Man Vs. Machine: Common Problems With IT
Your information technology, your hardware, software, and internal networks can offer your business significant advantages.
They can help you work and communicate more efficiently. They can help you automate more of the processes that would manually take up a lot of time. They make the process of storing information much more convenient and inexpensive.
However, tech is not without its problems, often when paired with a business that hasn’t put the proper thought into how it should be integrated.
Here, we will look at some of the most common concerns regarding IT in your business and how you can work around them.
Serious security risks
As far as the business risks regarding IT goes, there’s nothing more serious or dangerous than a failure to fully secure your business systems.
Viruses can erase your data and make hardware unusable. Spyware and hacking can be used to steal valuable information, including customer data. Ransomware can be used to lock systems up entirely.
Anti-malware software and premium firewalls can be used to offer a layer of security, but that has to be enforced alongside best practices from your employees, too.
IT security training can include password management, access levels, how to leave a workstation without compromising security, and so on.
It’s not just a one-time course, either. Security protocols should involve ongoing information and training so that your team never gets complacent.
Implementing tech without purpose
As with all things in the business, you want to keep your software and hardware use as cost-effective as possible. Most good software costs money, as does all hardware.
Beyond looking for discounts where possible, the best way to ensure cost-effectiveness is to know why you’re actually implementing a certain tool.
Some software packages can sound impressively loaded with features, and they can increase business returns, but only if you know what you’re doing with them.
Plan new IT integration according to your needs and the objective of fulfilling certain goals or making certain processes easier.
If you buy new software then retroactively try to fit your processes and organisation to it, you might be wasting time trying to learn new procedures you’re not going to use in the end.
Troubleshooting takes time
Your IT should be helping you become more efficient but there are times it can do the exact opposite. Hardware malfunctions and software runs into bugs, it’s an inevitability.
But how do you handle the inevitability when it arrives? If you spend your time Googling solutions and troubleshooting yourself when you know little about the systems you’re trying to fix, you could be wasting hours every time it happens.
Outsourced IT support isn’t just there to help you implement your systems. It’s an easy way to get access to expertise that can fix your systems much more quickly than you might be able to.
What’s more, it frees up your time and your employee’s time so that an IT problem doesn’t become as much of a workplace interruption.
Losing your data
As mentioned, there are risks to the data that your business might rely on. Hacking, spyware, and viruses are just some of them.
Equipment failure, employee error, and other issues can cause you to lose financial data, important documents, project plans, and much more.
There is one solution and it should be preached as widely as possible. If your business has any data worth protecting, you should make regular backups a part of your schedule.
It’s becoming a lot easier with the popularity of Cloud storage solutions to keep a backup copy of your data securely stored elsewhere.
Besides using the Cloud, you should consider keeping a physical copy in some hardware storage devices, as well.
The reactive approach instead of the proactive
Backing up your data is just one of the ways that you can proactively ensure that your business isn’t too badly harmed by data loss.
You should take the same approach to hardware failures and malfunctions, too. IT support and technicians can help you get back up on your feet, but by implementing a maintenance schedule for all systems, your systems are less likely to fail as often in the first place.
The concept is simple: the more care you take of your hardware and software in advance, the less likely it is to suffer wear-and-tear, slowdowns, and other causes of lost time.
Your business might very well come to rely on uninterrupted access to your systems, software, and the internet. But that’s not always easy to guarantee.
For instance, power outages are becoming more disastrous to businesses that rely heavily on IT, and internet connectivity issues can dramatically decrease the productivity of the team.
The answer to both these problems, as with your data, is to have a backup available. UPS, or uninterruptible power sources, can ensure your systems always have power even if the mains go down.
Businesses should consider investing in alternative internet connections in case their landline goes down, too. USB dongles may be more expensive than your regular connection, but less expensive than sacrificing a whole workday to downtime.
Out-of-date hardware and software
The truth is that if you implement IT into your business, you are making a commitment to keep up with the changes that happen over time.
Out-of-date hardware and software can cause a lot of problems. Older hardware is more prone to failures and breakages, making them more expensive to maintain.
Both software and hardware may run out of support from their manufacturers or distributors eventually, meaning that if they fail it can be a lot harder to find the fixes for them.
Older software is a lot harder to implement with newer software suites, meaning it can be harder to operate different systems in a way that helps them communicate and collaborate. You have to know when it’s time to give up on the tools of the past and update.
Nowadays, it’s getting harder and harder to remain competitive unless some of your business relies on IT. Don’t fall behind because you’re afraid of the risk IT might bring with it. Know those risks, know how to protect yourself, and don’t fall behind.
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