85 percent of small business owners agree that the use of technology enhances success.
If you’re in this group, you certainly also know that investing in technology isn’t a cheap exercise. You must purchase the hardware and software, invest in employee training, and meet on-going maintenance costs.
Even with such high costs, some businesses still afford to make mistakes that sabotage the entire organization. Don’t be like these organizations.
To help you avoid falling into this situation, we’re sharing a handful of common IT management mistakes businesses make.
Keep reading for deeper insight.
6 IT Management Mistakes
1. Running New Software on Legacy Hardware
Legacy hardware in any piece of tech equipment that’s old or outdated. For instance, if you started your business in 2000 and are still using the computers you bought back then, you’ve got legacy hardware right there.
Two things prevent businesses from upgrading their legacy systems. First, the cost can be prohibitive. Second, some legacy systems still do the job…somehow!
As such, it’s understandable why you might be clinging on to your dear good old computers and other tech equipment.
However, you’ll be making a costly mistake if you decide to run new software on applications on legacy hardware.
If your legacy computers still work, it’s certainly because you’re using legacy software on them. So, when you install new, more-powerful software on legacy hardware, the entire system might stop responding or become painfully slow, crippling your business’ operations.
If you’ve got legacy systems and you’re looking to upgrade, you have to upgrade the entire infrastructure. There’s no middle ground where you upgrade the software first, then the hardware later, or vice versa.
To unleash the power of new tech, every component must be new and up-to-date; otherwise, you wouldn’t be getting the most out of your hefty investment.
2. Hiring an In-house IT Team Too Soon—or Too Late
When you started your small business, you probably didn’t envision hiring a full-time tech guy. After all, you had one or two computers, a printer, and perhaps a website.
As your business grows, though, you start expanding your tech capabilities. Before you know it, you have a vast IT infrastructure that needs specialized expertise to run. At this point, you need to start building an in-house IT team.
An IT management mistake some owners make is starting to build an IT team too early. Sure, one can argue that it’s a good thing to have trained hands on your tech systems from an early stage, but it doesn’t amount to good use of money paying someone for a task you could be doing on your own.
Imagine what an annual salary of an IT specialist could do your business. We’re talking about $50,000 that you could spend on other more crucial aspects of your business, like marketing.
Then there are those who wait until it’s too late to hire the team. For these owners, they never realize the value of having an in-house IT person until something major has happened, like a system crash or data breach.
IT management is an essential business function, but you want to ensure that you’re building and expanding your team at the right pace.
This way, you will save lots of money that you could have otherwise spent on salaries and other employee benefits while ensuring your business’ tech infrastructure is secure and functioning optimally.
3. Not Prioritizing Cybersecurity
Speaking of data breaches, did you know 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses?
That’s not even the worst news. The real zinger is companies that have fallen victim to a cyberattack will spend over $800,000 to recover from the damage.
Supposed your business was hacked today, would it survive?
Yet, several small business owners don’t give cybersecurity a priority. They either think their companies are too small to be a target or assume the worst a cyberattack can do is disable a website temporarily.
Don’t make this mistake.
Cybersecurity should be central to your business. If you’re in the process of building an IT team, ensure you have a cybersecurity specialist on it. If you aren’t at this stage yet, you can outsource the function to a company that offers small business IT services.
- 7 Cybersecurity Trends To Look For in 2020
- 5 Top Cybersecurity Threats for Businesses in 2020
- Top 3 Cybersecurity Solutions For Small Businesses
4. Failing to Develop Effective Organizational IT Policies
Every organization needs an IT policy, but not all of them have it. In fact, several small businesses don’t have these policies.
Without an IT policy that governs your organization’s use of technology, it’s hardly possible to exercise proper IT management.
For instance, when you don’t have an IT policy, your employees can take work computers home or bring their own devices to work at their own will.
Neither of either situation is necessarily bad, but it’s such a kind of disorganization that’ll put your company at risk of a cyberattack.
Develop clear policies that touch on every aspect of your organization’s use of information technology.
5. Failing to Train Your Employees
When did you last train your employees on IT matters?
If you can’t recall or simply haven’t, you’re not alone. Many small business owners don’t train IT-train their employees because of the associated costs.
Don’t shy away from spending a couple of thousand dollars on employee training. Would you rather spend close to a million dollars trying to salvage your business from a cyberattack?
Here’s the connection. About 50 percent of all data breaches involve employee error. This makes your workers a major cybersecurity liability.
IT training significantly reduces this liability. When your employees are up-to-date on IT matters, they not only protect your business but also become more productive.
6. Avoid These IT Management Mistakes
Technology is a double-edged sword. If you use it properly, you can tap into its power and spear your way to the top. But if you mishandle it, the same tech can turn on you and slice your business to the ground.
We all want to use tech to achieve greater things. In business, this will be possible if you avoid the IT management mistakes fleshed out above.
Keep reading our blog for more business tech tips, hacks, and advice.
Author: Cathy Carter