Information technology is critical to operations for most companies and has the power to catapult growth when utilized effectively. Conversely, if things aren’t going well with IT, powerful business tools can quickly become frustrating and expensive roadblocks to achieving business objectives.
Through extensive conversations with many executives about their IT situations, some common themes have emerged. These are the seven most common IT problems that small businesses face.
- Integration Issues
As new technologies are released, sometimes they don’t play nice with older systems or applications. This can result in a double entry of data, having to look in multiple places for information, and other inefficiencies. Thorough planning before implementation can minimize these issues.
- Backup and Disaster Recovery Challenges
If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a file, experienced a power outage, had a server crash, or any other “data disaster,” then you know how important having a reliable backup and disaster recovery plan can be (or would have been!) Having the right backup solution and disaster recovery procedures in place for when these events inevitably occur are critical to eliminating the downtime and expenses that accompany them.
- Root Causes Aren’t Uncovered or Addressed
When IT departments or providers have a process for tracking issues, they’re able to analyze the data and identify trends. When they dig into the trends, sometimes they find that an issue is a symptom of a greater problem. Solving the root cause would make the problem go away for good and keep employees productive instead of on the phone with IT support.
- Security Risks
Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and small businesses are being targeted now more than ever before. Think of all of your trade secrets, confidential communication, customer information, and HR records that are stored on your company’s computers. What would be the impact if this data fell into the wrong hands? There is a cost-effective suite of IT security procedures and solutions that are worth considering. These pay dividends in the long run – an incident isn’t worth the headache.
- Lack of Strategic IT Planning
Many times, IT and business leaders are disconnected. The leaders see the bigger picture, but sometimes they don’t work with IT to make sure they can accomplish their goals without technology getting in the way.
How would the organization be different if the business and technology plans were aligned and the organization could scale without constraint? For example, if you plan to grow significantly in the next three years and IT was in the loop, the infrastructure implemented for current challenges may be different so it can accommodate the long-term growth.
- Waiting Until Something Breaks
Systems need regular maintenance to ensure they run properly and securely. With the right IT processes, problems may be predicted, planned for, and resolved before they become urgent. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Isn’t it better to get in front of issues and resolve them before they turn into expensive and time-consuming emergencies?
- Frustrated Users (Employees)
Interacting with technology is a huge part of your employees’ day. Using slow, outdated systems with frequent problems makes it much more difficult for them to be happy and productive, ultimately increasing their output. How would it impact your business if you enabled your employees to get just 5 percent more accomplished every day, simply by keeping your technology up to date?
These seven IT support problems and many others that small businesses face are considered “the norm” because the businesses didn’t know that better IT support results were possible.