Behind the Brain Power | What to Take Care of Before the Holidays

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Date: December 11, 2015 | Topic: What to Take Care of Before the Holidays

It is that time of year again! The time when business owners and decision makers are creating their lists of what needs to be done before the end of the year. This month, our senior management team talks about the most important IT issues that should be taken care of before the start of the new year. Take advantage of these tips and contact BECA to learn how we can help you check these items off your list!


 

Mike Estep | President: From a senior management stand point, I think it is most important to make sure you understand all the outstanding items that haven’t been completed quite yet by your IT team. Here are some of the important questions you should be asking:

  • Does my team have Server 2003, Server 2008 replacements completed?
  • Does my team have Windows XP replacements completed?
  • Does my team have SQL 2005 replacements completed?

December is a great time to visit where you stand and items that you need to get completed prior to the new year. A new challenge for IT is understanding how compliance is affecting your environment and how simply keeping it running might not protect you in regards to an insurance claim.  For example, Errors and Omissions Insurance continues to evolve, and while IT used to not be included, now it is.

 

Branden Smith | Vice President: IT is often thought about as a budget item instead of an essential component of day to day business operations.  At the end of every year, you should do several things to prep for the next year’s IT needs.

  • Review your short-term and long-term IT requirements.  This helps prepare for the next item, which is …
  • Review your IT budget.  Have you captured everything needed for the next year?  Have you budgeted for unexpected IT issues that may arise?
  • Next, review your security and IT best practices plans.  Do you need to make modifications for the next year?  Security and procedure changes cannot always happen overnight. Oftentimes, some planning may be required.
  • Don’t forget to check for IT subscriptions that may expire in the next 12 months (DNS, SSL Certificates, Software/hardware maintenance, Domain registration, etc).  Allowing any of these to lapse can cause major business disruptions.
  • Lastly, it’s a great time to do an internal IT survey.  Ask your teams if they have the tools needed to get the job done and what they think of the company’s IT support.

Happy Holidays to you all and I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2016!

 

Sean Barron | Chief Technology Architect: One of the things I enjoy about the month of December is that lots of people are taking time off, not working as much on the weekends, and as we near the last two weeks of the year there is a lot more flexibility for scheduled downtime and reboots. Projects are easier to get finished since the holiday spirit puts everyone in a good mood and makes them a little more tolerant of the disruption that comes with projects and upgrades.

And let’s admit it –  If you are involved in the day to day management of servers, you have a few of those super critical, always-have-to-be-running servers that do not get patched or upgraded on a regular basis because you can never get approval for downtime or reboots. Everyone is afraid of what might go wrong if a patch or update causes problems.  The last two weeks are a good time to address these systems to get them up to date and secure to start the new year.

Are your SAN controllers running a little behind in code?  When was the last time your Switches, Firewalls, and Routers rebooted?  Is there a failure lurking somewhere waiting to be discovered on an unexpected reboot?  How about a scheduled reboot to clear the memory on these devices to keep them chugging along and to make sure your HA failovers work as expected.

I always view the month of December as a great time to get some long needed maintenance items done and go into the New Year feeling comfortable about my systems.

 

Robert Rivers | Business Development Director: At this time of the year, companies are usually focusing on two things around IT: 1. Spending company profits so they can take advantage of tax write-offs and 2. developing strategies and budgets for 2016.  We are enjoying taking care of these areas for our customers. We are currently booking projects for the end of the year and developing strategies for 2016. If you need technology help and would like to engage with BECA, just let us know. If you don’t have a company that helps you with your technology strategy, please give us a call as this is how we start many long lasting business partnerships. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 


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