An efficient IT infrastructure can propel the growth of any small business and level the playing field against larger competitors. However, no technology can last for years without a hiccup, whether from hardware glitches or external factors such as natural disasters. Small businesses face many frustrating technical issues daily that cost them valuable time and money.
Here are five of the most common technology issues that plague small businesses:
1. Cybersecurity breaches
All companies face cybersecurity risks, but small businesses are particularly vulnerable to threats like malware, phishing scams, and password theft. The simple reason they’re so susceptible is that they lack the resources to defend themselves adequately. They don’t have the budget for in-house IT experts, security awareness training, and advanced security protocols. Small businesses also manage sensitive personal and proprietary information, making them a highly lucrative target for cybercriminals.
Unfortunately, when small businesses fall victim to a security breach, they suffer even greater losses than larger organisations. Not only do they incur heavy financial setbacks totalling $4.35 million per breach, but they also experience reputational damage and legal issues. Any one of these consequences can mean the end for smaller companies.
Some cost-effective solutions that small businesses can use to mitigate these risks include next-generation firewalls, anti-malware software, VPNs, data encryption, and multi-factor authentication. More importantly, they can teach employees proper cyber hygiene, such as avoiding unsolicited emails and setting unique password combinations.
2. Faulty networks
Few things are more annoying than networks experiencing lag, packet drops, and other connection-related problems that disrupt business operations. Small businesses are particularly prone to these issues because their network infrastructure isn’t optimised for the bandwidth requirements of their applications and users.
One solution to improve network performance is investing in high-quality access points and installing them in areas free of interference. Businesses should also monitor internet bandwidth usage and overall network performance to identify bottlenecks hindering their connection. Resource-intensive applications or even malware could be eating up their precious bandwidth.
3. Absence of a backup and disaster recovery plan
Not having a disaster recovery plan in case of a power outage, cyberattack, or natural disaster can be catastrophic for small businesses. If team members don’t know who to contact or what procedures to follow when disaster strikes, the company’s operations will experience prolonged disruption. It’s especially bad when the business has no data backups, as there’s no way of recovering lost information. Employees must spend hours redoing all the lost work and recovering deleted files.
Implementing a data backup and disaster recovery plan should be at the top of any business’s to-do list. The plan should clearly state a priority list of steps to recover normal operations and who to contact during an emergency. It should also outline how often to conduct and test data backups to prevent the catastrophic loss of information.
4. IT compatibility problems
A complicated ecosystem with a mix of new and old technology can make it difficult for companies to operate smoothly. When these systems cannot speak with each other, it can result in bugs, crashes, and security flaws. Incompatibility issues can also create a rift between departments that use different versions of programs, forcing them to find inefficient manual workarounds when sharing data or completing projects.
To avoid compatibility issues, businesses must assess their system requirements and make sure they have the right software, hardware, and resources to implement new technologies properly. Depending on their needs, they may also need to upgrade their existing systems or use cloud computing resources to access the most up-to-date programs and services. They should also run compatibility tests when integrating new systems into the existing infrastructure and conduct trial runs between departments to ensure a frictionless transition.
5. Aimless IT strategies
Small businesses that don’t have an in-house IT expert can easily fail to develop and execute an effective IT strategy. What often happens is they follow the lead of their competitors, implementing technologies and processes that may not be right for them.
Small businesses can quickly overspend on unnecessary products and services without a clear roadmap or budgeting plan. That’s why they need a professional IT consultant to help them develop a strategy that meets their current and future needs. Their IT partner should help them do a comprehensive IT audit, company goal analysis, and budgeting plan. By creating a data-driven strategy, businesses can save money and make the right investments to meet their goals.
If any of these problems sound familiar, it’s time to act. Empower IT Solutions is here to help! Reach out to us today for solutions to protect your data, enhance business performance, and ensure your organisation can compete in its industry.