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Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.[/caption]To make the most of your IT investment, you don’t need to be a technology whiz. However, you should have a plan in place for making the most of your company’s data. As fall approaches, now is an excellent time to examine your company’s technology to determine what’s working well and what could be improved.Is It Time To Update?Technology changes rapidly. While your systems may appear to be working well, you may be missing out on new ways to protect your business information, help your business run more efficiently, and better serve your customers.For example, to run some of today’s most powerful programs, you need a fast and large hard drive with significant memory capacity.You might consider adding newer technology - such as wireless capabilities - to older equipment; but the cost of upgrading a computer is often more than the cost of a new model.Check Your Power ProtectionLoss of electrical power and power surges are the most common causes of data loss and weaken computer components. If your business depends on computers, protecting the power source is critical.This is especially important if your area is prone to power fluctuations or electrical storms.An Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit offers both superior surge protection and, depending on the model, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes of backup power-enough time to save and copy critical files.The idea of a UPS isn’t to continue your business dealings while the lights are out. Rather, it is to ensure that your data is available when the lights come back on.Have You Patched Windows?Have you installed the latest version of Windows on your computer, and do you keep it updated? Do you do this automatically?It is incredibly important that you keep Windows and your software applications current. Updates improve performance, fix bugs, and many add new features. You should also regularly update and run anti-virus software.How’s Your Backup?Consider storage needs in terms of both capacity and physical location. Depending on the amount of data, you can back up to USB flash drives, CDs, DVDs, tapes, or an external drive.You might also want to look into off-site backup. Our Experts Total Backup System is an excellent backup, disaster recovery, and offsite storage service.Integrate Your DataOver the years, businesses tend to produce multiple silos of data. Your inventory, sales data, and marketing information need to be linked together to better serve your customers and increase your company’s productivity and profitability.Without this integration, you may not know who your best customers are or you could end up agreeing to provide a top customer with an item you don’t have in your inventory.