There are many mistakes that can hold back a new startup or cause it to fail. One of the most critical mistakes lies in inadequate adoption and use of technology. It’s essential to modern business, but bad choices and lack of support lead to waste and elevated risk. Here are some common IT errors that new entrepreneurs make.
Poor Cyber Security and Data Protection
Just because you have a low-profile company doesn’t mean hackers won’t target you. In fact, they’ll be looking specifically for businesses that have poor security measures in place. They use automated programs that can probe hundreds of websites each day looking for known vulnerabilities to introduce malware.
Today’s companies owe it to their customers to have every form of digital security in place. Even a single data breach or virus could lead to loss of reputation, lowered productivity, and unhappy customers. A clever hacker can empty your bank accounts, destroy your credit, deny you access to your own systems, or wipe out your files.
Up-to-date hardware, software, and the physical security of your servers and workstations all play a part in keeping your business secure. By working with IT consultants to analyze and test your network, you can learn what problems need to be addressed and prioritize your budget to ensure protection.
Inadequate Technical Support
Many smaller companies choose to forego hiring a qualified IT team, instead leaving it up to any computer “guru” on staff to solve problems. But a person without sufficient technical skills could be at a loss to fix or even recognize important issues, so that small problems become major setbacks.
If you don’t have the budget to support a full-time IT specialist, it might be wise to make adjustments. Your business needs to be able to rely on your technical infrastructure every single day. A professional can also advise on emerging technologies as you grow, or plan on offering new services to customers or new applications to your staff.
Having tech support that understands your company’s unique operations and needs is a more cost-efficient solution than calling outsiders to rescue you from every crisis. Capable IT help will see to it that monitoring and maintenance is done to keep systems running smoothly.
Cheaping Out on New Technology
One of the challenges of keeping up with new technologies is that hardware and software updates can be very expensive. However, outdated hardware or software can lead to network bottlenecks, break-downs, incompatible applications or files, lack of productivity, and other problems. Obsolete networks also increase the chances of failures like corrupted or system files.
It’s understandable to try and extend the useful life of digital systems as long as possible. But using hardware or software long past the point where it’s efficient is costing you money.
Trying to cut corners through illegal use of commercial software is also asking for trouble. Many software vendors have strict policies when it comes to license requirements. They may take legal action if you try to illicitly copy software or misrepresent your usage.
Picking “Bells and Whistles” Over Simplicity
You can always find applications or software bundles that seem to provide a terrific opportunity. However, it’s important to be thoughtful about adding even the newest or most recommended solutions to your company.
In order to be a worthwhile, new technology has to fit your business needs. Adding new solutions must take into account legacy systems, network performance, and potential risks. Choosing and integrating the right technology calls for a strong understanding of your system architecture.
Poor Employee Tech Training
Each new technology is going to require adjustment and training for employees. Many of them will resist the transition as a general inconvenience or from dislike of training experiences. However, it’s important to point out that many of the routine tasks employees do, such as data entry, file processing, and reporting can be automated. This will make their jobs easier, less error-prone, and frees them up for more important responsibilities.
Staff that are given new applications without sufficient training will tend to struggle, affecting productivity and customer experiences. Effective employee training on new digital tools also lowers the chances of mistakes and technical failures while increasing output. You’ll get better value out of new technology if employees know how to leverage more advanced features and functions.
It’s worth the investment in time and money to ensure you’re providing education, hands-on training, manuals, progress monitoring, and other training support. This helps employees to learn new technologies faster and makes them more productive sooner.
In conclusion, even a small business can’t afford to neglect technology. Keeping up with the latest tools and technologies provides a competitive advantage, and even more so if you have the guidance of IT professionals.
About the Author
Eric Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter @ericdavidgordon