What is IT maintenance?

As a small business, your IT infrastructure should work quietly in the background, ensuring operations are optimised. But without regular maintenance, your business IT could be creeping towards disaster.

The goal of good IT maintenance for SMEs is to ensure systems remain secure, stable, and efficient. What that requires may differ from business to business.

A good IT support provider will understand your business and how best to deliver the support you need.

IT support engineer replacing PC desktop monitor as part of planned maintenance

Types of IT maintenance

When discussing IT maintenance, a few terms tend to be used which are distinct from one another:

Routine maintenance

The basic but essential activities, such as archiving and deleting files and general checks. Some of these processes can be automated or done out of office hours.

Planned maintenance

These tend to be more complex, time- and resource-intensive network maintenance tasks. This could include updating multiple computers (or a whole network) and servicing network devices, such as printers and servers. This type of activity is typically planned and scheduled to minimise disruption.

Predictive maintenance

This is a process that uses data analysis tools and techniques to spot irregularities in your systems and operations so they can be fixed before they result in serious failures.

Corrective maintenance

The process of fixing a problem once it has arisen. This often includes calling in IT support, who will help remotely or attend on-site.

File transfer in progress on laptop as part of routine maintenance

IT maintenance tasks

General system maintenance

At the heart of IT maintenance processes should be the routine ‘housekeeping’ tasks, such as:

  • uninstalling apps
  • deleting obsolete files
  • archiving old files
  • ensuring storage availability and accessibility

From an efficiency and safety perspective, hardware and equipment checks should also be conducted. For example, a desktop PC has several parts that are subject to wear and tear such as the power supply, cables, and hard disk drives.

It is possible to automate many routine maintenance tasks. However, they must be carried out on a regular basis. Over time, your systems will become less efficient and minor issues may go unnoticed until they become significant issues.

Security maintenance

High on the list should be regular systems and software checks and backups, as well as employing endpoint protection such as regular malware and virus scans.

Preventative measures such as setting up firewalls and air-gapped backups as ‘insurance’ against ransomware or other attacks that risk the integrity or exposure of data are also essential.  

Remember: personal data held by the business will need to be secure and handled in compliance with GDPR regulations.

Failure to maintain network security can be disastrous for a business. The consequences can include losing all digital information, or a data security breach that results in a significant fine and damage to your professional reputation.

IT support worker logging maintenance work in server room

Updates and patches

Updates and patches for applications, and at the operating system level, should be part of IT maintenance. To run efficiently, your software will need to be updated to the latest version. This helps reinforce security, and any known software bugs or glitches will be addressed.

Documentation of processes

The maintenance process should be recorded, by keeping a log of all maintenance checks and schedules. Details of what was checked should be noted, along with a record of licence keys, passwords, etc. If you lose your IT maintenance provider, this will ensure continuity of service.

Outsourcing business IT support to experts

Your IT is the backbone of your business, supporting day-to-day operations, and driving efficiencies, innovations, and improvements. It is easy to ignore when it works, but impossible to ignore when something goes wrong.

At Micro Maintenance, we have built our reputation on delivering efficient, effective, and expert outsourced IT support services to small- and medium-sized businesses across Surrey and Sussex.

Our experience ensures that your business has continuous access to a resilient and reliable IT infrastructure that will deliver on your business needs and strategic objectives.

For a discussion about how outsourcing your IT support to professionals will assist your business, get in touch today.

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