Take a good look at your network
Are your patches, anti-virus and spam/malware filters up to date? When was the last time you made sure that you had the latest and best-rated software protection, not just the one you’ve always used? Still using tape? If so, it’s time you looked to a backup and disaster recovery device with internal and cloud-based storage.
Take a look at the files you’ve been saving. We’ll bet you have documents, old software programs and temp files so old that you can’t remember why or when someone put them on the network. Clean out those old files and give network and workstations more room, fewer conflicts and a cleaner network. Often you can add life and efficiency just by getting rid of stuff you haven’t used in years and don’t need any more.
And don’t forget your workstations. Often they are littered with unnecessary downloads, items that shouldn’t be saved on the workstation, obsolete files, pictures, temporary web files and temp files that are just taking up space and clogging up your workstations.
While we’re at it, how old are the computers? New computers and operating systems actually have a great ROI – they are faster, have less downtime and generally are an investment and not an expense. And, really, it’s time to replace Windows XP – remember that there is no Microsoft support for XP after April 2014.
You should also take a look at your software programs. How many years back do you really need to carry information on old, out of business clients, vendors and history? You can always archive the oldest if you really need to, but why create enormous files of data that you never, or rarely, need? The less a program has to index or look through when you want current information the faster and cleaner the program will run.
Now it’s time for the most difficult, but often the most rewarding task – take a look at the processes that require the most time and are done the most frequently. Often we have found that legacy training – that is, training by the last employee following that process – is the most familiar but least efficient way to accomplish a task. “That’s the way we’ve always done it” is almost always is a red flag indicating a process or task that might be improved by looking at ways the software and general procedures you use can do the job better and more efficiently.
Almost all of us are working with fewer staff doing the same or more work. Even when business improves, workloads rarely decrease. Spring (or any time of year) cleaning of your systems, software and processes almost always reaps more rewards than the time it takes to clean up, upgrade, enhance or replace those areas that are bottlenecks...you just have to discover and change them.
For information about how SKYLINE Property Management Solutions can help you clean up and enhance your processes, contact Mark Ziemba at 312-443-7531 or firstname.lastname@example.org or download a brochure that highlights the features and benefits of SKYLINE.