Most business owners would agree that you need to have a certain level of trust in your IT person / department. After all, he or she does have access to all of your company’s data and systems.
But what if you were no longer satisfied with their services? Could you replace them? Or do they have too much control? Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you know all of YOUR passwords?
Every machine and internet related device on your network has (or should have) a password. If your current provider is the only one who knows what they are then you cannot view, change or update the systems settings (in simple terms your hands are tied). You should also know your passwords to your company’s database and accounting packages so you can change them whenever there is a need. (Remember it’s important to have the passwords YOU DON’T HAVE TO USE THEM). If your IT person has ALL the passwords and they get hit by a bus or lose the password some way then your business is extremely exposed.
2. Do you know where your backup files are stored and if they are stored properly?
If you are like many business owners, you’re possibly too busy dealing with “crisis of the day” to think about system backups and probably leave these tasks to others. Remember if your database gets corrupted beyond fixing and your technical person is nowhere to be found, or they do not have a current backup, you might be in trouble – a lot of trouble.
3. Do you have all the product keys to your software?
Product keys are long, alphanumeric codes, usually printed on the back of the software’s packing material, which are required to install the software. Once installed, you don’t need them again….UNLESS your system becomes unstable and you need to reinstall the program. Always make sure you have these stored in a secure location.
4. Do you know where all the software disks are stored?
Taking a minute to organise and store software disks in a secure place could save you a considerable chunk of money and time in the event that you need to restore a program on your computer. If you don’t have the disk, you might be forced to buy the software again.
5. Do you know what routine maintenance must be done to your network?
If you’re like most business owners the very idea of learning about and keeping track of all the servers, workstations and peripherals on your network probably gives you a major headache, but it is important information to maintain. If you don’t maintain your system correctly you could be losing productivity right across the company. In business terms this could impact the bottom line results.
6. Do you know how to protect yourself from an ugly security breach if your computer expert leaves?
What happens if you let go of your IT expert and they still have access to your company’s network? What happens if you let go of a disgruntled employee who still has access to your system? What happens if your ex-employee moves to work with your opposition and they still have access to your system? As soon as humanly possible, you should disable their account including remote access to your network.
You don’t have to be able to do all the work yourself but you do need to keep control of the important things and know what’s going on. So if you were not able to answer yes to any of the above questions then possibly your IT support has too much control.
Action: To gain back control, get the answers to all of the above.
Please take into consideration ALL good IT providers (internal/external) who are secure enough with the quality of their services will/should welcome the opportunity to provide you with the answers to all of the above, if they haven’t already provided it.
If you need any IT advice, please contact Tech Precision. We’ll help you relax.
I will leave you with this emails quote:
“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.”
— Margaret Wheatley