How your IT System is tying your business down in a knot
Your IT system is like a series of ropes. When they’re strong, well-organised, and in the right places, they can pull things in the right direction, and hold everything together. If they’re old, frayed, or tangled up, not only do they not help, but they also make everything difficult and dangerous.
New technology and new circumstances can make the IT knot more complex. Hybrid work is the perfect example — data, communications, and security all become more tangled when you have multiple people with multiple devices in multiple places.
Here are some of the areas where IT can tie businesses down, and how to untangle them.
Out-of-date IT systems
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is generally a sound principle, but in the case of software and technology, it’s not always obvious that something is broken. Systems can work perfectly well on a functional level while being vulnerable or even dangerous.
It doesn’t take very long for technology to become out-of-date, and with age its performance starts to suffer. It can become slow and inefficient and if that happens gradually, you might not notice the drop in quality.
The other risk is that since you have multiple systems, the ones that you upgrade may struggle to interact easily with older technology. That of course means that overall efficiency suffers.
The last issue to be aware of is security. New programmes and software upgrades offer the latest security features and are often there to correct recently discovered weaknesses. If you don’t have the latest, you’re vulnerable to attacks.
Speaking of security …
Poor security practice
A security breach of your IT System could mean anything from lost working hours, to fines, to lost customers, or all of the above. Many don’t appreciate the importance of security until theirs has been breached, so good practice can stop you from finding out the hard way.
People often roll their eyes at the topic of passwords, but as a nation we have appalling form with them. The UK’s top five favourite passwords are ‘password’, ‘123456’, ‘guest’, ‘liverpool’, and ‘qwerty’. Any one of those is pretty much as good as not having a password. The best practice for password creation is controversial, but everyone agrees that an easily guessed password is no use.
Remote workers take devices to various locations and connect them to different networks. That extra mobility means more physical risk to the devices (i.e. loss, theft, or damage) but public Wi-Fi is not secure. Files are easy to intercept on an open network, so it’s vital to set up a VPN for a hybrid workforce.
It’s easy to think of data security as purely a digital concern, but don’t neglect best practice in more analogue contexts. For example, while you can’t hack a notebook, you can’t encrypt one either. Plenty of people still write notes on paper, which can contain sensitive information. New starters especially might have a notebook filled with IT system names, email addresses, colleagues’ names and job titles, passwords, and other company information. Leaving that on a desk, in a bag, or on a café table is high risk.
It’s by no means always the wrong choice, but in many cases using on-premises infrastructure can hold back a business. Cost is a major factor. A business with an IT System will pay more to host its own servers, mainly in maintenance, hardware space, power, and wages for those in charge of the infrastructure. If it uses cloud-based infrastructure, those costs sit with the provider, and the business only pays for the use of the cloud.
Businesses can be nervous about security if their data sits elsewhere, but cloud security is more than enough for most businesses to remain compliant and safe. In fact, it can offer more layers of protection, with more experts working on it. Additionally, in the cloud, your data is easier to back up and recover in case of an outage.
Undoing the IT knot and growing your business
Some IT setups only need a few tweaks, and some need an overhaul. Either way, getting your systems in order means that you can stop addressing tech failures, stop using slow or ineffective tools, stop battling security threats, and start directing that time, energy, and money towards growing your business.
Arc Systems streamlines your IT so that your systems are all working towards your commercial goals. Get your free IT Health Check to see if your systems and your data are in a knot, or get in touch if you’d like to speak to a local IT specialist. It’s 01268 288100 or [email protected].