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IT maintenance plan - server network

Why Every Business Should Have an IT Maintenance Plan

Why Every Business Should Have an IT Maintenance Plan 2048 1365 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

IT maintenance plan - server networkIT network plays a crucial role in every business. In fact, it’s your company’s lifeline because everything – from product creation to customer support – happens around a computer network. The bottom line? It’s extremely difficult to manage a business without a reliable network.

But don’t just settle for creating one. It’s imperative that you implement a regular IT maintenance plan.

The Challenge of Utilizing Computer Networks

It gets harder to manage a computer network as your business grows. Things become more complicated. There are more issues to fix and problems to watch out for, like bugs and viruses. Just recently, the entire web was abuzz with Heartbleed, which some consider the deepest security hole ever. According to reports, the bug has put around two-thirds of the planet’s websites at risk. Because this security threat is so strong, many users are worried about the safety of their online data and have taken measures to protect their identity.

It’s scarier for businesses. Fears of compromised data can lead to lost customers. That is why it’s important for businesses to have an IT maintenance plan in place. This may not completely avoid issues like Heartbleed, but it can definitely minimize the impact to clients and customers.

Having IT Maintenance Protects Your Business

There are many benefits to having an IT maintenance plan:

It ensures increased productivity

To make sure everything runs smoothly, your computer network must be at its peak. It must perform well to make sure that everyone in the company will be able to accomplish tasks seamlessly. Regular maintenance will let you monitor potential problems in your IT systems. By having someone always looking out for impending issues, like downtimes, you can rest assured that key aspects of the business are well taken care of.

It avoids unexpected high repair costs

You’re likely to spend more on repair as compared to regular maintenance. When something breaks down, you have no other choice but to find someone to fix the problem immediately. You can’t risk letting another minute go by without resolving the problem because it will worsen the damage and lead you to lose potential sales.
Some business owners feel monthly maintenance fees are extra expenses that they can opt out of, but what they don’t realize is that when something happens, it’s a lot more expensive to solve the issue because it often requires new equipment and takes too long to finish. Remember, fixing something before it actually breaks down is always more cost-effective.

It ensures work isn’t disrupted

Every minute of downtime will cost you money. Remember that time is money and you must find ways to maximize your most important resources: manpower and time. IT maintenance will minimize, if not completely eliminate, downtimes and other system issues that disrupt work and affect output.

It enhances security

In this age, security matters a lot especially for businesses that deal with critical data. Security breaches are not uncommon and they can happen very easily. IT systems that are not properly maintained are susceptible to attacks. They’ll be vulnerable to virus infections and hacking. Additionally, compromised systems make for bad publicity.

It keeps your business from losing money

When IT systems work fine you don’t have to pay for exorbitant fees technicians charge. Expect to spend even more when experts discover heavily damaged parts. But what’s more alarming is the money you’ll lose from the hours (or days) when your system isn’t working well.Downtimes are very costly, and the only thing standing between you and costly repairs is a reliable IT maintenance plan.

It minimizes the effects of system disruptions

Ultimately, IT systems will fail at one point. There’s no stopping that and the only way to stay on top of things is to minimize the effects. You must have a way to retrieve important data (i.e. having a solid backup solution) prevent it from happening again.

It helps you keep customer relations strong

Perhaps the most important reason for having an IT maintenance plan is keeping customers satisfied and happy. And one of the things that keep customers happy is the knowledge that their data is secure and that you can continue to give them reliable, uninterrupted, and top-notch services.

If you’re still on the fence about getting an IT maintenance plan, think about this: it gives you the chance to take a proactive approach in protecting every single aspect of your business. It’s crucial in making sure you continue to provide excellent service to your customers.

Why SEO is Important to Every Online Business

Why SEO is Important to Every Online Business 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

It takes more than just a snazzy website and great copy to land customers. Even with the best website design, a low ranking on search engines may mean that you are missing out on profitable customers and engagement. And with more than 100 billion searches conducted globally every month, it’s hard to ignore the importance of good SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Here are five reasons why SEO is important to your business:

Most People Use Search Engines

The fact that most people rely heavily on search engines to find information is the leading reasons to optimize your website for search. Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, meaning that it should be the first order of business for companies trying to expand their business through their website. In fact, the vast majority of Internet users use search engines in order to find information they need, with 92 percent of Internet users using search, and 56 percent reporting that they use search regularly.

With people turning to search engines as their first choice in finding the information that they want, it’s obvious that being ranked well will expose your business to the maximum number of possible customers.

More Traffic

By getting keywords or terms related to your business to the top of the search engine rankings, you will be able to receive a major boost in traffic. Consider this mind boggling statistic: search results that appear on the first page of a search receive 90 percent of all traffic, with the top three search results receiving more than 60 percent of all traffic, and the top result receiving a full third of ALL traffic for that term. Simply moving up a few spots on the search list can therefore make a huge difference on the number of users who will visit your website, which will in turn have a positive impact on sales and interaction.

Targeted Traffic

The fact that a good search engine ranking sends your website traffic specifically on a key word or phrase is probably the biggest reason why SEO is so important. While it’s great if you do manage to get large amounts of traffic, your traffic simply won’t convert into sales if people are uninterested in the product that you’re selling. With good SEO, the customers that want exactly what you’re offering will be the first to visit your website, ensuring that you both are satisfied as efficiently as possible.

Cost Effective Advertising

Many businesses don’t realise that SEO is actually a relatively inexpensive and complementary method of advertising. With the cost of paid search marketing through popular programs such as Adwords increasing, it’s becoming more and more expensive to reach the potential customers you may want. However, it costs very little to implement a successful SEO programme. Not only that, but many internet users report that they prefer organic search results to paid results, meaning that you may actually get a better return on investment by focusing on SEO over paid advertising.

Branding and Credibility

Simply having your website appear at the top of search engine rankings can improve your branding and credibility. By getting your business name close to the top of search queries, you’ll quickly be able to garner a high level of name recognition. As a result, people will begin to gain trust, and will therefore be more likely to purchase from you or take advice you offer.

Even if you haven’t begun to focus your efforts on SEO, it certainly isn’t too late to start. Greenlight ITC will be happy to improve your SEO ranking, thereby providing you with more leads, customers and revenue. Contact Greenlight today for a free site audit on your site, and we’ll help get your site up to the top of the search engine list.

CDN: Is Your Slow Website Losing You Sales?

CDN: Is Your Slow Website Losing You Sales? 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

As a business owner, you know that it is important to have a website, but have you ever thought about using the same technologies and techniques as the big boys?

What is a Content Distribution Network?

One tool that large e-commerce players use for site speed optimisation up and secure their sites is a CDN (Content Delivery Network). Only a few years ago, these were expensive, and only for enterprise customers. Fortunately for us, technology, and market forces have pushed the prices down to a point that even a Small Business can afford.

More sophisticated CDNs can also optimise the underlying pages and images, as well as provide web site security, but more on this later.  So why would even a small web site need a basic CDN?

Every web page is made up of a number elements, this includes things like text, images and often videos.  Now the further away geographically the user is to the website, the slower it is, right?

So rather than bringing the user to the same country as the website (costly!), we bring as much of the website as possible to the same country as the user.  For the visually inclined, here’s a diagram about CDNs from Wikipedia.

Content Distribution Network

A CDN is basically a collection of web servers in data centres around the globe. In its simplest form, each of these web servers keeps a local copy of pieces of your website, typically the parts that don’t change often, such as images.

This improves web site experience for the end user.  Why would we want to do this?  Well there are two main benefits.

Firstly studies show that if websites run faster, end users are likely to spend more time on them, and it also increases their likelihood to buy online.  In fact, a study by U.S. Research Company Aberdeen Group found that a 1-second delay in page load time can result in:

  • 7% fewer conversions
  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction

Worst case, really slow web sites will frustrate users to the point where they will leave, with your competition only one click away.  However studies have shown that even improving site speed by a few seconds per page load can have a 5 to 10% increase in online sales.

Secondly, the guys at Google are pretty smart.  In many ways, they have programmed their search algorithms to behave like users.  This means that if your website responds faster, your site will actually rank a bit higher in organic searches. While site speed is only a small factor in your overall rank, but every little bit helps.

Mike, That Sounds Too Good To Be True.

If all this sounds too good to be true, there are a few things to be aware of.  The first thing is that if it is not managed properly, web content can become ‘stale’.  By this we mean the CDN can display yesterday’s news, rather than up to the minute content.  The other thing is that your website reporting and analytics can also be affected.  However if you have the right team of web infrastructure specialists, all these issues can be easily overcome.

Now CDNs won’t solve every website performance problem.  Over-crowded web hosts, cheap offshore web-hosting, and poorly written content management systems will still likely need to be addressed.

However, you no longer need to spend thousands to get your website rebuilt and optimised.  Instead a CDN can be a very cost effective way to get some extra speed, especially for overseas visitors, and maybe even a boost to your sales.