May 4, 2023
For most small business owners, dealing with your in-house or outsourced IT team can be a difficult task.
Having a managed IT services provider can help, but it’s still important to create IT checklists to help your organization be prepared. These checklists should make you feel organized, ensure your core IT needs are covered, and serve any new IT staff members you bring aboard.
Blade Technologies, Inc. has been tackling these common problems and managing clients for over 15 years. Learn which of our eight must-have IT checklists would benefit your business operation the best.
1. Your IT Strategy Checklist
It’s recommended you spend some time noting your company’s core IT requirements and short-term and long-term business goals. Respond to questions like:
- Why is IT essential for your company in future successes?
- What areas of your company is IT currently supporting?
- What new roles can you foresee for IT in improving your business efficiency?
- Is there new technology in mind that you’re thinking about implementing in the next year?
- If you currently have an in-house IT team, what sort of staff structure do you see your company having in the next year?
- If you decide to expand your internal IT team, how many team members would you plan to bring on board, and what will be the cost associated with this decision?
- Would hiring a Managed Services Provider (MSP) be more efficient for your company instead of growing your in-house IT department?
- What is the estimated IT budget for the year?
2. A Checklist of Your IT Risks
In a small and medium business, it is important to create an information technology checklist that evaluates your current risks. You should be answering questions like:
- What IT risks does your business face regularly? For example, if your company operates in a hurricane-prone environment, you may deal with outages, flooding, etc. Are you prepared for disaster recovery? Be sure to make a short list of risks that are relevant to your business specifically. Such assessments will help you arrive at the key safety measures that you need to take to prevent data loss.
- In the worst-case scenario, if your IT infrastructure were to crash, how long could your business survive? Could your business operate without your main IT system working? If not, how long could you afford to have it down?
3. An IT Checklist for Current Project Timelines
An IT checklist that best fits your company’s project timeline should have specific IT goals, both short-term and long-term.
Start by creating a list of goals and an estimation of how long it would take to complete each of them.
4. An IT Hardware and Software Checklist
Every small company needs IT checklists for small businesses or a set of policies governing how to acquire, install, and use hardware and software. Ask yourself:
- How do you determine what hardware and software you need?
- Who is installing the hardware and software for your company?
- What is the process for the procurement of new hardware and software? Do you have regular vendors whom you approach, or do you start looking for a suitable one once the requirement arises?
- Does your company have an established policy for operating systems?
- Are you aware of system updates, security patches, and upgrades? Who is responsible for taking care of these issues?
- Who is responsible for software installation when there’s a new user requirement?
5. A Cybersecurity Checklist
These days, everybody’s critical data is a target for hacking, phishing, or similar cybercrime activities. It’s far easier for small businesses to fall prey to these schemes than big businesses if they aren’t prepared. Your checklists should cover all security-related aspects of your business. For example, you should ask:
- Have you created and implemented a password policy that is safe for all your staff to access? Be sure to go over password hygiene, acceptable passwords, password sharing, mobile device policies, updated rules, and other tactics that can help secure your company’s passwords.
- When someone leaves your company’s team or no longer works within the profile they are currently working on, how is the access issue addressed?
- Do you have a plan of action if a cyberattack were to occur? If not, spell out a plan of action to be taken in the event of a cybersecurity breach.
- Not only should you cover the digital aspect of IT security, but also the physical component of it. Do you have established rules and regulations for physical access to data?
6. Training Checklists for Your Small Business Employees
Your IT staff members are not the only ones who need IT training. Everyone in your company should have a basic knowledge of what IT is and how it functions within your organization.
An IT training checklist serves as a good process document for any new staff or any staff member working solely on hardware or software.
Following the IT training checklist can help a company cut down on the learning curve and ensures the hardware and software are leveraged in the best way.
Here’s what your IT training checklist might include:
- A list of rules and regulations regarding software and hardware use.
- Links to user manuals and instruction videos with info on the software and hardware in use.
- A basic information sheet with a list of whom to contact if there’s a need for troubleshooting.
- Training schedules for each hardware and software, cyber threats, and how to reduce risks.
7. A Data Backup Checklist
Data backups are key to ensuring your data is secure and not lost in the event of equipment failure or a cybersecurity breach. This process should occur regularly. By creating and maintaining a checklist or policy document, you can ensure your data is secure by developing regular data maintenance routines.
A data backup checklist should cover:
- What are the different data sets that need to be backed up?
- How often do each of those data sets need to be backed up?
- Where (location/device) will the data backup occur?
- How will the data backup happen and who will be responsible for the data backup? Is it a cloud backup?
8. BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) Policy Checklist
In the current business environment where companies allow their employees to bring their devices from home to the office, a BYOD (bring-your-own-device) checklist is a must. This checklist should answer questions like:
- Who is allowed to bring their devices to work? Employees of some departments that deal with sensitive data like HR/accounting may not be allowed to do so.
- What kind of devices are allowed/approved? Tablets? Laptops? Mobile Phones?
- Who is responsible for ensuring the security patches and anti-malware protection is up to date on personal devices?
Learn More About Information Technology from Blade Technologies
With these eight must-have checklists and policies, you’re well on your way to ensuring your company’s computer systems and data are safe and operating at peak efficiency.
These IT checklists for small businesses help you stay prepared for instances involving security breaches or downtime that could affect your business. A checklist that is comprehensive, in-depth, and covers every angle with a clearly defined action plan can pull through any IT contingency.
But these checklists are only the tip of the iceberg. For more comprehensive help with your company’s IT needs (and the peace of mind that comes with it), reach out to the experienced Managed Service Providers at Blade Technologies, Inc.