Most small businesses and even medium-scale ones, particularly those engaged in e-commerce, are especially vulnerable when they don’t have up-to-date technological resources and access to the necessary technical support and experience. IT issues, no matter how common, can be more than an inconvenience; they may disrupt business continuity and efficiency, lead to failures in customer service and a loss of competitive advantage, and may also make the infrastructure vulnerable to a data breach.
Here are five common IT problems many businesses have to deal with sooner or later.
1. Lack of Network Security
Being a “small fish” in the vast ocean of e-commerce does not mean your business is safe from cyber-attacks and that you should not worry too much about network security. On the contrary, many cyber attackers target small businesses precisely because of their lack of solid network security. So why spend a lot of time and effort taking down the formidable network fortress of a big company when they can attack small businesses with virtually zero or easily breachable security?
Poor network security can make your business vulnerable to any of the following forms of cyber attack:
- Phishing, which attempts to collect personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Phishing attacks usually take the form of fraudulent emails which purportedly come from reputable companies.
- E-commerce hacking, which allows attackers to gain access and control of your site.
- Ransomware, which is malicious software that blocks access to your system until you pay a ransom.
As a business owner, your network security should not begin and end with firewall software. Instead, you need reliable and up-to-date multi-level security that you can only get from professional managed IT services.
2. Lack of Professionals
Not all businesses can afford an in-house IT team. Even big enterprises that can afford in-house service still have to shell out extra money on necessary training and the latest technologies to keep both their IT team and infrastructure up-to-date.
Outsourcing to a reputable IT service provider is, more often than not, the ideal solution. An established third-party managed IT service provider can:
- Help identify a company’s specific needs.
- Provide customized and comprehensive solutions.
- Keep the IT infrastructure up and running efficiently.
- Provide access to the latest technologies and business-grade IT solutions.
- Work with the company’s in-house team to troubleshoot and mitigate issues, provide training, and maintain uptime.
Outsourcing IT services is a practical and smart move for any business, given the ever-changing IT landscape and the crucial role that technology plays in the success of an enterprise.
3. Lack of Updated IT Systems
Whether or not you’re exclusively engaged in e-commerce, your business's reliance on computer technology requires up-to-date IT systems to ensure continued and enhanced productivity and efficiency. Having updated IT systems means identifying your company’s IT objectives, planning for future IT needs, and putting an appropriate IT strategy in place.
Keeping your IT infrastructure up-to-date will involve the services of IT professionals. For many businesses that don’t have an in-house IT team, managed IT services are the solution. Managing your company’s IT infrastructure includes:
- Regular monitoring and management of servers, desktops, networks, smart mobile devices, “smart things,” and software.
- Ensuring enhanced network security.
- Providing cloud-computing services.
- Maintaining onsite and offsite backup plans.
As a business owner, you can’t afford to simply wait for an IT-related problem to occur; effective IT infrastructure management is critical to business continuity and competitiveness. Keep in mind that the added cost of investing in managed IT services is much smaller compared to the money you’ll lose from any type of IT system failure that a properly managed IT infrastructure could have prevented.
4. Data Loss and Recovery
Computer technology has made data storage more convenient, but the technology also has inherent risks for data loss. You may lose data due to a system failure, a natural disaster, personal mistakes, the actual loss of your hardware, or a ransomware attack. Data loss can mean significant financial losses and even a serious security breach.
A reliable data backup plan will not only prevent data loss but can also help you avoid data recovery costs and minimize other significant financial losses that downtime and disruptions in business operations may cause. Of course, backing up your data in the cloud is the best option, but you also have to ensure that the remote server you’re using is secure and properly maintained.
5. Hardware and Software Issues
Site downtime, decreased efficiency and productivity, lost engagement opportunities and sales, and customer dissatisfaction can be caused by hardware and software issues. Your hardware (e.g., your computers and other equipment) may break down due to usual wear and tear, because of an accident, or because they’re not properly maintained. Likewise, software may stop working because they’re obsolete and incompatible with the latest technologies.
Hardware and software issues can be minimized by:
- Proper hardware maintenance and replacement of any equipment or component that has surpassed its lifespan.
- Standardizing all hardware components and software applications.
- Having a team of experienced IT professionals
IT is driven by accelerated technological innovations, and businesses must keep up with the times to stay competitive. Integrating new technologies into your business is not an easy task, but it is a worthwhile investment. Working with the right IT consultants is key to ensuring all your systems are up-to-date.
Final Thoughts on Common It Problems
Common IT problems can be prevented or easily managed with a reliable and dedicated IT service provider. For many business owners, limited time and resources often mean they have to wear different hats and juggle a lot of tasks to keep the enterprise running smoothly. An IT hat, however, is one that has to be custom-made to fit well and work well. The best and most practical solution to common IT problems that all businesses have to face now and then is having the right person — or team — for the job.
With a reliable managed IT services provider, such as Verticomm, you don’t have to burden yourself with managing your own IT infrastructure; you can just focus on achieving your business goals.