Did you know that some of the common business IT problems that affect many companies are actually preventable? Online issues can impact productivity and result in unanticipated costs to your business, but there’s actually a lot you can do to mitigate the risk of them occurring in the first place.
By far, the most common business IT problem is the threat of a cyber attack. These attacks can happen at any time, to any business, and take many different forms. They can affect various aspects of your company’s hardware and software, while exposing your files, information and customer data to dangerous online hackers.
The good news is that these days security software is so advanced that, provided you update your systems regularly and have the requisite level of protection in place, you should be well guarded against most cyber attacks. Cyber security is a shared business responsibility, so make sure all employees receive regular training and guidance on how to stay safe online.
Out with the old
As a business leader, you need to be thrifty to ensure profitability. But a mistake that many CEOs make is holding on to old, outdated technology because they don’t see the value in upgrading or would prefer to spend their money on other things.
This can have a big impact on productivity, security and even customer satisfaction as old programmes, systems and software simply don’t work as users expect them to. Sometimes certain bits of functionality can become compromised or are no longer supported by the technology provider so they cease to work at all! Old technology may not have the same level of security protection as its more modern counterparts, so by failing to upgrade your systems, you’re also exposing your business to an increased cyber security threat.
If your IT Support team suggests upgrading to newer versions, take heed. Incurring a small cost now will prevent you from paying a big price in the future!
Reactive IT Support
What are your IT Support team working on right now? Are they chasing around the office fixing what seems like a constant stream of issues raised by your team? Do your servers go down frequently and cause disruption to productivity? And, critically, are you aware if your team are working to an IT Support plan and a set of agreed KPIs?
One of the most surprising solutions to many of your business IT problems is planning. IT Support should be considered, proactive and structured, but many businesses still see their helpdesk as a reactive service for when things go wrong.
A strong IT Support team will constantly find ways to automate many of your existing processes that are currently done manually, as this saves time and reduces the risk of things going wrong.
Similarly, they can implement some proactive programmes to run regularly on all machines to back up data and protect information so it won’t be lost if your servers go down. As a business leader, you should have visibility of your IT Support team’s yearly roadmap, including SLAs for resolving any issues that crop up.
How often do you have to replace things like laptops, monitors, cables, accessories, phones and plugs? Are you even aware of how much money your IT Support team are spending on your company’s hardware?
These days, it’s possible to sign up for something called PC as a Service. This means that the entire lifespan of your hardware will be covered by a monthly subscription plan. Any time your equipment needs to be replaced, it will be sourced, bought and installed in your office as part of the service. Think of PCaaS a bit like an insurance plan - it can save loads of money and will give you piece of mind that your team will have access to the latest technology at the best prices.
Insourcing and outsourcing
Sometimes, many business leaders have a hunch that their in-house IT Support team aren’t quite up to scratch but they’re not sure how to find the right expertise to replace them. Other companies may have chosen to outsource their IT Support initially but want to bring this function back in-house further down the line.
Either way, it’s critical that your approach to an IT Support function, whether in-house or outsourced is right for your business. Every company is different and has individual needs, objectives, budgets and expectations.
Think about what you expect from your IT team, take note of any areas in which they are not currently delivering against your expectations and then shop around to compare the different options available for insourcing versus outsourcing. It can also be useful to seek help from external sources and make sure you’re aware of all the routes open to you before you commit.
Lanmark offers award-winning IT Support to small and medium sized businesses in London. Our exceptional service covers your business 24 hours per day, 365 days per year and can act as an extension of your existing team or a standalone support function. We can even help you bring an outsourced IT Support service back in-house - whatever you need, we’re here to help.