Are you a small business owner making these IT mistakes? Setting up and maintaining your organization’s IT can be a daunting task, so we understand if you have made any. It’s a lot to keep track of!
We put together four of the most common IT mistakes made by small business owners or their teams, and how to prevent them.
1. Small businesses aren’t backing up their data – BIG mistake!
Industry leaders in the IT space can’t express enough how important it is to back up all your data. Organizations may have new computers with an external hard drive, but one day those devices could fail and you may lose your data. What do you do then? There are numerous 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?
A good backup solution ensures that in the event of a disaster your business information is recoverable. One of the most popular solutions is cloud storage, which is an offsite solution. For more information on back up solutions read about 5 Key Practices for your Organization’s Integrated Backup Strategy.
SMM Tip: Protect your endpoints.
With backups, many organizations back up their servers but forget to back up the endpoints. This leaves employees’ laptops, desktops or mobile devices vulnerable to data loss. Often, it is these endpoints that have valuable work-in-progress documents that haven’t been uploaded to the server yet. Make sure your endpoints are protected.
2. There is a lack of communication among team members
Businesses can choose to have a team of in-house technicians or outsource their IT to a service provider. No matter who takes care of your IT, where many small businesses go wrong is they lack communication among their team members. When companies outsource, employees tend to be uneducated on the services the outsourced company can supply. They waste their own time troubleshooting issues when in reality the company pays for someone they can call to help.
Among businesses with in-house IT teams, the lack of communication is slightly different. A 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.
SMM Tip: Keep open lines of communication.
We’re obviously biased, but we recommend outsourcing your business’ IT support. Our clients can reach us by phone, by email, or through our HelpDesk for any question or concern. We pride ourselves on offering Drama-Free IT, so your team can get back to doing what they do best!
3. Small businesses are using old hardware and software
We get it: New hardware is expensive, and new software will require investing in training. Ultimately, if existing hardware and software still work, many small business owners feel it’s unnecessary to upgrade or update. Unfortunately though, it’s inevitable your hardware will fail.
It’s important to consider what your costs will be if you wait to replace your hardware and software until they no longer function? Even if you can afford it, by that point updating your technology will be rushed just to get your company up and running again. Can your small business afford the project delays and the employee downtime resulting 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: Stay up to date.
Some people think it’s enough to keep their software up to date. That’s only true until any new software is no longer be compatible with your old hardware. We can help you determine whether it’s time to upgrade to a newer device, or if there are any internal upgrades we can do in the meantime.
4. Your business has insufficient security
With continuous advances in technology, security in today’s business environment is essential. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t adequately 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.
10 Tips to Improve Your Cyber Security
- Don’t delay security updates and patches. Use a Mobile Device Management solution to deploy updates and track the state of your Apple fleet.
- Train your employees on how to recognize phishing attacks and use a tool like KnowBe4.com to simulate a phishing attack.
- Use a password manager to generate strong unique passwords. Use a tool like 1Password to keep your logins secure and organized. 1Password Teams is also a great solution to share passwords securely in a team environment.
- Use Endpoint security solutions (Web filtering, and anti-virus) solution to block viruses, phishing sites and inappropriate web content on work devices.
- Leverage Single Sign-On technology to unify logins to your various websites and services.
- If you have an office, make sure you have a proper firewall that protects your network and your users.
Curious to know how you score in all of these categories, take our free IT assessment tool for a drive.