January is a time for making New Year’s resolutions — about our health, about our finances.
It’s also a good time for business owners and CEOs to take stock of the engine that keeps their businesses humming — their IT network.
But with any resolution, deciding on a course of action is only half the battle. Narrowing down those good intentions to a plan that’s manageable and maintainable all year long is key.
And where your IT infrastructure’s health is concerned, just two steps will keep its performance optimal.
1. Install remote management and monitoring software (RMM) on your network and computers. This auditing tool can track every computer, printer, router and switch on your network.
The most basic versions provide an asset inventory so you know exactly what hardware and software you have on your system. That’s helpful in maintaining up-to-date equipment, but also in determining depreciation for accounting and tax purposes.
Other RMM options can tell you how much memory and hard disk space is on each computer, what applications were installed and removed, and whether antivirus software is running and up to date.
The software also monitors network devices like routers, printers and switches. That means you’ll know something as basic as when a printer is out of paper or low on toner to the more critical — when a switch or router is experiencing errors on a specific port, which could mean something is wrong with a computer or printer plugged in to that port.
Does your Internet connection regularly go down? Are memory upgrades needed to improve server performance? The RMM will tell you that, too.
2. Just do it. Putting the mechanism in place to regularly take the pulse of your network is great, but if you don’t commit to dealing with the data you’re getting, your network will suffer. Your business might, too, if you can’t connect to the tools that enable you to serve your clients and customers.
The software makes it easy to fix any gaps. Here’s how it works. An alert related to an issue is sent to a specific person. The notification can be logged for later review, or if the issue is critical, an email or text can be sent to the designated troubleshooter, alerting him or her to the problem so it can be promptly resolved.
For asset inventories or updates on licenses and software, commit to running a report once or twice a year and comparing what you have to the latest technology. Are your computers past their prime, is your antivirus software out of date, are your software licenses no longer supported on any new equipment you purchase? If so, it might be time for upgrades.
Think of RMM as a regular wellness check and personal training program for your network. And committing to it will ensure your network is healthy enough to work for you.* Tita Parham is InfiNET Technologies’ marketing and communications specialist.