Network Management & Maintenance
There are many essential activities a small business needs to focus on to keep IT working. The small business needs to plan, build, manage and run IT.
Silverleaf uses this checklist and considers area of IT management by looking at each focus activity in turn. Each checklist item is intended as a practical tool (not a detailed how-to guide) to stimulate the business owner’s thinking.
IT Asset Management
Much as we’d like it to be, IT is not ‘set and forget’. Keep an eye on IT to be sure that the hardware you have is up to the task, and that your service providers continue to perform. We regularly review whether your IT needs are better met by an external IT service provider, a cloud solution provider, or in-house, depending on your business growth.
- We regularly (at least every three years) ‘test the market’ to be sure that your IT service providers are still the best ‘fit’ for your business.
- We provide strategic guidance to discuss your IT needs with from time to time.
- When staff expectations of IT service providers are not met, the staff know they have someone to raise the issues with.
User access controls, permissions, & passwords
- New employees need to be added as new users to the network, and just as importantly, former employees need to be removed as soon as they leave the business.
- Creating and maintaining in-house rules about access, permissions, passwords and other safety, security and administrative rules.
- We work with you to allocate responsibility to one or two people to add new users to the network (this will be the ‘network administrator’).
Administration & inventory
- We have the ability to centrally discover, provision, deploy, update, and troubleshoot endpoint devices within your organization.
- We are maintaining records of software licences, domain names, service contracts for peripherals like printers, liaising with vendors
- We help you allocate responsibility to someone for maintaining all usernames and passwords for the online services your business uses in a password protected database that you can access from any PC with internet access in the case of disasters (e.g. Evernote or LastPass).
- We help you allocate responsibility to someone for maintaining a list of all service contracts. Only one person is permitted to call a vendor for service.
Network Monitoring & maintenance
- We help you track the up-time, performance, and general usage patterns of desktops, laptops, services, and network devices.
- We help you with monitoring network traffic and event logs for potential problems and/or suspicious activity.
Security, patching, & updates
- We help you with downloading, assessing (if necessary) and deploying security patches for the operating system and applications (line of business applications, back office systems and desktop applications).
- We help you put a process in place (perhaps a routine security audit by an external person) to check that security patches are being deployed appropriately.
Backups & Redundancy
- We regularly test your backups (at least quarterly) to ensure that your restore process will work in the event of a disaster recovery event.
- We can install a backup Internet connection (dual WAN) with automatic fail-over capability (if your business is Internet-dependent)
Managing your IT properly is a 24/7 job. This is all the “invisible” stuff that our network engineers handle on a daily basis – with the help of our professional, automated IT software with runs in the background, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.