There is no doubt about it that technology dominates the world of modern business. The companies don’t keep up with current trends are increasingly likely to get left behind the crowd. And with an impatient group of customers likely to move onto one of your competitors if they don’t receive a quick and efficient level of service, it is important that your small business gets things right. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at 10 of the most common tech mistakes that small businesses make. Once you have read through these, you will know what you need to avoid doing so that your business doesn’t suffer from a technology meltdown. While you may already be well aware of some of these, others may be things that you had never thought of before. So, without further ado, here they are.
Not Enough Technical Support
Unless you run a very technical business yourself, you may be getting your technical support from an external partner or agency. In many cases, the burden falls on the person in the office who always has the latest Apple products and loves video games! Otherwise, you may simply resort to calling the company helpline. You are much better off either having someone on site whose job role is tech support or outsourcing these duties to a trusted partner. This way, you will get a much higher standard of support and you can resolve issues much more quickly. In the modern business world, it is simply not acceptable to have a website that is not functioning for days on end. And if you work with the same person or organisation, they will be able to offer a more personalised level of service as they know what common issues you are likely to encounter.
Not Replacing Old Hardware and Software
Outdated hardware and software can present a myriad of problems for all types of business. As a rough guideline, you should be looking to update your PC every 3 to 4 years. Though it may seem like you are being prudent by holding onto tech for longer, you may end up spending more by servicing your old computer and its inefficiency could end up costing your business in the long-run. You should also be looking to standardise your individual components so you are not multiplying your technical issues by combining products from a range of different manufacturers.
Lack of Power Protection
The last thing that you want to happen is for a single power outage to damage all your electrical components. A simple way of combating this issue is by deploying a few power strips. Alternatively, some companies deal with this issue with surge suppressors. But you should also be looking at getting some battery backup devices which connect up your servers to uninterruptible power supplies. You want to make sure that you purchase any equipment of this kind from trusted sellers, and you should also replace items regularly over time depending on the specific advice offered.
Buying Illegal Software
Some businesses look to cut corners by purchasing illegal software, but this is something that you want to avoid. First of all, you could end up being prosecuted which would be a significant blow for your company. Any software, applications and programs that you use must be properly licensed. Ignorance of this is not an excuse, and many of the major tech firms are working harder to clamp down on illegal activity. Any purchases that you do make should be documented and you should always read the licensing agreement before you accept anything at all.
Even if your staff members don’t have an active interest in technology or their job is not directly related to it, they still need to have knowledge of the programs and systems that you are using. After all, you have invested in all of this software to improve the efficiency and general level of service of your business. If your staff are unaware of how to utilise this properly, this is a major issue. Some jobs could be completed in moments if employees knew how to use the technology to its fullest degree, but instead they may still be involved in time-consuming manual tasks. To combat this, you should ensure that you are making technology training a priority in your business. There are a range of training methods which you could look at utilising including technology partners, training centres and e-learning programs. Take a look at www.Exceptionless.com/bug-tracking if you have an in-house member of staff writing code. Remember, you and your staff can never be overtrained.
Ignoring Security Issues
Cybersecurity is one of the biggest issues for any modern company, and one of the biggest mistakes that businesses can make is not taking steps to protect themselves from the various threats out there. You may think that your company is too small to be on the radar of hackers, but the truth is that they are out there scouring the cyber world for an easy target. Just some of the threats that you could face include a compromised system, data theft and robotic attacks. The effects can range from the slightly irritating to the completely crippling, so your best bet is to be as protected as possible. A few practices that your organisation should adopt include: implementing strong passwords, updating operating systems, using proven antivirus software and securing all wireless networks.
Weak Backup Systems
Failing to properly back up your data means that it could all be at risk, and this could pose a major threat to the running of your business. The best way of making sure that everything is properly secured is to work with IT consultants or technology partners so that they can give you more information about how often you need to back everything up and what the best practices are. Losing all your files could set your business back by a huge amount, and it could even prove to be critical for your company. This is why it is so important that you take the proper steps to protect yourself.
Exposure to Viruses
We have already talked a little bit about viruses, and though it may seem obvious to use the right antivirus software, there are still a lot of companies which get caught out. After all, an unprotected PC can become infected within a few seconds of logging onto the internet. As with many other things in life, prevention is far better than the cure. Not only is virus removal time consuming, it can also be extremely costly. And as virus protection becomes more sophisticated, so too do the viruses themselves. Ultimately, you need to install a reputable system on all your devices and ensure that it is updated on a regular basis.
Not Dealing with the Threat of Spyware
Closely linked to the previous point, spyware is another evolving technological threat that is facing modern businesses. Though it comes under the same field as viruses, it can seem even more sinister. After all, it aims to collect user information, display unwanted advertising and even allow hackers to control your system. And it could end up taking days to resolve and also be very expensive as well. Though there is no 100 percent guaranteed strategy for avoiding spyware, there are a few steps you can take to minimise the risks it poses. First of all, your anti-spyware applications should be reputable and kept regularly updated. You should perform scans whenever prompted and you should make sure that you renew it as often as required. Avoid free security protection as this is never usually as reliable as officially licensed products.
Not Preventing Unsolicited Emails
Spam emails are something that you will already be all too familiar with. As well as being annoying, they could also be potentially harmful to your business. Spam can affect your servers, taking up extra storage space and slowing down your systems significantly. There are several ways that you can minimise the issues caused by spam emails. First of all, you should never publish your email address in plain text to stop robots from harvesting them. Whenever you submit your address anywhere, review their privacy policies and terms so you know whether they plan on including you in a mailing list.
So, if you have read through this list and have found that your small business is guilty of any of these issues, you should take steps to resolve them as soon as possible. After all, technology plays such a huge role in business these days and you don’t want to risk getting left behind your competition. Ultimately, many of these things may seem like common sense, but a lot of companies don’t do the basics properly and this presents all manner of problems. Get the issue of technology right by avoiding these mistakes, and you will put yourself on a good platform for success.