The quantity of data that every company faces is growing exponentially each year. In fact, a modern interpretation of Moore’s Law states that computing efficiency doubles every 18 months. (Source: MIT Technology Review)
Whether or not technology continues to advance at this break-neck pace, businesses are constantly struggling with how best to keep up with frequent updates to hardware and software, and how to nimbly and efficiently manage their data, devices and users.
Outdated technology can grind a business’ productivity to a halt. For companies of every size – from start-ups of less than 10 employees to multinational organizations – there are a handful of common IT mistakes that will limit any business’s growth potential and put it at risk for data loss, competitive disadvantage, and reduced efficiency.
Is Your Business Making Any of These 5 Common IT Mistakes?
1. No IT Team
Maybe your business is just getting started, or one of your staff is tech savvy and has been “helping out” with IT systems to help keep business costs down. Either way, running a business without a trained IT professional is not only a risk; it’s a competitive disadvantage.
Optimized IT systems can help ensure that your entire team is able to operate efficiently, effectively, and can grow unimpeded. Whether your team works together in an office or is dispersed across vast distances, an IT expert can ensure that they can communicate quickly, can access the information they need when they need it, and always have access the tools they need to do their job.
2. Expecting a Total Server Replacement
While it may seem like the easiest approach to wipe the technology slate clean and start over from scratch by buying all new servers, this approach can easily exceed even the most generous IT budget. And it’s rarely necessary.
Most businesses can often work with their existing IT infrastructure to increase functionality and efficiency with select key enhancements.
Are you wondering how your business can improve your IT systems to meet your current and future operational needs? The solution may be to partner with a managed IT services company for expert help making the most of your budget and resources. To learn more, download CMA Tech’s free ebook, “Understanding Managed IT Services.”
3. Local Data Backup to a Hard Drive or External Drive
Local backups are risky. Too risky. If a laptop is forgotten on a plane, or the office burns down, everything would be lost. Yet some businesses are still making the mistake of not backing up to an external server or the cloud.
While businesses often install their applications on the server (instead of local hard drives) to improve speed and reduce the risk of data loss, they don’t always follow suit with all data files.
Data Back-Up Procedures Should Include:
- Regular, automatic data backup
- An external backup location
- Back-up for files every time a change is made
One of the biggest advantages of having high performing network technology is being able to access your data faster than usual. A key piece of this performance is making sure your data backup is reliable to ensure your business will face only minimal downtime in any situation or disaster.
4. Lax Employee-Use Policies (or Policies That Are Too Strict)
Employee actions can unknowingly undermine the security of the network. Policies should be put into place that limit what an employee can do on their work computer and devices – including laptops, desktops, mobile phones, tablets and other devices. In addition to written rules, which can be forgotten easily, tools can be used to limit staff technology use to those activities that are necessary for work and pose limited threat to the network.
However, excessively strict technology use policies may have the unintended effect of impeding work progress (if a new approach to problem solving requires access outside of the existing policy), negatively impacting moral (in the case that staff feel a lack of trust from their employer), or may encourage staff to be “creative” in finding their own ways to work around IT limits – opening the system up to unknown risk.
The goal should be to put in place an IT policy that follows current benchmarking standards and is put in place to establish a baseline protection of the system as a whole, while minimally impacting business operations.
5. A Reactive Approach to IT
IT professionals are often called into battle when an employee tells them there’s something that needs to be fixed. While this approach works to a certain extent, a more proactive approach to IT can prevent problems from happening in the first place.
Having ongoing oversight of all IT systems will allow a skilled IT professional to forsee potential problems and resolve them before anyone else notices the issue – and before any issue can negatively impact the flow of business operations.
The challenge for many businesses is creating an IT department with sufficient bandwidth to constantly monitor all of their network systems, while also working on specific IT projects, overseeing vendor contracts, overseeing troubleshooting and updates, and maintaining expertise on constantly changing tech advances.
One solution to this challenge is to work with a managed IT services company, which provides businesses with outsourced expertise and the ability to monitor their technology systems 24/7.