IT Checklist for Start-ups and Small Business

You’re planning your new business, have you budgeted correctly?

Technology is an overlooked aspect of most start-up budgets. You might think all you need is a laptop and a website, but there is much more you need when starting or growing any business. Follow our start-up business IT checklist to make sure you have budgeted correctly.

Planning

  • Outline of why you need IT, what it’s for and how it will be used.
  • You know what sort of technology you need to have, what it needs to be compatible with, and might need in the future.
  • Don’t buy what another company wants to sell you.
  • You have an IT budget for the next 12 months to replace and maintain out-of-warranty equipment.

Risk Assessment

  • Managing your data safely and everybody working in your business treat the data with appropriate respect.

Hardware Implementation

  • IT Projects are outlined on how they are going to be achieved, when and what needs to be delivered.
  • Make sure the equipment you buy is suitable for your business and a business network environment.

Software

  • Customising software can be expensive, asking a professional might help you find an “out-of-the-box” option, this can save you money, and won’t become outdated as quickly.
  • Subscription software is appropriately downloaded and kept up-to-date.

Security

  • Tasking at least one person for downloading, assessing and deploying security patches for computers, servers and mobile devices.
  • Put processes in place to ensure security patches are being deployed appropriately.
  • You have anti-virus software that is up to date and runs regular scans.
  • Your anti-virus program addresses viruses, Trojans, spyware, key-logging software and warns against suspect web pages.
  • Your users know to be vigilant for phishing emails that may contain malware.

Administration

  • Allocating responsibility to a staff member to keep a list of what software and licences are currently being used and where that software is located.
  • Complying with and understanding software licence agreements and protecting your business’s assets.

Managing

  • Regularly reviewing your IT for out-of-warranty equipment and replace if such technology is required for business.
  • When staff expectations of IT services are not met, the staff know they have someone to who they can raise the issue.

Disaster Recovery

  • You have a plan in place for how to get your business up and running again.

Users

  • You can quickly and easily change online passwords when employees depart.
  • You can remotely disable or wipe mobile devices that are company property.

Network

  • Your wireless network is secured with encrypted security channels rather than an open Wi-Fi connection.
  • You have consulted with a professional to ensure your operating system are network is secure
  • Establishing a relationship with a specialist who is familiar with your business needs and how your network is set up.

Shared folders

  • Your business has rules so people can see the data they need for their job.
    • Cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive come with risks.

Use

  • Do not use USB or external hard drives from an unfamiliar source without the device being scanned on a known secure machine that is disconnected from a vital network.
  • Be vigilant of information shared on social media. Personal information may be used to “social engineer” access to company data.

Backups

  • Backups disks are routinely keep stored off-site in a secure location.
  • Critical business data is not stored on an easily lost USB stick.
  • You have backup processes that provide off-line, reliable and disconnected backups.
  • Regular reviews of backup logs for any issues
  • Regularly test that you can restore data from backups.

Server Management

  • Consider a cloud equivalent to your existing server if it would be more suitable for your business.
  • Establishing a relationship with a professional in the field, who is familiar with your business and can be available on short notice to set up or fix a server issue.

For any help or consultation, please contact Next Digital today. We can help with vendor coordination, installation or even full-service cloud-based systems. Our personalized IT solutions fit your business, from a small start-up to a large enterprise, Next Digital scales with your business needs.

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