There are many aspects to running a small or medium-sized business, other than simply generating revenue. Business owners must ensure that the operational side of the business functions efficiently in order to achieve long-term success. Operations covered a variety of business functions, including talent management and human resources, accounting, marketing, and information technology (IT). Much of running a successful business is learned over time, especially as mistakes are made and adjustments are implemented to avoid them in the future.
However, when it comes to IT, what can seem like small mistakes often can have serious consequences. So, it’s wise for business owners to start operating with a strong IT infrastructure in place to avoid these mistakes entirely. While this list is certainly not inclusive of all IT mistakes, avoiding these is sure to result in IT operations that are more secure and more efficient.
1. Choosing Software/Hardware Without End User Input
Selecting critical IT components and devices seems like a decision for upper management within an organization. However, there is a perspective to consider that many often forget. When choosing a piece of software, for example, gathering input from the end users that will potentially use that software is smart. Businesses need technology users to understand the applications and programs they use, and for those pieces of software to be user-friendly and accessible to all those who rely on them for their job responsibilities. Piloting options with small groups of these users is a great strategy, so business leaders can be sure their choices are well-informed prior to investing the time and money to implement them throughout the rest of the organization.
2. Not Preparing for Instances of Data Loss
Data loss, no matter the extent, can be detrimental to business operations. Data loss refers to any instance of important data leakage, corruption, or destruction. Causes of this type of loss vary, from severe weather and power surges to malware and other cyber attacks. Many organizations function with the “it won’t happen here” type of attitude. This view is dangerous, as ramifications if and when data is lost can destroy a business.
One aspect of preparing for data loss is regular, frequent backups. Whether these backups are stored on-site or in the cloud, having at least one backup of all important data can be incredibly valuable in the instance of loss. One thing backups don’t help with is preventing cyber attacks in which data theft is the main intent. Backups mean nothing if important business, employee, or customer information is leaked to those with malicious intent.
3. Failing to Implement Cybersecurity Measures
More and more businesses move to digital operations each year. With the innovative technology now available to businesses, working virtually most, if not all of the time, is often now the norm. While moving away from paper transactions and communications carries lots of benefits (efficiency, speed of communication, file sharing, etc.), it also opens up doors for cyber attackers to prey on vulnerabilities in IT infrastructures.
Cyber attacks continue to rise in frequency. When compared to the first 6 months of 2021, cyber attacks that occurred in the same period in 2022 rose by nearly 3 million. Not only is the frequency of attacks on the rise, but the sophistication of those attacks is also improving. Businesses not investing in cybersecurity measures leave their organizations at risk along with their employees and customers.
4. Not Bringing in Experts
Larger businesses often have the capacity and financial resources to invest in building an in-house IT team to handle all infrastructure, networking, and device management. For smaller companies, often that capacity and funding don’t exist. When an organization doesn’t house its own IT department, they have a couple of options. They can attempt to handle IT from within, relying on experts for ad-hoc issues or projects along the way.
The smarter plan is partnering with an external team of experts for managed IT services. The partner in this instance serves as an extension of the business’s core function. Having a team well versed in your IT needs and available for troubleshooting issues is extremely valuable, both in the short term but also as the organization grows and those needs pivot as well.
5. Choosing a Large, National Managed Service Provider
When looking to partner with a managed service provider, businesses can choose a large-scale virtual provider or a local team of experts. While each option brings pros and cons, choosing local for your IT needs is almost always the best way forward. Going local means a much quicker response time when issues arise. Also, having a local team means having a group of experts with comprehensive knowledge of your current IT infrastructure and system components. With a large provider, you are likely to get support from different individuals each time you need it.
The team at Kustura Technologies has been partnering with local businesses in the Jacksonville and Gainesville areas for over 20 years – optimizing their technology and IT operations along the way. When it comes to managed IT service, our Peace of Mind Plan offers local businesses a chance to forget about IT and focus on opportunities to grow their organization. Plan features include regular data backups in our privately owned Level 4 data center and 24/7 IT support. Managing technology shouldn’t be taking away from your concentration on business success. Let the team at Kustura give you the peace of mind you need – contact us today to discuss your IT needs.
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