Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from information technology in the modern business environment. These days IT is necessary for just about every facet of business - and when it isn’t working properly it can even grind your business operations to a halt.
There have been high-profile cases of this happening in the corporate world in recent years, from airlines leaving thousands of angry passengers stranded to telecommunications networks going down and leaving people without phone and internet for extended periods of time. So if it can affect the big end of town, you’d be naïve to think it can’t affect every other business, large and small.
Some of the biggest IT headaches that affect businesses include:
1. Malware, ransomware, spyware and viruses
When malicious software infects a company’s IT systems, it can be disastrous. Depending on the severity of the infection it can stop the business from carrying out its operations – both internally and client-facing.
Not only can it affect productivity and profits, but it can also lead to legal problems and reputational damage.
2. Integration issues
Older systems don’t always cooperate with new technologies. This can be frustrating as work-around solutions might not be available – it may mean costly upgrades ahead of schedule. If there are solutions, they might not be seamless – it can lead to inefficiencies such as not having all information in one place and having to double up on data entry.
A business’ connectivity both internally and externally is reliant on network systems being reliable.
Everyone knows the pain of networks going down, but sometimes there can be ongoing outages or ones that last for an extended period of time. There can be different reasons from this, from faulty equipment through to problems with telcos.
Regardless, critical outages can bring a business to its knees. It’s estimated that one hour of downtime can cost some businesses as much as $100,000 an hour in lost revenue and productivity.
4. Inadequate backup procedures
When a disaster strikes and a company loses all its data, it shouldn’t be the end of the world if everything was properly backed up. Unfortunately, many companies do not have appropriate back up systems and procedures in place. This can lead to many problems, from the obvious losing important information through to reputational damage and even failing to comply with particular state and federal regulations.
5. Aging software and hardware
When your hardware infrastructure is getting a bit long in the tooth it may no longer have the capacity to work at optimal levels. Software can get to a point where it is no longer supported by its vendor which means there are no critical patches released for known security issues. Aging applications aren’t always compatible with new operating systems. All of these factors can slow you down or cause security issues.
6. Security breaches
Whether your company has been hacked by stealth or cyber criminals gain access through staff not being security conscious, the results can be equally as disastrous. Companies that have been hacked can have funds stolen, customer details compromised, confidential information accessed and IP stolen.