Most IT services providers say they monitor and maintain their clients’ computing network, but are they really doing so on a regular basis? How would you even know?
And, if they are performing these critical proactive tasks, are they doing them according to best practices?
If your NJ business works with an managed IT service firm, here’s how to know and what to ask and look for to make sure your computing network is being properly maintained and monitored.
At IND Corporation, we recommend that operating system and software updates and computer maintenance be performed via nightly and weekly maintenance cycles – and never done during the work day. It’s imperative to keep employees productive!
Nightly system maintenance includes routine daily tasks on your hardware and software that keep your system running as efficiently as possible. These include defragmenting computer hard-drives and running software updates and operating system patches and critical security updates.
When patches are not applied quickly enough after release, problems can quickly arise that create expensive downtime and could lead to cyber security events like viruses, malware infections.
Weekly computer maintenance is done for several key reasons:
- To implement critical system-level updates for data security. Once a month is too infrequent (a lot can happen in a short time) and performing updates “when the IT guy is here next” is disastrous. That’s exactly what brought about the Equifax debacle. A security patch meant to address a vulnerability in the software was available for months; it was overlooked by the company’s data security team, and by the time it was discovered, 143 million Americans had already had their sensitive data put at risk.
- Maximize your computer system’s performance. Over time, hardware and software will slow down, and it takes your employees longer to get their work down. Maintenance will minimize these issues on a proactive basis and will maximize your ROI.
- Perform system updates so your employees don’t have to. Companies who rely on their workers to install updates are wasting time and dollars. Your employees should be working on what you’re paying them for, not spending company time and dollars on updates that should be performed during off hours by an expert so there is no downtime or inconvenience to your team. Everyone shows up for work the next day with all the updates handled correctly and conveniently, and their computer works just as good as it did the day before.
- Windows system reboots (for both computers and servers) should be scheduled as part of a weekly maintenance plan (at the least, once a month). Everyone in your company should know the reboot schedule.
Big events or small glitches — either way, your IT managed service provider should be monitoring your system for any undesirable event that affects your computers or network. When problems arise, the monitoring system should alert your IT firm so they can take immediate, corrective action. This will ensure that a small issue will not result in a preventable problem that brings a computer down, interrupting your employee and costing you’re a lot of money.
Is that happening for your company?
Some issues your system monitoring can reveal are:
- The hard drive is filling up. After a certain point, that hard drive will slow down horribly and eventually crash (not good). When a threshold is set and nightly monitoring occurs, the engineers can clear space, remove what they know can be deleted, and contact the client with a report of activity.
- Lost power or internet connection. In a proactive situation, your IT services provider should be notifying you about the problem and the corrective actions being taken to get your users back on line as quickly as possible.
- Trends that could negatively affect your system. For example, is the power going out frequently? Is the building’s browning out? Power brownouts and outages will affect your equipment’s performance and stability, and disrupt business during work hours.
24 hour a day, 7 days a week monitoring and response by your IT service partner will prevent a problem that happens overnight from impacting your employees the next business day.
How Tell if Your IT Firm is Monitoring and Maintaining Your Systems
- When you have an internet outage, or your server goes down, think about if your IT service partner calls you or if you have to make the call first.
- When there is a problem with your Internet, does your IT support firm contact your internet service provider for you or do you have to waste time doing it yourself?
- Think about the times you’ve had to tell the IT contractor about a power outage—with you being the proactive one in the relationship.
- When it’s time for operating system and software updates, do your employees have to perform the updates themselves, or did they happen automatically, off hours, thanks to your IT partner?
TotalCare from IND
At IND Corporation, our comprehensive TotalCare managed IT services plans provide truly proactive network maintenance and monitoring—every single day—with services that safeguard your system, keep your workers working, find and address potential problems before they become big ones, and handle the big ones with on-site and remote support services.
We apply software updates and security patches, look for potential data breaches, let you know when your system is slowing down, and provide urgent one-hour response time for our New Jersey clients.
Contact IND today to find out more about our flat-rate monthly IT services for NJ companies and get computing system maintenance and monitoring done right!