We all want our businesses to be lean and mean. But efficiency may be like heat inside a building that has tiny cracks around windows and doors. Heat leaks out here and there – you don’t even comprehend it. Here are a few things which will steal efficiency out of your business through your information technology systems, you can not even realize:
Lack of IT policies and procedures, or not following them
According to a Ponemon Institute study in 2012, “negligent insiders are the pinnacle reason for data breaches.” Internal negligence accounts for 39% of knowledge breaches. Probably most of these people occupied with breaches were horrified at what happened, but human error was still on the heart of it.
There are some ways human error can happen: not controlling system administrator access when roles change or people leave; employees losing laptops or having them stolen; easily cracked user passwords. Too often a breach sends a business right into a crisis tailspin. It’ll result in financial losses, public relations repercussions and legal problems.
- How to mend it: Prevention is one of the best answer. Audit your processes and implement security best practices in any respect vulnerable points. Educate employees as to their responsibilities. Hold them liable for following policies, too.
Maintaining physical IT resources
Maintaining information technology hardware can also be expensive in addition to time consuming for small businesses already having a tricky time meeting the growing demands in their operations. Common issues include slow or outdated servers, and physical loss within the event of a disaster. Then there’s the capital expense of shopping for and scaling IT equipment, implementing upgrades, in addition to the sheer variety of servers needed and the operating expense.
- How to repair it: Consider virtualization technologies and moving to virtual environments. Letting an out of doors service having economies of scale handle the hardware, if you maintain IT oversight in-house, can be a more efficient use of capital and staff. Involve the Finance Department to make a value-benefit analysis.
Failing to schedule system backups or incomplete backups
Even at the moment, studies still show erratic backup practices among small businesses. The causes are many: human error, backup solution failure, budget restrictions. The headaches and fees of attempting to recover – and maybe not having the ability to recover completely — can threaten a smaller business’s very existence.
- How to repair it: Schedule backups and test them regularly. “Inspect what you are expecting.” If you’ve delegated, ask questions until you get satisfactory answers about backups. Consider moving to a managed service that handles backups for you.
Not requiring employees to update passwords regularly
Using an analogous password multiple times, and using easy passwords are two common practices making the complete system potentially vulnerable. Chinese hackers were ready to breach the hot York Times website in January as a result of getting email login credentials of a writer.
- How to mend it: Require employees to reset passwords regularly, through password expiration in applications. Educate them at the need for strong passwords.
Not treating mobile devices as a vital part of your IT systems
In a 2012 honeypot study, 50 mobile devices were intentionally lost. Within the overwhelming majority of cases the man finding it accessed information at the device (intentionally or unintentionally). The fees of mobility-related incidents were $247,000 on average, per incident, in step with that very same study.
- How to mend it: Treat mobile devices (even BYOD devices that employees own) as endpoints of your IT ecosystem, entitled to an analogous levels of protection as your network, servers and desktops. Incorporate solutions consisting of encryption and remote wipe capabilities for mobile devices into your IT security plan.
Slow network and Internet connections, and downtime
You won’t realize just how much time employees spend looking ahead to large files to transfer and slowness brought on by bandwidth limitations and other issues. The very last thing you wish to have is business-critical computing to be interrupted. Other systems could be disrupted, too. A VOIP phone system that’s down for a half an afternoon can mean tremendous lost business and inconvenience for staff and customers alike.
- How to mend it: Go for quick speed and reliability for key communications connectivity. One option today is to avoid the general public Internet for internal computing locations, and faucet right into a private Ethernet network service.
Not identifying and tackling the largest problems areas first
Systems and networks get more complex always. Complexity makes it harder to troubleshoot issues. You don’t spend hours or days solving minor issues while the largest issues continue to plague the business.
- How to repair it: The largest ROI might be had from isolating and fixing the largest problems. Don’t underestimate what’s involved with troubleshooting. We see with our systems that troubleshooting can take repeated attempts before you isolate the complete causes and effects. Reports; Web-based administration tools; key performance indicators which you monitor – all are essential troubleshooting tools.
In summary, technology issues involve hundreds of details and might be interrelated. When problems arise they take mindshare clear of running the business. Important revenue-generating IT projects get delayed. The corporate may be thrown into crisis mode. None folks enjoy spending large sums to mend issues because we’re forced to in an effort to avoid disaster.
One other piece of recommendation we’ve learned the hard way: don’t continue doing things a method simply because you’ve always done it that way and not had an issue. Make some extent to coach yourself and your team at the possibilities. Many more options exist today compared with even just a few years ago. Today’s solutions may be — and sometimes are — more efficient when it comes to staff money and time.