Choose the wrong IT tools for the job and your business will suffer as a result. In some cases, the wrong IT can even ruin your business.
Here is a list of the common fails of IT in business.
1. Inadequate back-up
Admin, emails, finances, customer and business contacts, client projects and legal documents – the list of data assets that need to be safely backed up spans your business. Some SMEs don’t back-up at all. Some rely on external hard drives or discs, which copy over computer-stored assets at the end of the day or week.
But nowadays there is no excuse not to back-up in the cloud which is by far the safest way to protect as well as continually update your entire business. Cloud storage means that even if your office is hit by a physical disaster that destroys the premises, all the data assets – which comprise the real business – will be extractable almost immediately in any other location. Backing up in the cloud makes you bulletproof to all threats.
2. Poor security protocols with staff
This is an age old dilemma; getting your staff to create random, complex passwords – long sequences with special characters and random case changes on letters. If your staff use Password 1, consider their computer and everything on it an open book to the world. A good password generator can be found here: https://xkpasswd.net/s/.
You will obviously need good anti-virus protection against a range of malware. Security protocols can extend to flagging and blocking personal social media, pornography and other inappropriate use of business computers – as often these sites not only distract from work but invite malware.
You also need to think about business use on personal smart devices that leave the building. Have strong rules so there is no grey area here where malware or random people can pry into your business data. You can monitor devices for such use 24/7 with a good Managed Services provider.
Read more on IT in the workplace:
- Data science: A new pillar to add to the traditional sciences
- Where should the IT strategy sit?
- Understanding how to make a successful investment in enterprise mobility
3. The wrong equipment for the task
Make sure your computers are good enough not to impede performance in business. Better to fork out at the start, so you can do the job required than have to re-invest later.
Go for brands you recognise and trust and invest in long warranties. Consider speed of processing power and try out the operating system to make sure you are comfortable with it.
4. Reliant on slow IT support
Downtime caused when your computer or server is down can leak money and lead to dissatisfied customers as well as a spoiled reputation. If you rely on a ‘break and fix’ style IT support then be aware of the money you are losing.
For instance, for a £2m company with 20 staff, ‘downtime’ means losses of over £1,000 every hour. Because IT service levels have traditionally been poor, some organisations have been led to believe that a system’s ‘downtime’ rate of ten per cent is inevitable and moaning won’t change that.
But over the year, losing 100-200 working hours can make the difference between whether a company survives or not. You need to find an IT partner to work in a closer partnership with you if you do not have your own IT staff.
Continue reading on the next page to find out why goals can be misaligned, how IT is the skeleton and blood flow for your firm, and why the right software can be a game-changer.