Strategic planning requires that you prepare for any situation that your business may come across. So after covering legal, financial, and operational contingencies, you will have to think about your IT. IT is central to most business departments, activities, and processes, so it is essential to prepare for any eventuality. Here are some common IT issues you may come across and simple solutions you can use to counter them.
1. Integration Issues & Employee Frustration
Your IT infrastructure will use various kinds of software. The foundation will start with the operating system (ex: Windows, Apple, or Linux) and expand to include business software (for departments like sales, accounts, or logistics). The suite of software your business will use could also have industry-specific software, for example, for architects, designers, or software developers. All of this software needs to work with each other to operate efficiently. Furthermore, they may need to collaborate to unlock features or insights.
Any software that you install will use the OS’s foundation to operate. Windows is the most popular OS in the world; software companies build their products to work with Windows above any other OS. Keep in mind that the software you install needs to be compatible with the OS you choose, so before you buy software for the company, check that its specs fit what you have.
Technology is merely a tool; it is only as effective as the person using it. So if your staff is not comfortable or adept at using tech hardware or software, then your business will not get any productivity benefits. That is why training is vital for new software adoption and refreshing knowledge of established software.
2. Internet Connectivity Issues
The internet is now central to communication and business processes. Should connectivity be affected, your business may experience dropped calls and no access to cloud services or the internet in general. There are various reasons for slow internet, but the fixes are usually simple. Connectivity can be interrupted by:
- Cable Issues– The issue could be as simple as loose cables that need to be reconnected or more complex such as a faulty fiber cable that needs attention from your internet service provider.
- Overuse– You could have too many programs or tabs open. Each of them could be using bandwidth and thus affect your immediate needs. Close any unused programs or tabs to free up space.
- Malware– A virus could have infiltrated your IT infrastructure and intentionally throttle your bandwidth or use it for its nefarious purposes. Install and update antivirus software to protect your system against malware.
- Weather– Wireless networks provide connectivity using radio waves, which can be affected by bad weather, especially thunderstorms. Unfortunately, you can only wait out a storm.
As a business owner, you not only have to worry about physical security threats like someone breaking in through your business’ front doors but also hackers coming in through your business’ server. Common targets for cyberattacks on small businesses include:
- Business information data that could give an outsider a competitive edge
- The customers’ information that you hold is often sensitive information that could expose your customers to harm
- Data connections to third-party entities like suppliers and regulators
Suppose any of the above data is compromised. In that case, it could harm your business, your customers, faith in your operations, the willingness of business partners to work with you, or land you in trouble with regulators.
Hackers can use malware to disrupt, destroy, or steal your data. To protect your IT network from threats requires a security policy that includes robust, updated antivirus software. The software will monitor your system and eliminate any threats it finds. This type of policy will spell out access control, data protection, and security practices to be upheld by every employee.
Don’t Wait Until Something Breaks
The adage “prevention is better than a cure” applies directly to IT systems. System failures and cyberattacks aren’t unlikely, so you’ll want to protect your digital assets to the best of your ability.
Use outsourced technical support for businesses to build and maintain your IT infrastructure. IT experts can advise you on the best hardware and software for your business. They can keep your IT system functioning at optimum levels. But most importantly, they can help you when things go wrong. They have the skills, knowledge, and tools to fix any problem you may have.
Plan IT, Support IT
IT can make your business more efficient, productive, and ultimately profitable. To gain those benefits, you must ensure that your IT systems are well maintained and that any issue that arises can be swiftly resolved by your business. Strategically adopt tech solutions that work for your company and plan for any eventuality to avoid surprises down the line.