Information technology is used by most businesses to run their operations, and when used correctly, it can speed up growth. If things aren’t going well with IT, good business tools could quickly become annoying and expensive obstacles to reaching corporate goals.
Long conversations with many CEOs about their IT environments have brought up some similar themes.
These are the top ten IT problems that small and medium-sized businesses face most often.
- Data Sprawl and Integration Challenges
- Backup and Disaster Recovery Challenges
- The underlying reasons aren’t being looked at or addressed.
- Cybersecurity Threats
- That Isn’t Strategic IT Planning
- Frustrated users
- Employee onboarding and offboarding, as well as asset management
- Hardware Delays and Supply Chain Issues
- Applications for Cyber Insurance and Requirements for Compliance
- Help with training
1. Data Sprawl and Integration Challenges
Software is a great thing to have. With the rise of SaaS software, organizations can now get the tools they need to improve their operations at a price that doesn’t break the bank. The problem is that most businesses don’t have a single solution that does everything. Because of this, work is done in different systems, and it’s hard to find anything if the tools aren’t connected. The term for this is “data sprawl.” Also, as new technologies come out, they may cause problems with older systems or programs. For example, if you change your operating system, apps or devices that aren’t compatible with it might stop working.
Because of data and integration problems, you might have to enter data twice, look for information in more than one place, and do other things that waste time. Careful planning before a deployment can help ease some of these worries.
2. Problems with backups and recovering from disasters
If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a file, lost power, had a server crash, or had any other “data disaster,” you know how important it can be (or would have been!) to have a reliable backup and disaster recovery plan. To minimize downtime and costs, it’s important to have the right backup solution and disaster recovery plans in place for when these things happen.
Question: What needs to be saved?
We can now make, collect, and store a huge amount of data. The problem is figuring out what needs to be kept, for how long, and how soon you might need it if something bad happens. Remember that data backups cost money. The price depends on two things: how much data you back up and how quickly you need it back.
How to manage remote workers and backing up their data?
Is there a way to back up the files that your employees who work from home use as part of your backup plan? Everything was much easier when everyone worked under one roof, or in a series of offices. But since working from home is becoming more popular, businesses now have dozens or even hundreds of “home offices.” All of the data they are working on must go to a central location where the IT department can access it and back it up if they want to keep working together and keep the business going.
3. The root causes are not found or fixed.
When IT departments or service providers have a way to keep track of problems, they may be able to look at the data and find trends. When they look into these patterns, they may find that a problem is just a sign of a bigger issue. Fixing the problem’s root cause will make it go away for good and keep staff busy so they don’t have to call IT for help.
4. Threats to Cybersecurity
As hackers get better, they are going after small businesses more than ever. Think about all the trade secrets, sensitive correspondence, customer information, and HR data that are stored on the devices of your business.
What would happen if the wrong people found out about this? There is a set of IT security processes and solutions that don’t cost much to look at. These will pay off in the long run; an incident isn’t worth the trouble.
Since a big part of today’s workforce works from home or in a hybrid setting, a lot of new business issues have come up. One of these problems is keeping your staff and their data safe from attackers when they work from home. By giving employees company-owned laptops, using a VPN for remote access, and updating your data backup policies, you can help make sure that the data of your remote workers is as safe as that of your on-site employees.
5. Inadequate IT Planning for the future
IT leaders and business leaders often work alone. Leaders see the big picture, but IT isn’t always trained to make sure that business goals can be met without technology getting in the way. How would business operations change if the business and technology strategies of an organization were in sync and the organization could grow without limits?
For example, if you want to grow a lot in the next three years and IT is a part of it, the infrastructure you set up to deal with short-term problems might need to change.
6. Frustrated users
The way your workers use technology is an important part of their daily lives. Using slow, old, and often broken technology makes it much harder for workers to be happy and productive, which in turn lowers their output. How would it affect your business if your employees could get 5 percent more done every day because your technology was up to date?
Response Times in IT Are Sluggish
When your IT staff or managed IT services provider can’t fix problems quickly because they don’t have the right tools, experience, or time, employees get upset and productivity goes down.
If they have the right IT support staff (whether it’s outsourced, in-house, or a mix of the two), users should be able to get help quickly and have their problems solved. Some problems are harder to solve than others, and if a vendor or manufacturer is involved, it may take a long time to fix them. But, given the situation, you should expect that problems will be fixed as soon as possible.
Check your IT processes and procedures to make sure that problems are quickly found and fixed.
Extra steps to protect
Security measures are a necessary evil in the world of cyber security we live in today. They are meant to keep bad people out of the system, so it takes more time to prove that you are a good person.
Multi-factor authentication is a process that customers often find annoying (MFA). As an extra layer of security for corporate data, it is recommended for logging in to accounts and getting to data. Users have to enter their password and a one-time code to prove that they are who they say they are. This second step of verification may seem like more of a hassle than a benefit to employees, but it keeps an attacker from using an employee’s account to get to your data.
Working from home is not the same as working in an office, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. No matter where they work, employees need to have the right tools and access to systems and data. Some people have never managed a team of people who work from home before. When everyone is at the office at the same time, it’s easy to stop by people’s desks to talk, work together, and give advice. Relationships can’t just happen when people work from home; they have to be planned. Platforms like Microsoft Teams make it easy for managers and teams to work together. This makes it possible for employees to get the help they need and stay in touch. With the right planning and technology, remote workers might feel like they have the power and tools to do their best work. Because of this, they will be more productive and have a better balance between work and life.
7. Employee onboarding and offboarding, as well as asset management
Training for new employees
The process of bringing a new employee on board is often their first impression of your company, so you want it to go as smoothly as possible. This is especially true for employees who work from home and may never come to your office.
Without a good way to bring in new employees, things could get hard. This makes sure that every new employee has the tools, access, and training they need to hit the ground running on their first day and be successful.
When an employee leaves
When an employee is fired, they pose a security risk. The person who left had access to your systems and data, after all. So, whether the reason for the split was friendly or not, it’s important to make sure that any company-owned equipment is returned and that they no longer have access to your network and sensitive information. A well-written procedure is necessary to make sure that nothing is missed.
8. Hardware Delays and Supply Chain Issues
It could cost you a lot to lose your valuables. Without a regularly updated inventory of both hardware and software (licensing), you risk paying for too many licenses, buying hardware you don’t need because it’s already there, or worse, a computer “misplaced.” As more and more
companies use remote work, hardware storage and inventory management are also becoming more of a problem. If you don’t have a physical office, where do you keep old equipment or new hardware that is ready to be installed when the time is right? How do you know what you have and if it is safe if it is stored somewhere else? There are now a lot of managed IT service companies that offer their clients options for safe storage and inventory management. It makes sense, since they are usually the ones who set up and send out equipment for your company.
Problems with hardware and the supply chain
It takes at least 90 days to get a business-class computer right now. This makes it hard for businesses if one machine breaks down and needs to be replaced or if they hire new people and need to give them computers. Also, manufacturers quote prices for hardware, but if the order isn’t placed within 12 to 24 hours, the hardware is no longer available at that price, if it’s even still available at all.
9. Needs for Compliance and Cyber Insurance Applications
As cyber security risks become more common, more people are having to take responsibility for cyber security. Regulatory compliance is important in many areas, such as HIPAA, ITAR, NIST, and CMMC. The technical and non-technical details of these criteria can be hard to understand.
Due to the damage that cyber security breaches have caused to businesses, cyber security insurance has become more popular.
When someone breaches someone else, the costs and fines can add up quickly. Cyber liability insurance is meant to help your business get back on its feet financially after a cyber-attack. A cyber liability insurance policy will pay for ransom payments, the recovery of data, the replacement of hardware, regulatory fines, legal fees, and other costs.
The trouble starts when people try to get the policy. Applications could be confusing and different. You’ll need to give both technical and non-technical information about your organization, such as how big it is and what its security and operations are like. This is because your level of safety affects both your coverage and your rates.
Because cyber security is so complicated, it’s hard for managers to get the information they need for the more technical parts of the program. Working with your IT manager or an IT services provider to answer these questions, on the other hand, could help you get the best coverage at the best price and even find security holes.
10. Help with training
Every worker is comfortable with technology in a different way. And as technology has become more important in day-to-day corporate tasks, training has become even more important to keep people happy, productive, and confident in their jobs.
Training is also important if you want to keep your company’s network and sensitive information safe.
You can quickly and easily find tutorials for a wide range of software, hardware, and even cyber security awareness training. But because there is so much online training available, it might be hard for your staff to find and use these resources.
PCtronics can help you figure out what resources you need and set up a workshop to train your staff effectively.