Setting up and maintaining your small business’s IT can be a daunting and confusing task. Hardware and software can become out of date quickly and the high level of security breaches is a concern for all business owners. Small businesses use technology to complete daily tasks, to communicate with their teams and to provide quality service to their customers.
In this week’s blog we have put together four of the most common mistakes we have seen that small businesses make with their IT and how to avoid them.
- Small Businesses are not backing up their data:
Industry leaders in the IT space can not express enough how important it is to have your data backed up. Organizations may have new computers with an external hard drive but one day these devices won’t be so new anymore and you may lose your data. Relying on being able to rescue any lost data is a gamble that small businesses shouldn’t take. There are a variety of viruses and ransomware threats that can impact organizations of any size. What would you do if you lost your business data? Would you still be able to properly serve your customers?
Today, there are a variety of backup solutions that will ensure in the event of a disaster your business information will always be recoverable. Now a days, one of the most popular solutions is cloud storage. The great thing about cloud storage is that it is an offsite solution. For more information on back up solutions read our blog about 5 Key Practices for your Organization’s Integrated Backup Strategy.
SMM Tip: With backup, many organizations forget to backup their endpoints. This means employee’s laptop, desktop or mobile devices. Often, it is these endpoints that have valuable work in progress documents.
2. There is a lack of communication among team members:
Every business has the option to have a team of in-house technicians or outsource their IT to a service provider. No matter who is taking care of your IT, where a lot of small businesses go wrong is they lack communication among their team members. This applies to both companies that in-source and companies that outsource. When companies outsource, employees tend to be uneducated on the services the outsourced company can supply. They waste time playing around with the Wi-Fi on their computer when in reality their company is paying for someone they can call to help.
Among in-house IT teams the lack of communication is slightly different. A new survey conducted by Precision Sample on behalf of INAP surveyed 500 IT professionals in Canada and the US. The results showed that 53% of people feel like they play 2-5 different roles within their organization. This number can be lowered if employees and upper management had stronger communication tactics in place.
3. Small Businesses are using old hardware and software:
There are many reasons why small businesses make this mistake. New hardware is expensive. New software will require investing in training. Ultimately, their existing hardware and software still work. Many small businesses think this way but inevitable your hardware will fail. The question to consider is what will your costs be if you wait to replace your hardware and software until they no longer function. Even if you can afford it, the process of updating your technology will be rushed and unplanned in order to get your company up and running again. Can your small business afford the project delays and the employee downtime that will result from the failure? Another cost to consider is how efficient your company is functioning when using the older technology. At times, due to inefficiencies it makes more sense to bite the bullet and start updating.
SMM Tip: Some organizations think that if they keep their software up to date that is enough. Remember there will eventually be a time where a new software will no longer be compatible with your old hardware.
4. Insufficient Security:
With continuous advances in technology, security in today’s business environment is of the utmost importance. Research has shown that many small businesses don’t invest in cybersecurity because they find it to be too expensive. With smaller budgets, IT security is often the first expense to be taken off the list. Insufficient cybersecurity puts your organization at high risk for attacks and data loss.
It is up to management to implement a robust security infrastructure, strong security tools and training. Without these things, you are opening the door for a company data breach. Some of the key things to remember in order to improve your security include:
- Don’t delay any security updates and patches
- Train your employees about phishing attacks.
- Have strong passwords and update them regularly. 1Password is a great resource to keep your logins secure and organized.
- If you have questions or if you are unsure about something reach out to an industry specialist.
If you have any questions or would like more information about IT for small businesses connect with us below.