Small or Home Office (SOHO) setup ideas
19th June 2018 – Christian Hampshire
If your idea is to grow your business, then your IT needs need to be ahead of the pack. Think about roads for example. It is better to build roads with more lanes (even if is slight overkill to begin with) instead of spending a lot more in the future when we know for well that there will be more congestion in the future. The same happens with computers and the corresponding IT needs.
If you don't have regular backups, security measures, cloud-based technologies, IVR (Interactive Voice Response: you know the – press 1 for sales, press 2 for accounts etc), and adequate software/hardware then it becomes far more painful and far more expensive in the future when you grow. Here are a few tips to make sure your IT needs are met while you grow.
- Try to have every computer/laptop with the same software and operating system. In the IT world this is called SOE (Standard Operating Environment). It means if one computer goes down for what ever reason you can continue to work on another computer.
- Backup, Backup and Backup some more. The word 'cloud' isn't usually properly explained and some people think that if its in the cloud then it's backed up. This isn't quite true. Let's say you are working on a document and by human error you've incorrectly updated the wrong document and hit save. Every setup is different, but if you're saving straight to the 'cloud' then there isn't usually a backup for this (unless you have version history). Backup strategies are important whether you're working in the cloud environment or not.
- Keep a log of ALL software you use, and keep CD's, License Keys, or downloaded material. If everything is on 1 PC (i.e. MYOB, QuickBooks, etc) and you don't have the proper installation materials – it makes restoring that PC so much harder and takes much more time.
- Keep all software up to date. Everything from Windows, to your Accounting software, to Adobe Reader, to Antivirus etc. We're not suggesting for a second that this should be done without testing on 1 PC first to ensure everything still works as expected, although keeping up to date has the advantage of security, new features, and keeping your Standard Operating Environment up to date.
Heed can design a roadmap to get your systems up to date, backed up, cleaned (ie. Folder structures), and inventory all of your equipment. Depending on your requirements, we offer maintenance plans or one-off setups/troubleshooting/hardware/software etc.