Identifying 7 Common Mistakes in Tech Projects
As a non-tech business, you are an expert on the product or service that you are selling. That is your core competency, not information technology. Still, some businesses feel they can do it themselves. That could cost you a lot more than you think. Technology by nature is like a moving target and pinning the best technology solution requires quite a bit of work. Treating tech projects as an afterthought is a mistake that non-tech businesses make far too often. Worse yet, those mistakes can stall the growth of your business. Avoiding tech mistakes, especially the high impact ones, will be the thing that ensures the success of your business.
What are the 7 deadly mistakes non-tech businesses make on tech projects and how you can avoid committing those mistakes? This article will help your company navigate the complex and confusing world of technology.
Mistake #1. Skimping on Security
Most small businesses might conclude that their business isn’t that big to become a target for hacks and data theft. Unfortunately, security has become the number one issue even for small businesses with increased online scams, software vulnerabilities, and networks using improper architecture. Can you imagine the impact on your business if your trade secrets, customer information, HR records, and confidential communication fell into the wrong hands!
One of the top security risks most businesses often ignore is the failure to encrypt their emails. Some discard email encryption either because it is costly and complicated, or because they feel that the threat is insignificant. You can prevent much pain and loss by encrypting your emails. Always assume that every email you send could be intercepted by unethical hackers.
Try this: Set up an email encryption system to protect all your emails and their attachments.
Mistake #2. Patching New Software On Old Hardware
Most often than not software publishers release new upgrades that require a significant hardware upgrade in order to run the newer version. Many businesses purchase the latest version of the software without considering its hardware requirements. The use of old computers and their hardware can be problematic since these devices generally lack the latest features, hang too often, and are slower at common tasks like launching the application, booting up, printing, and internet search. This can result in a failed upgrade and can bring your business to a screeching halt until new hardware can be put in place or until the old version is reinstalled.
Try this: Before you purchase an upgraded software, check the minimum system requirements needed for the software to run smoothly and ensure that your existing system meets those standards.
Mistake #3. Skipping The Planning Phase
Planning for IT may seem tedious and time-consuming especially when you have so many things to get done with the running of your main business. However, it is vital that every business, big or small, must plan out their IT initiatives at least once a year. Failing to map-out your technology path can impact your entire business. You must plan your budget for new software and hardware upgrades while considering the need for additional manpower and/or technical support. Planning ahead will ensure business continuity and will spare you from unanticipated problems and setbacks when something fails.
Try this: Decide on a particular month of the year for taking stock and planning your IT structure and requirements.
Mistake #4. Inadequately Trained Employees
Some of your employees may understand technology, perhaps because they had some experience with it formerly or just because they are tech geeks. This is by no means enough to put them on the job to handle tech requirements. One of the most common mistakes that many non-tech companies commit is to try to get the job done with employees who are not adequately trained to use the technology they have at work. There is no alternative to training, it is an absolute must for business growth! Forgoing on the training of employees may render well-intentioned purchases useless and result in a massive loss of ROI. By training your employees you can lessen the likelihood of mistakes and improve overall productivity.
Try this: Take the “train the trainer” approach with your software provider. It is cost-effective and helpful.
Mistake #5. Ignoring Reliable Backup And Disaster Recovery
Businesses today are reliant on their records and data, which are almost completely stored electronically. It is extremely dangerous to assume that your backup system is working properly. A sudden power outage or a server crash can delete all your data within seconds increasing your downtime and the expenses that accompany it. It is a good practice to back up a test directory, erase it, and then do a test restore to ensure that your backup device is working. Also, ensure that the proper data is backed up.
Try this: Have a right backup solution and disaster recovery procedure in place.
Read more: COVID-19- Ensuring Continuity and Building Resilience- How business leaders can respond, survive, and thrive in the new normal
Mistake #6. Not Leveraging Cloud Computing
Most businesses either embrace cloud inconsistently or treat it as an unnecessary expenditure for their tech projects. Cloud computing has emerged as the most efficient platform for businesses than on-premise counterparts. This is because it makes it possible for employees, customers, and other authorized users to access the data at any time from any place. In most cases, cloud-based applications offer greater functionality and are less expensive. Cloud computing is more secure than an in-house computer operation that may lack proper antivirus solutions, firewalls, or backup systems.
Try this: Prepare a cloud strategy and as soon as possible, consider moving some of your applications and data to the cloud.
Mistake #7. Ignoring Preventive Maintenance
The most common mistake made by businesses on tech projects is the “repair when it crashes” strategy for IT infrastructure. While it may not hurt too much on some issues, can you imagine your 10-year-old server crashing! Now that could cripple your business. If your mission-critical hardware crosses its shelf life as it were, it is time to consider replacing it well before it actually crashes. Just like your automobile, IT software and hardware require regular maintenance and adjustments. Both the software and servers need continued care to perform at optimal levels.
Try this: Avoid overextending the life cycle of servers. Start planning to replace it well in advance. Look for the manufacturer’s instructions on MTBF (mean time between failures) for your equipment.
Don’t Make a Costly Mistake
As a business, you are constantly juggling multiple roles and duties to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Too often, the panic call comes after a technology mistake has been done already. It is crucial to remember that a single mistake could lead to catastrophic loss of data that your business may never recover from. Don’t take chances with your business. Get our experts to help you make those tech decisions and implement them smoothly. Give us a call and let’s get talking.