IT System Failure: Why Prevention Is Better Than Cure
All businesses suffer when their IT systems fail. The catastrophic fallout can result in considerable income loss and comprehensive damage to reputation. Customer confidence is a precious commodity, and it will evaporate in light of an IT system failure.
Curing the symptoms of an IT failure is possible, but also time-consuming and expensive. A systems outage of even a few hours could result in months' worth of lost earnings. How much value do you place on your brand image? Your brand will suffer considerably in light of a system failure.
What causes IT failures?
IT systems generally fall short for three key reasons - cybercrime, hardware failure and software issues.
Cybercrime is an issue because hackers are always looking to exploit weaknesses in older or poorly maintained IT networks. If you've neglected to keep your system secure, hackers will almost certainly find a way in. This spells disaster if you carry sensitive information, such as customer payment details. Poor cybersecurity draws hackers out of the woodwork.
Hardware failures are generally the result of unsuitable/ absent IT support, where essential equipment has been left to run without maintenance or replacement. As time goes on, moving parts and hardware will grow inefficient and become prone to breaking. Think of it like a car - the older it gets, the more maintenance it will require to keep running smoothly. If you neglect this, that unreliability will cost you heavily.
Software issues stem from a number of causes, including poor coding and development in the software itself, to substandard or improper installation. It can even stem from user error. If you're not IT literate, it's essential you have access to a specialist IT support technician. They will be able to ensure software is fit for purpose prior to installation.
Be proactive, not reactive
If you neglect to properly invest in your IT system, regardless of the size of your business, you're simply inviting trouble. Many small businesses feel they don't need, or can't afford, to invest in a professional IT framework. Some because they think they're just not big enough, others because they're worried about the size of the potential investment.
It's important, however, that you properly understand the risks of neglecting ongoing managed IT support. This is particularly important for an SME, for whom every ounce of customer appreciation and loyalty is essential. There's no faster way to destroy that all-important credibility than suffering a data breach or being unable to conduct business. It's never a positive image to project to customers. If the truth gets out that it's as a result of your failure to properly invest in IT support, then your reputation will sink even further.
The perception that specialist IT support equals a high level of investment is false. Unfortunately, it's a myth which ultimately costs businesses dearly in the long run. The best thing you can do is to grasp the nettle and make contact with a company such as HTL London, which provides specialist managed IT support services.
A good support provider will be used to dealing with small businesses and will take your needs into account. They'll be able to make prudent suggestions as to the areas which require an initial investment. Then, in time, as your business grows, you can make wider changes to your IT system to cope with the increased demand.
Start as you mean to go on
It's much easier to create an IT system that's fit for purpose from the beginning than it is to try to fix an established system riddled with errors. The initial investment required to establish your IT system properly will be minimal, compared to the peace of mind you'll get from its resulting security.
Quality of life is a major factor to consider as well. A badly developed IT system is going to be buggy, laggy, difficult to use, and will provide you with inaccurate information. That will make it almost impossible for you to direct the necessary focus to the important task of building your business.
A properly developed and managed IT system is the backbone of every business, large or small. It's an investment you'll never regret.