Over the years, the price of computers has fallen but at the same time, overall IT expenses for businesses have increased. These costs are mostly attributed to support and subscription services that are necessary to maintain the stability and security of the computers and network. Today, the total support cost over three years frequently exceeds the original cost of the hardware and software.
For the past 14 years, Lanlogic has worked with our clients to control these costs, trying literally dozens of different approaches. Some have worked well and others were complete disasters. At the same time, we have studied the industry’s Best Practices, originally designed for larger corporate customers, and scaled them down to meet the needs of smaller organizations. Some enterprise tools from high-end vendors are just too complex and expensive for most organizations. Other solutions such as centrally-managed anti-virus, are perfectly suited for most environments. In the end, we have proven that we can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership and minimize downtime by following these guidelines :
- Purchase name-brand hardware with adequate RAM and hard disk space
- Purchase the extended warranty to ensure appropriate spare parts availability (Not easily found at a retail store like Best Buy or Frys Electronics.)
- Laptops, which account for more than 50% of new system purchases, are generally un-repairable unless you have an extended warranty.
- Schedule regular replacement of hardware. Older computers, like cars, require more support than newer computers and it makes sense to replace them before they break.
- Use a centralized, controlled and monitored anti-virus application for all computers and servers
- Use a network-based email spam and virus filtering service
- Use a quality firewall that protects you while you are online
- Use a centrally controlled and monitored patch management system
- Use imaging software to quickly set up new machines and restore sick ones
- Use UPS power protection for servers and network equipment with auto-shutdown signaling
- Use a backup system that supports taking the data offsite (tape, online, disk)
- Perform and confirm a daily full backup, when possible, to greatly reduce system recovery time
- Monitor server event logs to proactively catch problems before they are service-affecting
- Use SSL or VPN for all external access to your network
- Host your website offsite; this will eliminate the potential security vulnerabilities associated with having port 80 open to your network
These best practices are part of our 8-page whitepaper, recently updated to reflect current thinking in times of severe cost-cutting and risk reduction. Ask us for the complete document now !