The Most Common Technology Mistake
The most common technology mistake on the table is viewing IT as a cost center.
Despite all the hype about digital transformation, the reality is that half of CEOs and company Boards continue to view information technology as a cost center and not a revenue generator. As a result, many IT departments spend their resources on business operations and incremental change versus business growth.
Fortunately, signs point toward change in the aftermath of COVID. For example, Gartner predicts IT spending will reach $4.4 trillion this year, up 5.3% versus 2021. More critical, Gartner believes the increased budgets will focus more on digital transformation as we begin to migrate out of COVID’s initial impact.
5 Common Technology Mistakes
Assuming you don’t view IT as a cost center, you still need to look out for these five common concerns.
Mistake 1: Outdated Hardware and Software
Understandably, you want to hold onto hardware and software as long as possible. But the key is understanding when you’ve hit the threshold to avoid overextending your technology lifecycle. Otherwise, you risk losing money in the form of security risks, slowed productivity, potential data loss, additional maintenance, etc.
Business News Daily examined hardware lifespans. It determined desktop computers typically last five to eight years. On the other hand, laptops hold up only three to five years. These signs point to hardware that may need replacing:
- Upgrading causes compatibility issues
- Out of date security
- Noisy fans
- Repair costs begin to exceed replacement costs
- Applications load slowly (Microsoft Word takes five seconds or more)
- Outdated operating systems
- Multitasking issues
- Slow startup and shutdown (30 seconds to boot up)
When you decommission hardware, make sure you dispose of it properly to avoid making a common technology mistake. Plus, wipe your hard drive clean or have it destroyed by a reputable source.
Software is entirely another matter. For example, updates should frequently happen to eliminate vulnerabilities that leave you open to cyber-attacks.
Software as a Service (Saas) offers a sound alternative. You save money on the purchase and installation of software, but you also reduce maintenance as the provider manages software updates.
Mistake 2: Data Backup
Today, data is one of your most valuable assets. So, you need to guard it. That means having a business continuity and data recovery (BCDR) plan. Unfortunately, too many small businesses, mainly, lose sight of this requirement.
If you don’t think data backup is vital, consider these statistics:
- 140,000 hard drives crash weekly in the U.S.
- 60% of businesses with a data loss incident shut down six months afterward
- 96% of organizations fail to back up workstations
- 75% of small businesses lack a disaster recovery plan
- 93% of organizations that suffer a significant data loss without a BCDR plan go out of business in one year
With cloud backup services available at reasonable costs, there’s no excuse for not implementing a data backup strategy – and testing it frequently to make sure it works as planned. Otherwise, you’ll make one of the most basic technology mistakes.
Mistake 3: Slacking on Security
Even with the constant specter of cyber threats, less than half of small businesses (43%) have implemented a cybersecurity policy, according to the Cyber Readiness Institute (CRI). Moreover, 20% of small companies fail to implement endpoint security.
Perhaps most alarming, 52% of SMBs have no cybersecurity experts in-house. That leaves them to cobble together cybersecurity measures that likely won’t withstand even the most rudimentary cyber-attack.
When it comes to cybersecurity, more is better. That means having multiple layers of security in place to thwart attackers and prevent lateral movement. At the very least, you need to make sure you have IT solutions in place for:
- Data loss prevention
- Software updates
- Remote access and access control
- Mobile device security
- User account management
- Password policy
As mentioned, the more you have in tow, the better. You should also consider a cyber-attack response plan, vulnerability scans, and cyber awareness training. Finally, don’t overlook insider threats that account for 25% of all security incidents.
Mistake 4: Lack of Training
We just mentioned cyber awareness training. In 2021, 85% of data breaches involved a human element. In addition, 94% of malware gets delivered via email. So, training your employees to spot potential cyber threats makes business sense.
Apart from cyber awareness training, another common technology mistake relates to technology training in general. IT training needs to extend beyond IT staff and to your company personnel. Why?
Studies indicate that 80% of software features get misused, if at all. Moreover, companies that invest at least $1,500 annually per employee report earning 24% more profit than those with training.
Mistake 5: Misuse of IT Support
We get it. As a small business, you’re trying to watch your budget closely and spend as efficiently as possible. But when nearly half of the small businesses lack an internal security expert, why would you not consider capturing that expertise with outsourced IT services?
Partnering with a local IT company offers several benefits:
- Removes burdens from your staff to avoid overwhelming them
- Increases your resource pool while gaining access to specialized expertise
- Provides fixed costs and reduces infrastructure
- Allows for fast scaling of IT operations
- Delivers 24/7 IT support
Having these additional capabilities close at hand helps prevent you from making common technology mistakes.
Want to Reduce Your Technology Mistakes?
As a managed IT services company, we support small businesses throughout Central Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Carlisle, Lebanon, and Reading. We can work with you to make sure you avoid common technology mistakes.
Equally important, our IT services ensure you won’t make even more significant mistakes like skimping on cybersecurity. For example, we support our clients with a Security Operation Center that takes a proactive approach to security with round-the-clock monitoring for cyber-attacks. For potential security breaches, it continuously examines internet traffic, networks, desktops, servers, endpoint devices, databases, applications, and other IT systems.
Get in touch today. After all, there’s no reason to learn from your mistakes when you can avoid making them in the first place!