We all like to think we learn from mistakes, whether our own or others’. So in theory, the more serious bloopers you know about, the less likely you are to be under the bright light of interrogation, explaining how you managed to screw up big-time. That’s why we put out an all-points bulletin to IT managers and vendors everywhere: For the good of humanity, tell us about the gotchas that have gotten you, so others can avoid them. In today’s blog, let’s discuss these mistakes.
- Email messages are unencrypted
Perhaps the top security risk many companies routinely ignore is the failure to encrypt their emails. Some companies forgo email encryption because it can be costly and complicated, while others simply dismiss the threat as insignificant. This is a mistake. You should assume that every email message you send could be intercepted by unscrupulous people and bad actors. Without encryption, all your email messages are vulnerable.
2. Old computers are still used
It is common to find old computers lurking around most companies. This can be problematic because these older devices almost always lack new features, freeze up more often, and are slower at performing common tasks such as booting up, launching applications, printing, and surfing the internet. In addition, as we found with the WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks of 2017, older computer systems can be more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Issues related to older computers can rob employees of productivity and put your data at greater risk.
3.Accounting system features are underutilized
Most reviews find that a company’s advanced accounting system features are underutilized. As examples, invoices may be mailed instead of sent electronically, inventory needs may be calculated manually instead of being backflushed by the system, and automated sales price capabilities may be completely ignored. The result is akin to pushing a self-propelled lawn mower. This shortcoming is usually attributed to a lack of knowledge about using the system’s more advanced features and functionality.
4. Inexperienced IT Support and IT Management Teams.
The number of times I’ve heard an IT manager say they don’t need IT Consultancy or outside support, “That’s okay, our IT team knows what they are doing with this Project, we can make these changes ourselves.” The latest cloud technologies, on the other hand, are not so straight-forward. Given these technologies are fairly new, not every member of your IT team will be au fait with cloud deployment and any number of things could go wrong during cloud deployment alone.
5. Failing To Upgrade Hardware and Software
The second common tech mistake businesses make is retaining laptops, desktops, servers and old software for too long. Problems start when companies fail to plan and budget for hardware and software refresh cycles, often overestimating the length of time between upgrades and subsequently not having the budget to do so when systems begin to malfunction and software becomes obsolete.
A common misconception is that computer hardware will last around 4-6 years. Computers, Servers, Routers and Networking equipment that are used in business extensively every day only function at optimum performance and reliability for 3-4 years.
Cybersecurity should be a top priority for business owners of all sizes. Since the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in 2018, businesses are subjected to hefty fines if they are deemed to have neglected implementing appropriate data security measures. It’s also important to ensure you have the right tools and bandwidth that can detect cybersecurity alerts. Also, work with an IT support partner that knows how to configure software and networks without exposing your network to vulnerabilities and educate your employees about the threats posed by cybercriminals.
7. Too Much, Too Soon
Companies that fail to plan properly or seek the right advice may install more IT equipment and software than their current infrastructure can effectively cope with, the result could mean unexpected power outages, downtime, slow performance, lost productivity – and probably a workforce of frustrated employees. Other common mistakes are when CEOs with limited IT knowledge want to expand quickly or invest in the latest buzzword technologies. They go ahead with a rushed upgrade only to find the new equipment is not compatible with their existing infrastructure, software or even workflow and will require hefty investment in further upgrades, planning and consultation.