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Solving the six most common IT problems faced by businesses of all sizes



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Garry Moore, the managing director of Bishop's Stortford firm Genmar IT, writes for the Indie...

In this month's column I'm looking at the six most common IT problems your company faces.

And there's no need to panic. Please contact us and we can discuss things with you, just head to genmar.co.uk or give us a call on 0330 445 1234.

Security

This is not just a problem for large companies, in fact smaller companies are more likely to be attacked as many do not have a security policy.

Forty-three per cent of cyber attacks target small businesses and 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.

Even a basic policy covering use of passwords, backups and educating staff on safe use of email and internet can drastically reduce the likelihood of a serious security breach.

Data backup

Many businesses I have spoken to in 25 years in IT say they have a backup. Unfortunately, the majority do not and this is a bad mistake.

In conjunction with security, a good data backup is a last line of defence against malicious software attacks, accidental/intentional data deletion or hardware failure.

Creating a backup plan for even a small business can be tricky, and unless tested with regular restorations it is likely it will fail on restoration. Ninety per cent of businesses fail within a year of losing access to data for a week or more.

Too much paper

Half of businesses in a recent survey think that information represents 50% of their company's value. How much of this is on hard-to-find, share-and-use, paper documents?

A notable PWC study revealed 7.5% of paper documents are lost, another 3.5% misfiled and, over a year, 10% will go missing and need recreating. There are many systems to aid the scanning and storage of physical documents.

Keeping on top of IT issues is hugely important for the health and wellbeing of businesses of all sizes
Keeping on top of IT issues is hugely important for the health and wellbeing of businesses of all sizes

No IT plan

It is not uncommon for decision makers to spend more time considering what new car to buy than how to make the IT work for their business - understandable as cars are far more interesting. However, no IT plan can mean no car at all. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking about IT as a necessary evil or, at best, some sort of get-out-of-jail-free card to recover a lost document. Planning can help IT become a force multiplier, saving money, making your employees more productiv, and allowing you to attract more business.

Confusion over the cloud

The cloud is everywhere. If you have uploaded a photo to Google, used a document-sharing service like Dropbox or Box, or accessed one of the various music services then you have used a cloud service.

Most simply, a cloud application is one that exists on a server, not on your device (and sometimes not in your office), that you access via a network connection (most commonly the internet).

Similarly, most IT business tools are now offered as managed services in the cloud - office applications, email, databases, backups and even phone systems - reducing the need for you to invest in costly high-maintenance hardware, like servers, PABX, backup drives, and the need for onsite IT assistance.

Although now a tried and trusted technology representing the core of most respectable IT infrastructures, some businesses are still wary of not having physical control over their precious data. This really is outmoded thinking. We all like our money, but only a few keep all of their savings under their bed. Most believe the security of a bank to be a far superior method.

As for physical security, how secure is your office server? Probably nothing a good crowbar couldn't overcome, compared to the physical security of a Microsoft Server Farm which make Fort Knox look bad.

Hardware and software

Like cars, computer hardware needs some maintenance. Without it they will become less efficient, increase downtime, feed customer and staff frustration and promote loss of opportunities.

Similarly, ensuring you are using the correct version of your business software will reduce these issues.

Head to genmar.co.uk to find out more.



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