Learn how to avoid common hiccups that can affect your bottom line

We all try to take our health seriously by eating the right foods or taking the right supplements. Most of us even go to the doctor’s office for an annual checkup to ensure early detection and prevention of diseases and maladies. But what most don’t think about is the overall health of their company’s IT technology.
For most companies, IT is considered the heart of business operations. The vital organ that keeps your business beating smoothly. But in order for your IT to stay healthy, it’s important to consider an annual checkup—one that keeps threats at bay and optimizes efficiency. With that in mind, here are five tips for improving the wellbeing of your IT:

1) Move your applications and critical data to the cloud

According to a 2013 National Small Business Association (NSBA) survey, 43% of small businesses now utilize cloud computing technologies. As you know, external or portable hard drives can break down. Your company can minimize any downtime by utilizing the cloud which allows for easier backup, management of data, and the ability to share content. Most businesses choose a hybrid cloud solution. A hybrid cloud strategy provides choice and flexibility—securing private critical data from public eyes but also allowing customers access to data you do want them to see.

2) Put in place a Bring Your Own Device policy that mitigates security risks

You can reduce data exposure to outside threats by having a customized mobile app for Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD). A mobile app can require a user authentication encryption and password for your employees who use their own PCs and mobile devices. This way, there is less of a chance your company’s sensitive data will be at risk.

3) Deter hackers by encrypting sensitive data

The NSBA 2013 survey also states that nearly half of all small businesses have been a victim of cyberattacks. If your company handles sensitive data, consider utilizing database encryption as a safeguard. Although an intrepid hacker may still get into networks protected by an encryption. The success of that attempt will be up to the simplicity (or complexity) of the passphrase that you’ve put in place.

4) Follow a data lifecycle management policy

Consider putting a data life cycle management (DLM) system in place to allow faster access to both newer data and frequently accessed data. There are DLM products that can automate the processes involved with optimizing your system so you can store what you need for a certain amount of time and dispose of older information that no longer serves the company.

5) Minimizing downtime with a business continuity plan

When you consider that almost half of small business have suffered a security breach due to a natural disaster or cyberattack, it may be time for a business continuity plan to help ensure your employees and clients have access to your critical data without interruption. A business continuity plan includes offsite data storage, real time monitoring, remote access, unified communications, and cloud computing technologies.

Now you know the five tips to keeping the health of your company’s IT technology in tiptop shape. Consider an experienced team who can examine your IT platform and prevent the kind of threats that can cost your business dearly. Email or fill in a contact form for your annual checkup. As an IBM Business Partner, DTM can help you tap into IBM’s rich portfolio of solutions sized and priced for mid-sized businesses. We’ll work together to find a solution that fits your business and budget.

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