• Managing Your Company’s Computer and IT Needs Through Standard Operating Procedures

    Practically every company on Earth today relies heavily on computers and the Internet for its regular daily functions. Customer transactions, data management, sales and marketing, product manufacturing, and nearly every other aspect of business utilize computer technology. Your company needs to have solid standard operating procedures in place to set ground rules and establish guidelines for how this technology is used.

    Internet Use Policy

    It’s likely that most of your employees are using the Internet throughout the day. The Internet is full of bad neighborhoods and distractions. Your company’s SOPs need to clearly state what is allowed and what is not allowed at work. For example, casual Internet surfing at certain times throughout the day may be acceptable, but the use of personal email is not.

    Create your Internet use policy SOPs with security in mind. Set restrictions on what files can be downloaded or shared online, not only for the sake of employee productivity, but for company security.

    Hardware and Software Management

    There are maintenance tasks to keep your hardware up to date and manage any software that your company uses. Some programs need to be evaluated from time to time. Most types of software have occasional upgrades. Your SOPs should outline how these programs are to be maintained and kept running smoothly.

    Your hardware and software management SOPs should also include rules about access to software. Certain employees need access to certain programs while others don’t. Access considerations should include password management.

    Tech Troubleshooting

    With computers, things inevitably go wrong sometimes. With clear troubleshooting SOPs, any tech-related problem can be handled by any employee. Your company doesn’t need its own IT department to handle a vast majority of computer related problems. Create SOPs so that any employee can handle these problems. Flow charts work particularly well for troubleshooting tech problems.

    Security Training

    Included in either your security or your human resources SOPs (preferably both) should be training for all employees on security processes. This may include a bit of training on computer systems. Employees need to have a basic understanding of how data is kept safe.

    Computer and IT Security

    Since much of what companies today do revolves around the computer and Internet technology, it is vitally important to make sure all data and networks are safe. Security guidelines should be clearly explained in SOPs. This is important not only for keeping your company safe from attacks, but also for showing potential investors or auditors that you’re on top of your security needs.

    All security related processes should be covered in your SOPs. This includes things like managing passwords and access, periodically changing passwords, conducting in-company security audits, upgrading security systems, and making improvements to security systems.

    Your security procedures should also include what to do if your company’s security is breached. If your network is attacked, all of your employees need to know exactly what to do and be able to act immediately.

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