New computer technologies have drastically created numerous opportunities for small business entrepreneurs. But opportunities coming from the interconnected and data-driven economy have created a new wave of information technology challenges that threaten to lag your business operations. On top of the enormous inconveniences they cause, these problems also pose severe threats to your business’s data.
Sadly, even if you work with a highly qualified team of IT experts or have a secure database, IT problems are bound to happen sooner than later. Investing your resources and time in understanding your business’s technology problems gives you a clear understanding of how to avert them and minimize their effects. Here are the common IT problems that every small business owner comes across and how to prepare for them.
Poor network security
Contrary to the thinking of many small business owners, network security is not a preserve of large companies. Every small business is at risk of malicious cyber-attacks that could lead to data loss. According to Cyber Security Statistics, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses due to their lack of robust network security policies.
Having poor network security puts your business at risk of being attacked in one of the following ways:
- Phishing attacks
- E-Commerce hacking
As a business owner, you must be proactive in developing an effective network security policy that protects your business from these attacks. In doing so, enable your business’s firewall, train your employees on security principles, back up your data, and maintain the upkeep of your passwords.
Lack of a data backup plan
Every business is prone to data loss orchestrated by ransomware attacks, system failures, personal mistakes, and natural disasters. Having an effective data backup plan that acts as your last line of defense against data loss is essential.
Just like network security, data backup is something that your business must have to avoid incurring data backup recovery costs and losing essential data. Backing-up your data in the cloud offers maximum security to your data as its remote servers and data centers are located miles away from your business. Occasionally, carry out data recovery tests from your data backup to find out whether it’s working.
Hardware and software issues
Your business computers are bound to break down at one time or another due to wear and tear or surpassing their lifespan. Repairing obsolete hardware and software results in increased downtime, less efficiency, lost opportunities, and customer frustrations. Below are the things you can do to fix hardware and software problems:
- Retire any equipment that has surpassed its lifespan.
- Standardize all software applications.
- Work closely with qualified IT consultants.
- Standardize all hardware components.
IT is evolving at a startling speed and in its wave, creating new technologies that drive innovation, accelerate growth, and cut costs. However, small businesses are not incorporating the latest technologies due to a lack of information and fear of the unknown. Incorporating the new technologies into your business puts you in a superior position to compete in the market.
Unfortunately, integrating the new technologies into your business alone is not a smart move. You need to work with the right IT expert that understands the complexities of the IT landscape. Tread carefully when picking the IT service provider to work with to avoid exposing your business’s data to someone you can’t trust.
Lack of an IT strategy
Information technology is a force multiplier for any business, as it helps to save money, boost productivity in the workplace, and attract business. As a business owner, you should evaluate your business’s IT objectives, plan for future technology needs, and have an effective IT strategy. Having an effective IT strategy enables you to avoid unexpected downtime, angry customers, and lost productivity.
Typically, you cannot develop an effective IT strategy on your own, mainly if you are not an expert. Outsourcing managed IT services from a qualified and reputable provider helps you to identify the best IT infrastructure that your business needs to develop the right strategy. Lack of a strategic IT plan is a recipe for failure and money wasting.
As a business owner, you are required to wear different hats due to limited time and resources. Although every business problem is acute, IT-related issues tend to have severe consequences if left unchecked that could render your business obsolete. Understanding the common IT problems and knowing how to fix them goes a long way in averting these problems.
These views are made solely by the author.