If you run a small business, you may be thinking about hiring an IT consulting firm to help you revamp your IT systems, and modernize your company. If so, you’re making the right choice.
But what are the most common mistakes that small businesses make when it comes to IT and technology – and how do consultants help? Get the answers here!
1. Insufficient Technical Support
It may seem expensive to hire more IT staff or to use an IT consultant to perform technical support. But really, this isn’t the case. Not everyone is great at using technology – so in some cases, if a worker’s machine fails, they may be completely unable to do their jobs until it’s fixed by a professional.
Because of this, technical support is absolutely crucial for the smooth operations of your business. Whether it’s fixing an old Windows PC for an office worker, or restoring the POS system at your cash register, tech support is essential – and many IT consulting firms offer on-site or online technical support to augment your own personnel.
2. Outdated Equipment And Infrastructure
There’s a reason that most larger organizations begin to phase out PCs and other equipment after about 3-4 years. Older equipment and servers can often be more trouble than they’re worth, especially if compatibility breaks with modern programs or they require constant attention and maintenance.
Some smaller businesses try to stretch their budgets by using older equipment, which makes sense in theory. However, the productivity losses – and extra time spent with consultants and support staff – caused by outdated equipment can actually cost your company money, in the long run.
3. Improper Emergency Power Protection
This is something that many people don’t even think about – but if you are not using proper surge protectors and battery backups, even for consumer equipment like PCs and routers, the results can be devastating.
Power surges, blackouts, brownouts, and regular interruptions can seriously damage expensive IT equipment, and lead to costly replacements. You must make sure that your equipment is adequately protected. Computers and other systems should be protected with high-quality surge protectors, and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), which are sometimes also known as “battery backups.” If you’re not sure where to start, your IT consultant can help.
4. Lapses In IT Security
Often, smaller companies do not protect their data nearly as effectively as larger organizations. Partially, this is due to budgetary constraints – but it’s also because most small-to-midsize enterprises (SMEs) don’t think that anyone is really going to try to attack them and steal their data.
But in reality, cybercrime is a huge threat to small businesses – especially those that do not have the resources to protect themselves. Infonetics Research (now IHS Technology) has estimated that cyber attacks cost large businesses 2.2% of their revenue yearly, and the threat continues to grow.
The best way businesses can protect themselves is with a comprehensive security analysis from an IT consulting professional.
5. Inadequate Backup Practices
Inadequate backups and data fragmentation are extremely common in small businesses, and this is extremely risky. The vast majority of files and important documents on user workstations and laptops are not backed up – and have never been backed up. And, even when backups are in place, they are often neglected and outdated.
Reports have shown that 51% of businesses that lose “critical” data shut their doors within two years. This means that data backup and recovery best practices are absolutely essential for safeguarding the future of your company. An IT consulting firm can help you implement data recovery best practices, and ensure the safety of your data.
Recognize These Problems? Invest In IT Consulting Now!
If you recognize one or more of these issues with your small business, it may be worth your while to bring in an outside IT consultant to get the help you need. So keep your company safe, and keep it growing – invest in IT consulting today!