For most, there is a conception that it is the large corporations that make strides in technology, with advanced software and the latest hardware. Small and medium-sized businesses, on the other hand, are seen as being behind the times with minimal security policies and computers that should have been replaced years ago. While it is certainly possible that some organizations operate this way, this is not the case for many.
Most SMBs understand the threats associated with IT and have the right software and policies in place to circumvent them. However, there are still areas that can become significant pitfalls. After all, information technology is critical for a business to accomplish its goals efficiently and effectively. If things go wrong or are not working correctly, tools can quickly become burdensome and frustrating.
Rather than overcoming stumbling blocks when they appear, it is essential to look at the most common issues that can arise beforehand. Let’s take a look at some of the problems that are likely to occur.
Weak Backup/Data Recovery
Without a backup strategy, a power outage, server crash, or simply deleting a file by accident can lead to the loss of valuable information. Also, consider if a data breach were to occur and a ransom was requested to retrieve the stolen information. Depending on how frequent backups are, most, if not all, of that data would already be saved. That is a much better situation than losing everything or having to pay a hefty ransom.
Unfortunately, situations like these are inevitable, which is why having a way to back up and recover data is essential to eliminating downtime and expenses. Of course, one can not set it and leave it. Frequently test backup sets to ensure data can be recovered and is uncorrupted.
Leaning on old and outdated hardware can cause significant problems for a business’s efficiency, leading to frustrated staff and customers and lost opportunities. When it comes to equipment, it’s not a matter of if but when it will break or fail. All technology has a lifespan, and while we would like to think we will get many years off of an expensive device, that isn’t reality.
It is for this reason that business leaders must learn the life cycle of their devices and standardize components and software.
Yes, there is nothing wrong with prolonging the life of a device; however, in some cases, it is cheaper to buy a new machine than repair it.
Lack of Employee Training
For many small organizations, there is the misconception that IT is up to the IT department or their partner MSP. While this is true for the vast majority of things, staff members need to be aware of how what they do affects the security of the company. For example, phishing emails reach inboxes daily. All it takes is one click of a document or a link containing malware to infect the entire network.
SMBs are the biggest target for cybercriminals, so ensuring staff is educated on the latest threats and what to look for can prove extremely useful to circumvent attacks. In the case that employees will be less than thrilled with this responsibility, consider using gamification to keep them engaged and willing to make strides in changing bad habits.
Nonexistent Strategic Planning
Instead of aligning business and technology plans, business leaders and IT are often disconnected. Some organizations don’t have an IT plan or the knowledge of what software will be critical to efficient operations. A lack of clear direction is a recipe for wasting money and mediocrity. Companies need to identify the IT infrastructure required to support the business, while also planning for the future. While worth it, this can be a huge task, and most small in-house IT teams can’t do it all.
It is for this reason that turning to the experts is critical. Managed IT services providers not only save time and money but help organizations with the things they don’t have the time and resources to address.
The technology and cybersecurity world is continually changing, and keeping a grasp on everything can be complicated, especially when running a business itself can be overwhelming. Simply put, small businesses cannot afford to fall behind. Don’t wait for an issue to arise, anticipate it, work to prevent it, and be prepared.
Partner with the Netzbahn and don’t worry about your business’s IT again. We understand that budgetary limitations and time constraints are keeping many organizations from reaching their fullest potential. Let us take on the projects and IT management that irk you most.