A vast majority of small companies rely on the latest technology to run efficiently. For these companies, making smart IT decisions can affect daily operations, as well as long-term success.
Here are 4 common IT mistakes that small companies should avoid:
1. Failing to Plan for Growth
Many small companies fail to properly account for IT within their growth strategy. Successful small companies tend to make ongoing investments in hardware, software and support. It’s recommended to invest in IT solutions that can expand alongside a company over at least a 1 year horizon. Doing so may seem more expensive at first, but it’s a must more cost-effective plan in the long term.
2. Buying the Wrong IT Software and Equipment
Money can be tight for a small business, but cutting corners on IT is generally a poor place to save.
Low-cost and consumer-grade products might seem attractive, but they’re rarely designed to handle the needs of a growing small business. For instance, business-grade software considers the unique interactions among employees, teams, customers and partners. Business-grade equipment also has special considerations, such as reduced downtime and higher performance.
3. Failure to Keep Up With Changing Technology
IT is the most rapidly changing and evolving industry in the world. Keeping up with the latest advances can be a full time job, but all employees should allocate some time in their schedules to do so.
Staff should receive continuing education to ensure they are efficiently using the resources provided to them by management. Not only will these skills boost their productivity and efficiency, but they will likely enhance their understanding of IT security as well.
However, staff aren’t the only ones who need to stay up-to-date on IT trends; management also needs to stay ahead of the curve. Management should familiarize themselves with the latest technology, along with the costs and benefits of each. Failure to do so can lead to missed opportunities to reduce costs and increase productivity.
4. Mismanaging Security
Until recently, small companies made for unlikely hacking targets. With limited resources and lax security, they were considered easy, yet unproductive targets. However, all of this changed in recent years. Symantec and others have reported a sharp rise in attacks on small companies.
To avoid disasters and save money, small companies should invest in security from the start. Password managers, firewalls, anti-malware programs and antivirus programs are just a few security measures that small businesses should consider when locking down assets.