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5 Server Maintenance Tips and Tricks to Better Support Your Business

Each and every day, you likely go about your daily business without giving your server much thought. They typically operate 24/7 without much hassle, but like all machines, they do require some level of maintenance.

This is why you need to take a proactive approach.

As you monitor and maintain your server, you will be able to help prevent a possible failure — one that could quickly turn into a disaster. To help guide you, we have created a little tips and tricks checklist. That way, you can avoid costly outages and unnecessary headaches.

Consider These 5 Server Maintenance Tips and Tricks

Unlike larger companies, you may not yet have a dedicated IT department. If this is the case, you may be currently weighed down by technical tasks that are somewhat out of your wheelhouse. The following tips and tricks are intended to guide you. However, if you are completely in the dark, it’s best that you seek the assistance of a managed service provider.

In the meantime, consider the following:

Tip #1: Update your OS

This may seem obvious. However, there are many businesses that are using outdated operating systems, leaving their companies vulnerable. All it takes is one attack, like WannaCry, for you to face a highly disruptive, potentially detrimental situation. The key here is to regularly update your operating system so that it supports regular patch releases. If you don’t, you may not have issues for months, even years — but eventually, an unpatched server will catch up with you.

Related: 9 Things You Can Do to Outsmart Ransomware Attacks

Tip #2: Clean your server

If you have your server tucked away in a closet, it’s important to physically clean it on a regular basis. Although quality servers have fairly powerful fans, that does not mean that dirt and dust can’t settle in the server’s case. This will increase the temperature within the case, potentially leading to a range of issues — including a potential fire. If your server has filters, clean them on a regular basis and use compressed air to access hard-to-reach places.

Tip #3: Check for potential hardware errors

Review your company’s system logs in order to identify signs of hardware issues. From network failures to overheating notices, it is important that you’re aware of how your hardware is operating. This is particularly important if your system has not been running as expected recently. However, even if there are not any apparent issues, checking your logs for hardware errors should become a standard part of your server maintenance strategy.

Tip #4: Confirm that your backup server is running properly

You may have already gotten into the habit of checking your backup system on a weekly basis. However, are you actually verifying that your backups are working as expected? Often overlooked, this step is imperative in regards to a solid backup plan. Even if you decide to outsource this task, you should still have a firm grasp on all the elements within your plan, including the schedule, backup location, and recovery times.

Tip #5: Move to the cloud

The cloud has allowed companies to reduce to reduce outages, which is why you should move at least a portion of your infrastructure to the cloud. This step will help you streamline your operations, hosting, data storage, and more — all while increasing speed, flexibility, and overall peace-of-mind.

Still in need of support? Please feel free to contact us regarding your IT service needs.

Also, be sure to read the following helpful resources:

5 Signs You Need an ERP System

Keeping your business running smoothly requires using technology that supports automation and quick communication. For that, there are ERP systems that can help you achieve these goals.

But before you dive into the world of ERP, you have to know when it’s time to jump.

Here are 5 signs that will tell you exactly when you need an ERP system.

1. Your core business processes are struggling

From accounting to sales, you need to ensure your core business processes and their respective departments are efficient. But if your core departments aren’t using tools that boost their efficiency, they can struggle to operate at optimal levels.

It’s not just internal processes that suffer – it can also adversely impact the customer experience.

Related: What Does an MSP Actually Do?

On the other hand, ERP systems give you the power to facilitate operational efficiency. You can implement ERP systems that can help automate processes and provide a quick way for teams to monitor progress using a streamlined dashboard all from one database.

With a workflow improvement, you can supercharge your efficiency and make your customers happier than ever before.

2. You’ve got limited access to company data

The ability to access crucial information from your company anywhere at any time is essential for all employees that work in the field. It’s especially true for salespeople who invest several hours of the day in negotiating deals and providing in-person sales consultations to business prospects.

However, if your sales team lacks mobile access to company data, then you’re limiting their potential to nurture their leads. As remote work becomes an increasingly popular way of business, it’s important to have mobile functionality so that your team can access all the information that they need.

Related: 8 Business Benefits of Having Managed Services

You can get this done by taking advantage of an ERP system that leverages cloud technology. For instance, your sales team will be able to track the status of a sales order while on-the-go from their smartphone device or tablet using a mobile powered-ERP system. That helps them save time and make better decisions based on real-time information.

3. You’re using several software programs for different reasons across different departments

When your sales team finalizes a deal, your accounting team should be updated with the information as soon as possible so they can keep track of each expense for the month.

But if both departments are inputting and gathering information from different software programs to fulfill different tasks within each business process, then your operational efficiency will tank.

Why?

Because each software program lacks direct communication. Moreover, updating and upgrading each software program can be time consuming. Conversely, an ERP system allows you to streamline your business processes and enhance operational efficiency thanks to its ability to work on a software platform that’s integrated using a single database.

4. Your IT support is too slow

When you have several departments using a variety of software applications, it can transform support for IT-related issues into an ordeal. Your organization will require more staff members and resources to constantly address problems with each individual program.

If you’re not careful, you can end up stretching your IT support thin, causing extended downtime, and even affecting your overall less productivity.

Instead, an ERP system can help simplify IT support by helping IT managers assess issues from one central location. This helps to facilitate quick and agile operations and increase business productivity.

5. You can’t scale with current systems

If you want to grow your business, you have to use the tools that will help you get tasks done in innovative ways. But if you’re using legacy software systems that take a long time to complete tasks, it can hinder your business growth.

Related: 5 Ways Managed IT Services Help Growing Businesses

With ERP systems, you can easily scale your business. You have the option to buy the resources you need and customize the system to evolve as your business does.

Have ERP questions? We have ERP answers

Whether your accounting is struggling or you lack mobility, you have to understand when it’s time to get an ERP. By knowing the signs, you can help streamline your business processes to enhance operational efficiency and your overall profits.

ERP is About to Get Friendlier and Smarter

ERP is About to Get Friendlier…and Smarter

erp get friendlier smarterEnterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are known for providing good information to key business units. However, it’s not often known for being user-friendly, especially in comparison to modern cloud-based apps. As ERP moves toward mobile devices, it’s important that the user interface not only accommodate popular smartphone platforms, but also be more user-friendly and smarter.

As suggested in “ERP software gets a makeover,” posted by Bruce Harpham on CIO.com, modern ERP solutions support the operations essential to a business’s success. For example, the accounting team can manage financial operations and the supply chain team can manage inventory and vendor information needed to fulfill customer needs. While most ERP systems have been able to keep up with industry trends, offering features aligned with new business practices, they haven’t kept up with the ease of use that many consumer apps have mastered. As many business leaders have experienced, cumbersome systems can frustrate users and lead to poor user adoption. Without consistent and proper use, businesses then lose out on much of the value that ERP brings to the table.

Improve User Adoption and Optimize ERP with Smarter User Interface
In recent years, ERP vendors have been making efforts to update the user interface. Cloud ERP and mobile ERP are trending, offering a next generation ERP that can be used on mobile devices, like smartphones and wearables. Improving the user interface doesn’t necessarily mean an entire IT system overhaul. On the contrary, Sage Software offers a variety of dashboards, workflows and other integrations that can streamline the ERP system you have in place. Sage is also partnering with other technology enterprises, like Salesforce, and adding specialized capabilities within their ERP products. Less switching between applications and more efficient workflows can improve the productivity of your employees and provide more value from your ERP system.

Businesses can take steps to improve the user interface within an existing ERP system by outlining how certain tasks are completed, in what order, and by using the employees that complete those tasks. Insight from the front line can lead to the most efficient workflows or forms and eliminate wasteful practices. Then, you can work with a vendor to customize the dashboards, features or functions that further optimize your ERP system.

Contact AppSolute Consulting Group for guidance with making your ERP solution friendlier and smarter to improve productivity and get the most out of your investment. By AppSolute Consulting Group, LLC, Microsoft, Acumatica, and Sage Partner based in New York