Save Time & Money with Proactive IT Services

Save money and time

IT support services can be one of the largest and most unpredictable expenses within a modern business. Unexpected failures, mandatory upgrades and sudden staff changes can happen quickly and the costs can soon add up.

These factors are a part of the IT world and make IT departments costly, hard to manage, and difficult to budget for.

Switching your business to a proactive IT support provider (or managed service provider – MSP) can lower costs and reduce unpredictable expenses. Making the switch can cut down management overheads and reduce budgets to a fixed monthly cost. Here are some tips on how this can be done:

Reducing Infrastructure

It is common in many firms for tasks to pass through multiple devices before they can be delivered or shipped. Invoices, payroll, and deliverables are particularly the common culprits. When looking to improve efficiency and lower unnecessary costs, this is typically the first place to trim fat.

Instead of adding office clutter with more servers and devices, cloud resources can streamline these processes. Using cloud-based technology to do some of the same tasks as before typically adds more power and improves speed and efficiency.

Cloud-based services are usually faster and available to more users (both internal and external) at once. Files and services are easier to access and less likely to clog up the internal network.

Reducing the overheads associated with running internal servers is commonly a major bonus too. Eliminating associated costs such as ongoing maintenance, security, cooling and upgrades are some of the bonuses many firms receive.

Cloud technology has the power to simplify and speed up your entire work-flow while making large financial savings.

For most businesses, these savings can be put into critical areas of the firm where they can be better used.

Keeping IT costs predictable

In the world of IT, bad news is a fact of life. Systems failures and critical events will always happen eventually, it’s just a question of when. Virus attacks, malware, hackers, and hardware failures occur commonly and can take a single system or the entire network out of operation for days.

Proactive IT services focus on tackling these issues before they happen. Continuous monitoring of the systems can alert us of hardware issues before their symptoms even begin.

Antivirus, firewall, and security systems are also kept up-to-date every night to prevent threats from being exploited and data being stolen or held for ransom.

Reducing Downtime

IT failures that take your systems offline typically cost far more than the total repair bill to fix it as staff are sitting around waiting. Every minute your systems are unavailable is time spent not creating business income or value. The more staff you employ, the more the cost multiplies.

It’s important to consider the value of the business’s reputation on top of just downtime. Not having services available when clients or customers need them most can sour relationships. Your services may be the difference between meeting or missing a critical deadline. If your service isn’t reliable then clients may look at your competitors for a solution.

No Internal IT Hires

As every business owner knows, the cost of staff is far more than just their salary. Holiday pay, retirement, sick leave, training and downtime all must be factored into the total cost. Staff costs are the single biggest bill to pay, even in the smallest IT departments.

Proactive IT reduces staff costs down to a single lower cost bill that includes all your IT needs.

We train and manage our own staff to service and support your firm. By doing so, you get all the advantages of an IT department to meet your business needs without the overheads and management that are not central to your customer demands.

Proactive IT Services for your Firm

While IT and services are complex, expensive, and resource consuming; it doesn’t have to be for your business. Proactive IT services present a simple and cost-effective solution to meet your requirements.

We can slash your downtime, secure your business and keep on top of your infrastructure for one low monthly bill.

If you are in Adelaide South Australia please contact us on 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au  to see if our Proactive IT Services are the right fit for your firm.

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Christmas Holidays Setup & Installation

Devices

The holiday season is upon us again. Advertisers have released their festive adverts and stores have dusted off their Christmas displays from last year. Most importantly, shopping centres have moved their latest and greatest devices to the front of the store.

There may still be work to do, however, before we can invite round family a little maintenance, updates and set-up goes a long way to ensure the holiday season goes without a hitch.

Sadly, not every device is ready to run straight out the box. Not every device even comes ready to interact with others when it’s first opened. Each new gadget comes with its own setup and new things to learn.

Often today, devices, toys and computers require extensive updates before they are ready to function. This commonly means large downloads and lengthy installation periods.

In previous years devices have been purchased for Christmas, only to be rendered useless waiting for updates while large numbers of requests crash the company servers. This can be highly frustrating and put a real dampener on the holiday spirit.

Here is how DP Computing can help you this season:

Setup New Devices

In the modern day simply purchasing a gadget doesn’t make it ready to use. Often they still need setup, updates, and extra steps to make it safe to access the internet too.

Bring your device to us and we can have it safe and ready to use the second you unbox it. We’ll perform initial setup, get it ready for the network, and install mandatory updates. By the time we’re done, your device will be the first one ready to use. For relevant devices, we can install additional features and software too: line of business software, MS Office suite, antivirus and security features and configure applications like email.

Whatever the device we can configure it to the way you want to use it.

Transfer Data and Retire Old Devices

Getting a brand new device can be fun and exciting. Before getting carried away with the latest technology, we must consider what happens to our old data too. Depending on the device there are any number of dangers and pitfalls to think about.

Replacing an ageing laptop or desktop computer with a brand new model has the inherent danger of what happens to the old data?

These computers typically use hard drive disks to store all their data. When disposed of improperly, hard drives are vulnerable to being removed and taken. These can often be read and copied by thieves looking to steal your data. Old devices containing data need just as much care and attention as new ones fresh out the box.

There are many cases where companies individuals have had important information stolen this way. In some cases the information has been used to access accounts, blackmail, industrial espionage and even identity theft.

Mobile devices typically have some form of data storage too. This may store applications or media that has been bought and paid for; but also data such as records and photographs that hold a great deal of value.

We can help transfer old files and data to your new device and safely dispose of your old one too.

We can ensure that every photograph, video, and bit of data is recovered from your mobile device or laptop so that you never lose a single file. We can securely wipe and even physically destroy old hard drives at your request. We strive to ensure you keep every bit of your old data and not a single byte falls into the wrong hands.

Troubleshooting

It sometimes happens that new technology has moved so fast and changed so much that it doesn’t play well with older devices already installed on your network. Sometimes it seems impossible to even connect certain devices at all.

Often simple configuration changes are all that’s required to introduce two pieces of technology successfully. With the right set of eyes and in knowledgeable hands the most complex of jobs can be turned into a quick fix.

If your goal is for a stress free, fun and relaxing Christmas season and you are in Adelaide South Australia please contact us on 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au and we’ll get you up and running in time.

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Is IT Becoming a Burden?

Is IT becoming a burden?

In todays world technology allows us to accomplish more tasks faster than ever before. Paperless documents, remote collaboration and video conferencing have all lowered the costs and increased the speed of everyday business at an extraordinary rate.

As with most things, the benefits of modern IT does come at a cost. Consistent maintenance has become critical to almost every business. The IT department is now as important to the functioning of a firm as sales, marketing, or management. The advantages that come with modern technology more than outweigh the drawbacks – it is up to the business owner to balance both. In today’s highly competitive business environment the latest tips, tricks, and tools are essential to keeping ahead of the competition.

The Cost of Well Maintained IT

While good, well maintained IT is a powerful asset; poor, crumbling IT can quickly turn into a liability. Machines, servers and desktops need to be kept up to date with the latest operating system and security patches as a matter of priority and data requires consistent back-ups.

Poor security and data backup measures put both your own and your customer data at risk from attack. Regular security updates close vulnerable gaps, while backups protect valuable data. Strong security protects you against losing and / or compromising your own and your customers data.

Determining what is and isn’t good IT practice for your firm takes the knowledge of an experienced professional. Good security involves more than one managed system to protect your assets. Good data backup is ideally done daily, involving more than a single copy to both and onsite and offsite location. Without these basic steps, a business is as little as one glitch away from a complete critical failure.

Managing Internal IT

The IT demands of every firm changes on a near-daily basis:

  1. Software is often added, updated or removed.
  2. User accounts need to be added, removed, or changed.
  3. Permissions require modification to suit ever-changing requirements.
  4. Email addresses and aliases modified, created and modified.

Depending on the size of your business, the time requirement of regular IT changes alone is more than an individual or even some smaller IT departments can handle.

Many smaller firms deal with accounts, permissions, and software at an individual level. Wherever this is the case we generally see complications happening. Settings, software and services get lost and forgotten in the system and often cause cascading IT issues throughout the firm. User accounts are often left on the system months or years after an employee has departed which leaves security holes in the network.

For reliable and secure IT management, policies are needed to prevents bad systems. Proper IT management allows staff to get on with their work without technology getting in the way. Data is managed at a department level, accounts are removed for staff that depart the business and software is updated and installed by professionals. Using this approach the liability of the firm for IT failures is drastically reduced.

Managing IT Without The Added Burden

One of the major complaints about setting up well managed IT is the overhead that it adds to the firm. Staff costs, additional management as well as office space of an IT department is a daunting financial burden to add.

Staff costs alone can make building an equipped IT department prohibitively expensive. Qualified, dependable, knowledgeable IT staff demand a high salary and costly benefits. In addition, equipment costs and lead time to get up and running on your business systems drive the costs even higher. Some firms simply don’t have the space required to add an entirely new department to the business.

This is why, for many businesses, outsourcing is the most effective way to update their IT without increasing business overhead. Outsourcing provides modern IT for a simple, fixed monthly cost. Removing the distractions of managing an entirely new department allows the business to focus on doing the job they do best.

What We Do

By trusting your IT to us, we ensure that your systems are up-to-date, secure, working to their best ability and fully backed up. We can keep you competitive by allowing you to focus on running your business rather than worrying about IT issues.

Along with day to day IT management, administration, monitoring, and setup; we can assist your transition to the cloud (if appropriate for your bsuiness), setup remote working, and provide IT assistance to set up the latest technology that will enable you to succeed.

Allow us to help you do more than ever before. Bring your IT demands to us and we’ll provide you with the modern IT you need to let your business thrive. If you are in Adelaide South Australia please contact us on 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au.

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Common Types of Malware to Watch Out For

Infected SystemsWhat is a virus and is it the same as malware?

Malware describes software designed to act maliciously on a computer. The name ‘malware’ is a shorthand for ‘malicious software’ and describes exactly what it is. A computer virus is a single type of malware that can cause harm to your PC, but it is only one of many. Other types of malware are listed below.

Adware

Short for advertising-supported software, adware is a type of malware that delivers adverts to your computer. These advertisements often pop-up and are intrusive, irritating and  designed to trick you into clicking something you don’t want. A common example of malware is pop-up ads that appear on many websites and mobile applications.

Adware often comes bundled with “free” versions of software that uses these intrusive advertising to make money. Commonly it is installed without the user’s knowledge and are purposely made to be difficult to remove.

Spyware

Spyware is designed to spy on the user’s activity without their consent or knowledge. Spyware is often installed in the background, collects keyboard input and can harvest data from the computer, monitor web activity and more.

Spyware typically requires installation to the computer. This is commonly done by tricking users into installing the spyware themselves instead of a software application that they thought they were getting. Victims of spyware are often be completely unaware of its presence until the stolen data is used elsewhere (ie in a fraudulent bank transactions or stolen online accounts).

Virus

A computer virus is a form of malware that is installed inadvertently, causing damage to the computer and / or user. A typical virus may install a keylogger to capture passwords, logins and bank information from the keyboard or it might steal or delete data, interrupt programs or cause the computer to crash.

Modern virus programs commonly use your computers processing power and internet bandwidth to perform illegal tasks remotely for hackers. The first sign of this can be when the computer sounds like it is doing a lot of work when no programs are running. A computer virus is often spread through installing unknown software or downloading attachments that contain more than they seem.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a very malicious variety of malware that prevents the user from accessing their own files and data until a ransom is paid. Files within the system are often encrypted with a password that won’t be revealed to the user until they receive money usually in the form of bitcoin.

Instead of accessing the computer as normal, the user is presented with a screen which details the contact and payment information required to access their data again.

Ransomware is typically downloaded through malicious file attachments, email or through a vulnerability in the computer system.

Worm

Another type of malware is the computer worm. Worms spread across computer networks by exploiting vulnerabilities within the operating system. Often these programs harm their host networks by consuming large amounts of network bandwidth, overloading computers and using up all the available resources.

While similar to a virus a worm is able to both copies of itself and spread independently. A virus must rely on human activity to run a program or open a malicious attachment while worms can simply spread over the network without human intervention.

If you would like to make your business secure from malware, give us a call at 08 8326 4364 or via email on support@dpcomputing.com.au.

5 Questions To Ask Before Choosing A Proactive Technical Support Provider

5 Questions To Ask Before Choose Proactive echnical Support Service eBookConsidering a new technical support service? Find out why you should choose a tech support service that is proactive instead of reactive, what it should look like in the context of your business and how you can make an informed decision.

Click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter and access your copy of this book – don’t worry we won’t share your details and you can unsubscribe at anytime.

If you are already a subscriber and would like a copy please email david@dpcomputing.com.au.

You will also receive a free copy of our other great eBooks including the following so sign up now!

  • 5 Reasons Your Business Needs Office365 Today!
  • Eliminate IT Distractions In Your Business.
  • DIY IT, It May Cost More Than You Think.
  • Is Your Old Tech Dragging You Down?
  • Spectre and Meltdown: How you’ll be affected.
  • 10 Tips to Stay Safe Online
  • Digital Transformation – What’s In It For You?

As always, if you want to talk about Proactive IT Support and how it can help you, please give us a call on 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au.

Businesses Top 5 IT Security Problems

Security Problems

In today’s world, companies seem to be having security issues most weeks. These issues relate to 5 main problems. Is your company guilty of any of them?

1. No Backups

A shocking number of businesses do not back up their data properly. According to market research company Clutch, 60 percent of businesses who suffer a data loss shut down within six months.

Even with companies that think they are doing their backups correctly they never regularly test those backups. It is a step that businesses miss surprisingly often\ so don’t be that business that only finds out that their backup isn’t working when it is already too late.

2. Being Reactive and Not Proactive

Technology is changing on a daily basis. Attackers are always working on new ways to break into businesses, hardware is evolving faster than most of us can keep up and old systems fail due to wear and tear. A huge number of businesses wait until these issues impact them directly before they respond. This results in higher costs, longer downtime, and harder hitting impacts.

By responding to hardware warnings before it fails, fixing security holes before they’re exploited and upgrading systems before they are out of date: IT can be done right. Being proactive about your IT needs means systems do not have to break before they are fixed. This results in less downtime, fewer losses and lower IT costs for your business.

3. Poor Passwords

A surprising number of people will use weak passwords to secure their accounts. Even more will write down their passwords on a post-it note right next to the computer. In other cases many people have no passwords at all! Strong passwords act, not only as a barrier to prevent unwanted entry, but as a vital accountability tool too – when system changes are made it is essential to be able to trace back to the account that made that change.

With an weak or insecure password tracking the individual responsible for reports or accountability becomes impossible. This can result in both auditing disasters on top of technical ones.

4. Little or No Staff Training

People are commonly the weakest link when it comes to IT security. Implementing IT security can be a bit like having state-of-the-art locks on a door propped open with a milk crate when staff aren’t trained to use that lock.

Often businesses can justify spending big on security hardware and software but spend zero dollars on training staff to use them. In this instance, a little goes a long way. Security training can help staff to identify a threat, stop it at its entry point and avoid any issues that may have occurred if the staff member hadn’t had any training.

5. Weak Data Controls

Some companies take an ad-hoc, fast and loose approach to data storage. Often crucial  data is spread across many devices, copied needlessly and even left unsecured. Client data can be found regularly on employee laptops, mobile phones and tablet devices. These devices are prone to being misplaced or stolen along with any data they contain.

Most companies focus on the costs of devices and hardware purchased for the business. The reality is that the data held on those devices is always worth many times more than the device that holds it. For many firms, their approach to data hasn’t been changed since when the firm was first founded. Critical data is often held on single machines that hasn’t been updated because they hold that critical data. Such machines are clearly vulnerable, outdated and of course prone to failure.

Common problems with simple solutions

Each of these common issues have simple solutions to secure against IT failure. With a professional eye and expertise in the field, every business should be defended against IT issues that risk the firm.

If you are in South Australia and need help securing your IT system, give DP Computing a call on 08 8326 4364 or at support@dpcomputing.com.au.

Stay Ahead of Your Competitors & Budgets with an IT Lifecycle Plan

IT Life Cycle

All electrical appliances have an effective lifespan and computers are no different. Computers can expectantly fail after years of service or they may become too slow to keep doing the job. Hardware failures and IT issues can cost big not just in physical costs but also in areas such as productivity losses and unintended downtime.

Improving productivity, avoiding unnecessary downtime and lowering costs are the driving factors in which many modern businesses now choose to adopt IT life cycles.

IT Life Cycle

The IT life cycle aims to make IT budgets predictable, manageable and reduce costs across the business.

The process starts with a thorough plan outlining the demands of the business. By looking at how and where equipment is deployed, we can make the most out of the resources throughout the business. One of the first steps is to reduce equipment duplication and under use within the firm.

With this approach, equipment can be scheduled for upgrade or replacement at predictable intervals based on usage and time frames. With a plan in place, the focus of the life cycle can shift to resource procurement. As equipment approaches the end of its lifespan it can be brought in for replacement, repair and recycling. Old hardware and components can often be reused and recycled in new roles as they are decommissioned from their initial role.

By maintaining as many usable parts as possible we help lower costs of keeping efficient hardware in the front line business environment. This approach helps a huge number of businesses keep modern and up to date hardware in crucial roles where it can serve the biggest impact for the business.

Make the most of resources

Computers in busy business environments will always need replacement over time. It is important to plan and prepare for this time to avoid unplanned downtime, unbudgeted costs and losses in productivity. Doing so, helps to plan a regular, predictable IT budget and you are also less prone to sudden financial spikes.

The IT life cycle additionally allows your business to stay on top of software licensing, upgrades and Operating System changes. By moving old and outdated systems from your network, potential security issues are dramatically reduced.

Additional financial security comes from the manufacturers hardware warranties for businesses that adopt the life cycle. As new equipment is purchased, manufacturer warranties provide guarantees about the handling of any hardware issues. Depending on the length of your life cycle this warranty may cover all, or most of the duration of the equipment’s intended life. The extra coverage provides an extra layer of financial protection from unpredictable IT issues.

In control with information

Tracking the life cycle of your own firm provides invaluable metrics about how equipment use and deployment within your own production environment occurs. Armed with this unique knowledge, better purchasing decisions can be made to equip your business with the best tools needed for your success.

Money can be better implemented by getting the important high-value resources to the places in the businesses that need it most – the ones where they will generate the most value for the firm.

A key factor in getting the most from your firm’s IT is making sure the resources put into the company do not sit idly on a shelf or are not used to their full potential. This insight gained from metrics related to the life cycle ensure that management stay fully informed.

A complete picture puts the business management team back in control of its IT by allowing them to choose the best, most efficient and cost-effective time to replace critical systems. Firms can plan replacements and servicing outside of busy periods so they can operate without interruption and know their IT is fully serviced when they need it most.

Future Planning

With a planned, fully prepared life cycle, IT budgets can be prepared in detail for years to come and everything from computer systems to printers can be upgraded on a tightly controlled schedule.

Businesses all over the world have adopted IT life cycles as a way to eliminate unwanted surprises, lessen productivity losses and make the most out of IT budgets. Implementing your own IT life cycle can greatly improve the way your business operates and provide an advantage over your competitors.

If you are in Adelaide, South Australia, talk to us about how you currently do IT planning and we will see if we can make the life cycle work for you. Give us a call on 08 8326 4364 or via email at support@dpcomputing.com.au.

Should You Repair, Upgrade or Replace Your Computer?

Repair or Purchase New?

Like many things, new computers suffer from wear and tear over time. Our computers are particularly vulnerable as we have placed more and more demands on them every month. New machines are faster, quieter, more reliable and more capable over time. At the same time our own computers have begun to slow and sometimes even stop altogether.

There are many ways to address the problem of a slow PC. Whether frustratingly slow or no longer working; we are happy to take a look at your system. When you bring your computer to us we will diagnose the condition and find a solution that works for you. Often times the simplest solution is the best (and cheapest!). A complex problem may only needs a simple repair to get your computer up and running like new again. Whether a small replacement part, loose wire, or bad connection; we will find and fix the problem to give your current machine a new lease of life.

Many computers come to us running slowly, they take a long time to start up or are freezing when trying to load files. Often owners have reached their breaking point and become convinced that the machine is fit for only the dump. In many cases, the problem can be pinpointed to a bottleneck in the system. A single, seemingly trivial, part can be holding up the entire system and upgrading just that one component can make the whole machine run like new again.

Adding memory can provide extra space for programs to run faster. Adding an updated, faster hard drive (ie a SSD drive) can allow files to be retrieved in an instant. In both cases, a low-cost single component can provide a cost-effective solution that makes an old machine like new again.

Not all solutions are as simple though as your may have a fault. A failure of the motherboard (the backbone of the entire computer) may be impossible to fix. Typically, with the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of computing, a motherboard will only house computer parts that were manufactured around a similar time. A motherboard is almost certain to be incompatible with components built just a couple of years before or after its own design. Sometimes it may be possible to find a replacement board of the same generation that will work alongside existing components. This results in a cost-effective solution that keeps cost down by saving on replacement parts.

In cases where a replacement motherboard is not available, other parts of the computer may have to be replaced at the same time. Often replacement costs in these cases can  exceed the cost of buying a new machine.

We always give advice where it makes sense financially and practically to consider replacing an old machine. Think of the equivalent thing happening with your car. Sometimes a simple, non-expensive component such as the window wiper can fail. While a wiper is crucial to driving in the rain it is silly to suggest replacing the vehicle once it has worn out. A window wiper may be low-cost and simple to replace, but if the engine was to fail the solution may not be quite as simple. Attempting to make an old car as safe and reliable as a brand new model generally doesn’t make any financial or practical sense. Sometimes the best course of action to save money and avoid breakdowns is a new vehicle.

In computing, many of the same rules hold true. We always try to fine the best solution for your needs and requirements.

If you are located in South Australia give us a call us at (08) 8326 4364 or via email on support@dpcomputing.com.au to discuss your computer issues. We will diagnose your machine and advise on the best course of action to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

The Best Way to Purchase New Computer Systems

Buying new computers

You have decided to buy a new computer for your business or perhaps even a whole set of new computers. You can almost taste the excitement as you think about those sleek new machines and how much more productive your employees will be. There is just one thing left to do: actually choose which ones you need. This is where it starts to gets tricky. Most people pop down to their local retail store and look at the display models and then get overwhelmed when the salesperson starts throwing around technical jargon. This scenario almost always ends up with your business having the wrong computer. Here’s why, and what you should do instead.

Most retail salespeople are minimally trained
Unsurprisingly, salespeople are trained to sell! They may have an interest in computers and they’re certainly great at reading the words on the box to you, but that maybe the limit of their knowledge. Their main goal is to make the sale, earn the commission and go home happy. You want a computer to suit your business needs, which isn’t particularly high on the salespersons priority list. They are not equipped to deeply understand the way your business works and nor do they have the time or desire to find out. You are also more likely to be upsold extras you don’t need but can rapidly drain your budget.

Compatibility can be a problem
There are so many moving parts to your business network, from printers to routers, laptops to desktops and a variety of software programs that anytime you throw a new computer into the mix you could end up with compatibility problems. Salespeople don’t know what your current setup is at your office but may still make recommendations based on assumptions and hopeful guesswork.

Even the number and types of ports available on retail computers may cause a problem once you’re setting up. The last thing you want to do is end up with a collection of wobbly adapter plugs as you attempt to make do until it is time for a do-over.

Most computers sold at retail stores only come with the home versions of the operating system and MS Office software. This then leads to another round of compatibility issues.

Yes you can may be able to create workarounds but this then leads to efficiency and performance hits. It is best to skip the drama and get the right computer first time around.

Support could get tricky
Your IT provider will often stick to a handful of vendors to ensure all parts are kept uniform. That way they know which parts will work together, and should something fail, they can usually get replacements quickly. IT support providers often have special relationships with suppliers and vendors and can get special pricing, extended support and upgrades that a salesperson can’t match. Your IT budget goes further with your consultant, and not just on the day of purchase.

When you buy computers through your IT provider, you know you are getting the exact computer your business needs. They know your business inside and out, including your long and short-term goals and if needed will do more research before making  recommendations.

IT providers will also provide business class systems with business class warranties. Remember, you will want your computers to last at least 3-4 years of heavy usage, so it’s a good idea to buy only business-grade computers and components. While the computers at the retail store are equally shiny, they are rarely as durable as the ones your consultant can supply.

As well as selling you the new systems your IT provider will also be able to set the new computers up, ready to go with the exact software you need. They can strip out all the bloatware (unnecessary programs and trials that come pre-installed) and configure your new computers to your needs. Your employees will then be able to enjoy the new systems and take full advantage of the productivity boosts you paid for from day one. That means internet working, internal network connected, your programs playing nice with each other, printing without problems and all your settings data and email transferred from the old computer!

If you are in South Australia we can help with your next purchase – ask us how by contacting us now on 08 8326 4364 or support@dpcomputing.com.au!

4 Ways to Avoid IT Downtime

Avoid computer downtime

Technology is a wonderful thing, but what happens when the IT stops working? In today’s world IT is a necessity. Unfortunately, this means when downtime inevitably hits, you have a BIG problem.

Maybe it’s from a malware or virus attack, a bug in the system, hardware failure or something else… Whatever the cause, the impact is real and measurable and you need it fixed ASAP. Research firm Gartner, reports that 43% of small businesses close their doors right after a major data loss, and only a tiny 6% survive long term. The financial cost of each hour can be in the thousands, and the damage to your brand could be irreparable. While downtime will occasionally strike every business, there are things you can do to minimize the duration, frequency and interruption to your business.

Taking a few simple actions now may result in your business staying open while your competitor gives up.

1. Use monitored antivirus and firewalls

While most businesses have these protections, not all have embraced the idea of monitored antivirus and firewalls. Instead most small business setups have more in common with a home network than a robust professional system. Given that SMB are a primary target for malware and cyber-attack, you should seriously consider moving to the monitored versions. Our experts set up custom protection to block all attacks, both known and emerging. All updates are taken care of and company-wide protections applied.

2. Have backups you can count on

A backup can not only protect you from digital threats like viruses and ransomware, they also protect you against physical threats like robbery, fire or natural disasters. The last thing you want is for your business to be crippled by data loss. A robust backup system can be as simple as asking our team to take care of it, or if you have an on-site technician, using the rule of 3: one backup on the server, one unplugged from the server, and one off-site. If anything ever goes wrong, you’ll be able to pull up the most recent backup and continue as normal. Businesses without good backups tend to be down for days, if not weeks. You also need to regularly test your backups to confirm they are working and also backing up the correct data.

3. Planning

Nobody likes to think about their business flooding or being hit with ransomware, but do you and your employees know what to do if the worst happens? Having a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan helps you get up and running quicker and  minimises downtime. Everyone knows what their role is, what steps they need to take, who to tell and which systems take priority.

4. Monitor hardware for early signs of problems

Computer hardware is like any piece of equipment – when it’s getting old it will let you know! This could be anything from making noises, being louder or slower than normal or even system crashes. Each symptom is your early warning sign that allows you to take action before a crash that sends everything into downtime. We can even implement hardware monitoring to look for signs of impending issues. If the signs point to imminent failure, we can let you know and often repair or replace the affected hardware with little or no downtime.

Downtime is an unavoidable part of all modern businesses but your preparation can dictate whether it goes for one minute or one week and how often it happens. According to one study, most firms experience 43 hours average downtime per year, a number much too high for most peoples comfort. While scheduled downtime can sometimes be unavoidable, your business will appreciate being able to skip the panic of surprise downtime events. Reducing your risk is the best action you can take, making downtime a truly rare occasion. Even better, our Proactive or Managed Services can take care of this for you, stopping many downtime events before they occur.

Talk to us about ways to reduce your downtime. Contact us today on 08 8326 4364 or at support@dpcomputing.com.au.