If you’re running a small business, it might seem like overkill to have all sorts of official policies for your modest investment in computer and communication technology. A small server and a few desktop or laptop computers might seem like they should be able to run themselves without a lot of paperwork and rules. But the fact is, your IT resources represent an investment: They’re the property of your business and you have a duty to set out how they should be used. IN all our years of offering Melbourne IT support, we’ve seen plenty of disasters that could have been avoided with robust IT policies.
Put another way: Every moment your IT resources are being used for personal projects, your whole company is being involved in endeavours you didn’t agree to or plan for. At minimum there are a few simple policies every small business should have in place.
The Lessons of IT Support in Melbourne: Essential Personnel Policies
Acceptable Use: Outlining what your IT resources – including physical equipment like computers and smartphones as well as capacity resources like the Internet bandwidth you’re paying for – can and cannot be used for is an absolute must. While you might assume your employees ‘know better’ than to use your equipment and bandwidth for personal projects, you’d be surprised – in our years of offering the IT support Melbourne needs, we’ve seen people do everything from run side businesses using company equipment to bidding on collectibles on company time and even sharing pirated content from company servers.
Security:Clear policies on passwords, access, and simple best practices when using the company networks and equipment can save your company tremendous amounts of trouble.
The Lessons of IT Support in Melbourne: Essential Equipment Policies
Disaster Recovery: You may think the chances of losing all of your customer and payment data is remote – but our experience providing the city of Melbourne IT support teaches us otherwise. Whether it’s physical damage from weather or other unexpected natural disaster or simply a total disk failure or other unforeseen disaster, you need to have a policy in place regarding remote backups and recovery.
Network and Server Setup: Too many small businesses fall into the trap of having a single ‘guru’ employee who knows how all the parts fit together and has all the passwords in their head. Don’t allow this to happen – have a clear policy regarding how everything should be set up, and where the security and connectivity information is set out so that anyone can run the IT resources in a pinch.
Software and Hardware Standards: Don’t purchase new equipment randomly. Have a policy regarding the operating system and software versions that are essential to your business. Don’t ‘accidentally’ purchase a new license for a version of the software that won’t work with previous versions, and don’t allow employees to purchase new laptops or desktops for their own reasons – a policy can keep all of your IT resources working together smoothly.