Step 1: Gathering Information and Making Plans
What brands of gear, anti virus and office suites do you have? It’s best to have your PCs, Servers, Printers, and Network all be within their each brand. Mix matching those areas can cause headaches for support. I’d also suggest choosing specialists for your business software and Operating Systems.
However many devices you have, you might set them up on a rolling term of upgrades. That is, within roughly 5 to 7 years (what I hope you can get from a business PC), there would be a budget for new devices to replace. You would not do the entire business at once, but phasing by date or department. Hopefully, there is some sort of inventory of the equipment with its acquisition date (fixed assets list) that you can refer to.
Identify future plans for improvement.
Are some of the units past their prime and need replacing? What about hosting your accounting software in the cloud? Have you considered the possibility of having a private on-premise or hybrid cloud? These can save you money over what you have now.
Are there plans for expansion? If so, when might they happen? Plan now to be certain the infrastructure is ready, which includes your internet provider bandwidth.
Establish a generic email account for registering software and hardware
Software and hardware and registered to the company
All hardware should have an asset number and date of purchase on the back
Software kept by name, keys, machine, and release in a spreadsheet
Maintain all copies of software CDs and downloads
Administrator passwords kept in a spreadsheet
Register licensing, maintenance, and other related terms in a universal calendar
Create a document of who to call for support by device or software with codes
Escalation chart of what to do for failures with names and complete phone numbers
Next Step: Profile of your needs
This paper is one of a series created to help educate and support IT and other decisions for businesses for over 40 years.
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