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Is your business prepared for an IT disaster?

As your business continues to grow, so do your data needs. As a result, IT disasters have become more common. Most businesses are actively becoming more and more concerned about their capacity for storage and their vulnerability to avoid or recover from disasters.

Why don't all businesses have a disaster recovery plan?

The problem with disaster recovery is that until a business truly experiences the pain of an IT disaster, very little do much about it. Not many executives or budget makers see the benefits in investing in disaster recovery and backup solutions because there may not have ever been a major disaster before.What they may not realise is that most of a company’s lost data is not the result of one catastrophic event but the effect of multiple small incidents.

The costs of having no disaster recovery plan:

At minimum, almost 90% of businesses have experienced a single event of system downtime. This averages over the time of about 2 days. Let’s say a business has 20 employees, that’s two days with them being able to perform minimal work, that could eventuate in costs for the business in wages of around $8000- at least.. Not to mention indirect costs to customer relationships, service delivery abilities, falling behind in work etc.

Disaster Recovery Plans literally save you money:

Rather than waiting for technology to fail or an epic disaster to occur, taking the time to create a plan is a smarter play. An IT professional will map out your disaster plan and assist you with ways to ensure that your business will not be impacted with downtime in the event of a disaster.

Why is it a good idea to get professional help with a disaster recovery plan?

Developing a plan can be as complex as developing a major system for your entire company. This all starts with analysis.

Risk analysis: What are the threats and where are you vulnerable?
Business Impact analysis: What are the essential processes which must happen for business to continue?
Application impact analysis: What are the recovery priorities and requirement?

Once the analysing stage is complete, the prioritisation process begins. This is similar to what would’ve been undertaken when your systems were originally designed. Everything under goes review and then a detailed articulation is undertaken. The next stage is for the consultant to develop the budget in terms of both cost and time.

What are the benefits of using a disaster recovery consultant?

> They have specialised knowledge: you may have your own IT staff in house, but they will not be as familiar with this process as a specialised person who has created hundreds of plans in their career.
> An external consultant can see things with fresh eyes, allowing for different perspectives and an impartial unbiased opinion on internal issues.                                                                                      >It also shows a commitment to your staff: by bringing in an external professional, the company is serious about getting disaster recovery right. It also sends the message to everyone that IT disaster recovery is something the business should take very seriously.

IT disaster recovery is a vital aspect to the survival of your company. Make sure you hire the right professional who is committed to understanding and getting it right for you- the first time.
Call a consultant at AchieveIT on 1300 22 48 48, to come out and have a chat to you about the ways we can help you and your business develop a succinct disaster recovery plan that will stand the test of time.

 
5 Tips to Increase the Life of your laptop.

Not only do many people prefer laptops over large desktop computers these days, but they are also becoming preferred in a business setting as well.  Providing laptops to employees is extremely convenient however it can be expensive, especially for those businesses with large numbers of staff. This means that when given a laptop, employees should be informed on ways to look after it to ensure its longevity and efficiency.

5 ways to help increase the life of a laptop:

1. When you shut down or close the lid of the laptop, wait for the hard drive to stop spinning before moving it or putting it away. If it is moved before it stops there is a high chance the actuator arm could be shaken, which could damage the hard drive.

2. Perform a disk scan as a preventative measure around once a month to check for any problems that may be going on with the hard drive. It is also a good idea to look for any updates as they arise so the computer is always current.

3. If the laptop has been left on for a while, make sure that it cools off considerably before putting it into a laptop carry case, overheating of laptops is a very common problem.

4. If the laptop is going to be plugged in for a week or more, take the battery out. When the laptop is plugged in, the battery is constantly charging which can damage the battery over time.

5. Make sure employees take the time every few months or so to do a decent clean out of the laptop, inside and out. Remove the dust and delete files that aren’t worth having on the computer.

Did you know?
Laptops are not meant for our laps. Laptops actually need circulation to stay cool and to run at their best level. Using them on a flat surface is best so that the air can circulate adequately around the machine and keep it running cool.

The Bottom Line:
If you are an employee or a manager who gives out laptops to employees, make sure you know what steps should be taken to keep this expensive piece of IT equipment working to its full potential in order to reduce costs of replacement and repairs in the future.

 
An introduction to cloud computing

Today the business world is very different to what it used to be. Size isn’t everything when it comes to economies of scale. Today, network solutions that are available to the largest companies on earth are now available to everyone through the cloud.
The best parts about small-medium business IT outsourcing is that the smallest businesses can take advantage of capabilities that large businesses dominated for a long time.

While your business might benefit most from having some servers of its own and a reasonable IT department, there are many functions that can be outsourced to the cloud for substantial savings. In addition to allowing a small business to access functions such as managed IT support, there are also the advantages of increased capabilities for all of your employees.

The fact of the matter is, cloud computing allows everything from data storage and real time updating of saved files to anti-virus and antispam functions that never need to be manually updated. This is an added advantage to employees who can now just do their jobs and move along; it can also save the business from a lot of errors that non IT professionals can make.

With proper support from trained IT professionals, your network can provide incredible efficiency and results to everyone in your company from all around the world. While security in the physical world may be able to defend a small area, the online world works differently. While your staff may be spread all over the physical world, their IP addresses and the data they receive might actually be just as small on different continents as it would be if they were in the same office.

Having access to the security functions of the cloud can be a major advantage; this eases the strain on your internal IT staff and on costs of maintaining a secure network. What the cloud can really provide is peace of mind. Through giving your employees the power to access the network from anywhere, it lowers chances of downtime and gives them the convenience to communicate efficiently which means focus can be directed to running and growing your business.

If you'd like to discuss how the cloud can be of service to your business, give AchieveIT a call on 1300 22 48 48.

 
12 Project Management Principles: #12 - Priorities

Project Managers must insist that senior management actively set priorities.
Read more...
 
Game of Thrones Email Warning
Written by Craig Dennis   

Beware of emails reporting that Game of Thrones Season 5 has been cancelled. The link in the email takes you to a page that suggests that you need to update Java. DON'T DO IT!!

For more detail, check out Graham Cluley's blogpost.

Oh, and to the best of my knowledge, GOT is still in production!

 
3 steps to protecting your business - Part 3
Written by Craig Dennis   

Securing your business from Internet malware is a relatively simple matter,
but it does require some forethought and a small investment of money
and time.

So far we've touched on the importance of Company Policy and managing technologies. Today we're looking at Process.

Establish Your Processes

  1. Ensure all staff receive basic online security training and instruction in your policies.
  2. Ensure regular backups are taken of all company files, data, email and other systems.
  3. Change all passwords regularly, especially when an employee or contractor leaves the company, and in particular change administrator passwords or shared passwords to centralised networks or systems.
  4. Take security breaches seriously – isolate any compromised systems from the network and involve an IT security professional if necessary to ensure the malware is fully removed.

 

That covers off our summary of the three steps you need to follow to secure your business. Over coming weeks I'll drill down some more and expand on the points I've made in this primer. 

In the meantime if you need more advice feel free to give our team at AchieveIT a call on 1300 22 48 48.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:13
 
3 steps to protecting your business - Part 2
Written by Craig Dennis   

Securing your business from Internet malware is a relatively simple matter,
but it does require some forethought and a small investment of money
and time.

Last time we briefly discussed the importance of Company Policies to set the framework. Now we are moving our attention to Technology

Review Your Technology

  1. Ensure all operating systems and application software are updated with the latest security patches as they are developed – preferably using automatic update technology.
  2. Ensure all computers have an up-to-date security software suite on them.
  3. Every computer should have its own firewall software, in addition to any premises-based network firewall you may be running.
  4. If managing your own file storage and email servers, ensure these are also running up-to-date security software.

 

Need more advice? Give the team at AchieveIT a call on 1300 22 48 48 today.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:11
 
3 steps to protecting your business - Part 1
Written by Craig Dennis   

Securing your business from Internet malware is a relatively simple matter,
but it does require some forethought and a small investment of money
and time.

By taking action now, the time and cost will be more than offset against the potential lost revenues and wasted management time in dealing with security issues that are likely to occur at a later date if you are not properly secured.

When thinking about online security for your organisation, consider the age-old medical adage: "prevention is better than cure".
The essential steps to take
can be broken down into three categories

  • Policy
  • Technology and;
  • Process

Building Your Policy

  1. Decide whether computers, laptops and software are to be supplied by your company or by your staff – and reflect these decisions in your policies, purchasing and processes.
  2. Document a simple acceptable-use policy for any computer that is used for company business or media that is used to store or transport company data.
  3. Create an acceptable password-strength policy and ensure that all computers and other IT equipment are password protected.
  4. Require all security incidents to be promptly reported and managed by a business stakeholder.

 

Next time we'll look at the impact of technological solutions.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 00:12
 
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