These days, businesses are completely dependent on computer systems. Brief server down time and brief power outage can be more than just an inconvenience, while extended loss of server time can be quite catastrophic. Many businesses are quite dependent upon a stable IT system, which allows them to perform daily operations, support customers and process orders. Some companies may cause a few days of system outage and this causes them to shut their doors. There are things to consider if we are heavily reliant to our IT systems. As an example, we should have redundant servers. We can backup data daily, so we can verify backup tapes, hard drives, flash drives and other media. Backups should be stored in secure fire-proof locations. If we have enough resources, it is a good idea to set up a redundant off-site system.

Service contracts usually include maximum allowable response time and in more serious cases, rapid hardware replacements can be required. We should install and maintain appropriate and updated antivirus software, as well as firewalls. It is a good idea to set up and enforce appropriate email and Internet usages policies. Software should be supported by developed and vendors, especially if they potentially contain security glitches. If we have custom-built software, we should make sure that we obtain the original source code, because it is essentially ours. If necessary, we can hire other developers who understand and know the inner workings of software development projects. Even if the IT system still works, faulty implementations can cause multiple problems. As an example, poor record keeping can potentially threaten our company. Good records of debts, expenses and sales are essential for business survival.

There are easy ways to prevent bookkeeping problems. We could set up reliable accounting system that records good financial transaction. Quick Books and similar systems may ensure us to gain a workable system. It is a good idea to use proper accounting system, such as reconciling bank statements, paying bills and writing invoices. We can occasionally print reports to show our cash balance, so we will know what we owe vendors and how much customers owe us. This can be achieved only by having good IT system. It is a good idea to have employees who know both payroll and IT systems. This should make sure that payroll records can be maintained properly and taxes can be paid on time. We may create the annual financial projections that show how much money we expect to have in the upcoming months.

IT problems can happen if business owners go entirely on their own without using external advices. Owners should be able to embrace advices from external advisors. There are things they can do, such as finding professionals that they are comfortable with. IT professionals are available in the market to provide us with quality advices and proven solutions. Depending upon the nature of our business and our own skills, we should seek our sales representatives and marketing teams. By seeking opinions from our IT advisors we will be able to ensure the reliability of our system.

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