The 10 reasons most IT systems fail for growing businesses

1. Old equipment

Don’t keep valuable business data on hardware that is past its best years, it may seem like you are increasing your return on investment by keeping it in production for another year, but as gear gets older it becomes more susceptible to failure

2. Backups that aren’t working properly when they are needed

When the day comes that a large amount of company data needs to be restored, the process NEEDS TO WORK. To ensure your data is safe, both your onsite backups and cloud backups should be monitored and have regular test restores conducted.

3. Trying to do it cheap

As with anything, you get what you pay for, it can seem difficult to justify paying for extra IT security, extra system redundancy, or higher end backup software, but this is your business data we are talking about!

4. Lack of access to technical knowledge

Having inhouse (non-IT) staff build, maintain or secure your IT environment might seem a cost-effective way of managing this side of the business, but for best results you need to leverage knowledge from people/companies that have been doing this type of work daily for years.

5. IT equipment that is not maintained or monitored

This can introduce unknowns into your IT environment, we often come across old network/computer equipment when conducting IT audits and they are often the weakest link in an organizations network

6. Virus/malware infected computer that remains on the network

Got an old machine lying around that is being kept as “a spare”, that was virus infected a long time ago and was cleaned up? Sometimes its safest to wipe and reload the operating system if the system was once heavily infected, even if the antivirus software is now telling you the machine is clean it may be damaged goods, and you risk infecting other computers on your network the minute you turn it on and connect to the network

7. Power issues, where the UPS is not in a good state

Most businesses with servers onsite will have them protected with an uninterruptable power supply – this needs to be monitored and tested. The batteries don’t last forever! When the day comes that you have a power outage it isn’t just the requirement for equipment to keep running, but you don’t want it to have a ‘dirty shutdown’ and not start up once your power is restored.

8. Power outage where a generator is in place, but doesn’t start when its needed

If you have an onsite generator to run any part of your business should power not be available, make sure you test it regularly, and keep spare fuel that isn’t too old to use!

9. Software updates not kept up to date

There is really no excuse for not having the latest Windows security updates installed on all PCs and Servers. There have been some high-profile viruses that have taken down thousands of systems in the last year (The recent WannaCry virus is a great example of this). Your machines should also have the latest versions/updates for software such as Java. It can be difficult to manage these manually, so automation of updates is preferable

10. Internet outage and no alternative option available

Standard UFB connections have next to no Service Level Agreement and no guaranteed fix times, so if your business depends on working internet to function, you should speak to your provider to see if putting in a second alternative link is desirable. For small businesses this may be as simple as a backup 4G mobile network connection.