Research conducted by Brother and YouGov found that GB SMEs could be losing almost five million working hours every week to everyday IT related issues.
The research also discovered that:
- 1 in 5 senior leaders in SME businesses believe that computer crashes (20%) are some of the biggest time-zapping distractions in the working day.
- Three quarters (75%) of SME decision makers estimated that their staff spent an average of one to two hours in every working week hamstrung by dealing with computer related issues.
- Other drains on employee productivity that SME leaders identified included staff not being able to find documents either on a server or as hard copies (28%) and workplace equipment not working properly (21%).
- Just over a fifth (21%) of SME leaders recognised quicker IT support as one of the top three things which would improve their productivity.
Many SME’s have little or no in house expertise and visits by computer engineers everytime a problem arises disrupts work and this kind of unplanned expenditure is usually expensive.
So how can SME’s eliminate the time staff spend on tackling these issues so that they can increase their business productivity and avoid the costly, uplanned for expenditure of emergency computer engineer call outs?
Keep Equipment Up to Date
Performance issues are often the result of using out of date equipment. If you haven’t already done so perhaps it’s time to consider an equipment replacement cycle of 3 years or so.
Keep Software Up to Date
This applies to both operating system software such as Windows 10 and to software applications. How many times have you had software application issues after upgrading to a new operating system or other performance issues by forgetting to apply updates or security patches?
It was the failure of the NHS to apply patches and update all the operating systems in their network and to apply security patches that caused the Ransomware virus to exploit these weaknesses. Could this happen to you?
Don’t be caught out – take steps now to make sure your operating system and applications software are up to date!
Adopt Effective Data Storage Practices
Less than 20% of UK small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) back up all of their data, a study has revealed.
The survey of IT managers at UK SMEs,highlights a number of ineffective data storage practices that are leaving companies at risk from data loss or theft.
Another survey from YouGov found that 40 per cent of SMEs would suffer severe impairment to business operations in the case of a system failure.
So why take the risk of your business going down the pan along with your system?
Use these three simple rules to safeguard your business:
Rule 1 – Take 3 copies of your data – minimum
This means your original data plus two backups. The more copies of your data you keep the less your risk of data loss.Having one backup is not enough and making sure copies of your data are located in different locations from the original is essential.
Rule 2 – Store your backups on different media
Don’t be tempted to store several backups in the same place. Why? Because system failures often affect all devices. e.g If your data is stored on the same RAID* and one disk fails you might find another disk from the same RAID fails soon afterwards because they were bought at the same time from the same supplier.
To safeguard your data store backups on a wide range of different mediums such as tapes, USB drives, CDs, external and internal hard drives, in the Cloud etc.
Rule 3 – Store 1 backup offsite
Consider this – if there is a fire or some kind of national disaster will your data backups survive? Storing at least one copy or better still two of your backups offsite makes sense. This means in another city, state, country or even continent.
Conduct Staff Training
Are your staff well versed in operating your computer systems and software?
Do they know how to prevent attacks by viruses, malware and ransomware?
Untrained or poorly trained staff can lead to problems down the line so an induction course for new staff and refresher courses for all staff are absolutely essential to maintain the integrity and security of your computer systems and software.
Consider Using a Managed Service Provider
By using a managed service provider such as Clearwave you can avoid the pitfalls of relying on your own staff to maintain your systems and computer engineer to visit your office to fix a problem every time something goes wrong – probably after some damage has been done and with the loss of business caused by downtime.
We will perform a daily check for software updates, anti virus checks, disk space, load monitoring, log monitoring, backup checks, scheduled reboots, automated disk clean up, hacker check and will also prevent the installation of unauthorised software thereby reducing the risk of downtime due to reactive support.
The result is you will be able to spend a lot more time on revenue building activities instead of dealing with IT issues or worrying about the consequences of data loss.
RAID* (redundant array of independent disks) is a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both.