Office Managers Love IT….when it works.
Office Managers are often the unsung heroes of dealing with IT issues in a smaller office. They are on the front-line of all issues impacting the business, and any disruption to IT lands on their plate.
And when IT is not working, the office manager is often the target of frustrated calls in getting IT back to working again. It’s a ‘drop everything’ moment to get this problem resolved.
This blog provides some advice to office managers that find themselves in the middle of IT issues and solving problems. If you’re an office manager and frustrated with your IT support, then read on….
Today, many companies are dependent on IT to keep everyone productive, to service clients and customers, to deliver projects and documents. So when IT is not working, there is a sense of urgency to resolve quickly. And while many office managers have developed the skills to resolve some IT issues on their own, most will tell you that managing IT is not the best use of their time.
For IT to remain relatively trouble free, the office manager will want to have a few proactive measures in place to prevent IT problems from occurring in the first place. Proactive measures are the most effective way to avoid IT problems, ransomware, spam, malware, data loss and much more. The following are a few IT best practices to follow that will lead to a better IT experience for the office manager, staff and entire company.
Keep anti-virus/anti-malware software always updated. Viruses and malware can be very disruptive to users, at best, and can be destructive to data. Make sure each laptop or PC is downloading their anti-virus and anti-malware software updates automatically.
Keep Operating System on Auto-Update: Operating system updates ensure that hackers cannot access known flaws in your computer. Whether you’re using Microsoft Windows or Apple IOS, it is important to keep updated as new versions, or patches, are released.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): One of the most important cybersecurity measures a company can implement is MFA. Especially for software access that is cloud-based and for remote users or offices. MFA prevents unauthorized access or account takeover of the company’s software. While some may view MFA as being inconvenient, almost all cyber liability insurance policies now require it.
Train staff to avoid phishing scams. Opening or responding to phishing emails is one of the single largest sources of ransomware. Cyber criminals have become very clever in how they go about phishing and other methods of duping an employee. Enlist in an anti-phishing service that trains your employees on how best to avoid these email scams.
Backup and encrypt your data. Whether you store your data in the cloud, or on a local server, there are specific steps required to protect your data. For local backups, this data should be encrypted and stored in a cloud solution, such as Datto. For cloud data, you need to ensure you have retention policies with the provider, or another solution that preserves important data.
Upgrade your WiFi, firewall and network equipment. This is the core of any office’s network and impacts performance the most. This is especially important if you have VoIP as your phone solution. Best to have a professional IT company or consultant assess and provide recommendations if needed. Always invest in ‘business class’ equipment which may cost a bit more but is more reliable for business usage and more capable of deflecting cybersecurity incidents.
Manage your internet bandwidth. Slow internet performance is not always caused by lack of bandwidth, although your internet provider may try and convince you otherwise. Performance issues are often related to your internet being uncontrolled, with unlimited access by users. Today’s network should prioritize internet traffic for voice, data, video, security cameras, WiFi, guest WiFi and other devices that all run on your internal network. Very important for VoIP.
Have an IT professional available: The worst time to shop for emergency IT support is in the middle of an IT emergency. It would be wise to enter into a support agreement with a reputable local IT service company, or dependable IT consultant. The IT professional should have remote access and monitoring tools that provides quick and proactive service. Documentation of equipment, vendors, processes, users, and software is essential for professional support.
* * * * *
Office managers need a dependable IT network and IT support service firm that performs as expected. RIATA provides the quick response and reliability that all office managers need to help them be successful. Contact RIATA today and we’ll make your life easier.
About the Author: Tommy Wald is CEO of RIATA Technologies, a full-service IT provider located in Austin, TX. He can be reached at TWald@RiataTechnologies.com.