a BYOD Policy?

If your employees use their own devices for work purposes, it is important to have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place. This policy should outline the security measures that employees must take in order to protect company data on their personal devices.

BYOD comes with a bunch of benefits and downsides, and you need to prepare for the latter accordingly. This means having a plan for how you will manage and secure data on devices that are not under your direct control. One way to do this is to require employees to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing company data on their personal devices.

Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

In the event of a major outage or disaster, it is important to have a plan in place so that you can quickly get your business up and running again. This plan should include steps for backing up data, restoring systems, and providing alternative forms of communication for employees. Disaster recovery plans are crucial for growing businesses because the stakes continue to rise as the business grows.

Have You Considered Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing can be a great way for growing businesses to save money on IT costs. By using cloud-based services, you can avoid the need to purchase and maintain your own servers and other hardware. In addition, many cloud-based services offer pay-as-you-go pricing, which can be beneficial for businesses with fluctuating IT needs. This allows you to scale up or down as you require without having to agree to high fixed costs.

Cloud storage is also great for businesses that are expanding quickly and don’t have the time or resources to manage their own storage infrastructure.

How Well Do You Know Your Network?

As your business grows, you will likely need to expand your network to accommodate new employees and devices. It is important to understand how your network works so that you can troubleshoot any problems that may arise. You should also have a plan for how you will handle network emergencies, such as a major power outage.

How Well Do You Know Your Network

Another related question is, do you even have the time to know and monitor your network? Hiring IT support can take a load off of your plate and ensure that someone is always keeping an eye on things.

How Secure Is Your Wireless Network?

If you have a wireless network, it is important to make sure that it is properly secured. Otherwise, anyone within range of your network could potentially access your data. Be sure to use strong passwords and encryption methods to protect your data.

Also, be sure to update your firmware regularly to patch any security vulnerabilities that may have been discovered. Do your employees understand the vulnerabilities that come with unsecured wireless access while working remotely?

What Type of Data Do You Have and Where Is It Stored?

As your business grows, you will likely accumulate more data. It is important to consider what type of data you have and where it is stored. For example, you may have customer data, financial data, or employee data.

This data may be stored on your company’s servers, in the cloud, or on employee devices. It is important to ensure that all of this data is properly secured and that you have a plan for what to do in the event of a data breach. You also need to consider data compliance as you grow, as your company will be under increasing scrutiny to protect customer data.

Have You Established IT Policies and Procedures?

The bedrock of any solid IT infrastructure is a set of well-defined policies and procedures. These policies should cover everything from password management to the acceptable use of company devices.

By having a written policy in place, you can ensure that employees are aware of the expectations and requirements for using company data and systems. For example, you may have a policy that requires employees to password-protect their devices and to only access company data from approved applications.

How Are You Monitoring Your Systems?

As your business grows, it becomes increasingly important to monitor your systems for performance issues and security threats. You should have a plan in place for how you will monitor your systems and who will be responsible for doing so. There are many tools available that can help you with this, such as network monitoring software.

As your revenue and IT budget grows, you might also want to consider using professional IT services to help monitor your systems. These services can provide around-the-clock monitoring and support, which can be invaluable for businesses with critical data and systems.

Do You Have an IT Budget?

As your business grows, so will your IT needs. It is important to have a budget in place so that you can plan for future IT expenditures. This budget should take into account both the current and future needs of your business. For example, you may need to purchase new hardware as you expand your network or upgrade your software as new versions are released.

Do you have an it budget

Failing to plan for future IT needs can lead to problems down the road, such as decreased productivity due to outdated software or systems that are not able to handle the increased load.

Have You Tested Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

Having a disaster recovery plan in place means regular testing. As your business grows, you become more susceptible to data loss or system failure. It is important to test your disaster recovery plan on a regular basis to make sure that it will work when you need it.

Testing also allows you to identify any areas that may need improvement. For example, if your company’s data is stored in the cloud , you need to test your cloud backup system to make sure that it is working properly.

Have You Established an SLA?

An SLA, or service-level agreement, is a contract between you and your IT service provider that outlines the level of service you can expect. This agreement should be in place before you sign up for any IT services.

The SLA should cover items such as response times, uptime, and support availability. By having an SLA in place, you can ensure that you are getting the level of service you expect from your IT provider.

What Is Your Plan for Managing Software Licenses?

As your business grows, you will likely need to purchase more software licenses. It is important to have a plan in place for managing these licenses. This plan should include the following:

-How will you track the licenses you own?

-Who is responsible for renewing licenses?

-What happens if a license is no longer needed?

-How will you keep track of software version changes?

Failing to properly manage your software licenses can lead to lost productivity and increased costs. For example, if you do not track the licenses you own, you may end up paying for unnecessary upgrades or renewals.

What Is Your Plan for Managing Hardware Inventory?

As your business grows, you will likely need to purchase more hardware. It is important to have a plan in place for managing this hardware. This plan should include the following:

-How will you track the hardware you own?

-Who is responsible for maintaining the hardware?

-What happens if a piece of hardware is no longer needed?

-How will you keep track of hardware changes?

Failing to properly manage your hardware inventory can lead to wasted money and decreased productivity. For example, if you do not track the hardware you own, you may end up purchasing duplicates or replacements for equipment that is still in use.

What Is Your Plan for Managing Passwords?

As your business grows, you will likely need to create more user accounts and passwords. It is important to have a plan in place for managing these passwords. This plan should include the following:

-How will you store the passwords?

-Who is responsible for creating and managing the passwords?

-What happens if a password is lost or stolen?

-How will you keep track of changes to the passwords?

Failing to properly manage your passwords can lead to lost productivity and security breaches. For example, if you do not store your passwords in a secure location, someone could steal them and gain access to your company’s confidential information.

Conclusion

As you grow, your IT planning needs will also grow. By taking the time to plan ahead, you can ensure that your business is equipped with the technology it needs to succeed.

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