4 Common Business IT Problems and Issues
Do you have an IT issue at work that’s driving you absolutely mad? Or are your employees beating a path to your desk with IT complaints that stop you ever getting through your own to-do list? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. IT issues cost companies £3.4 billion per year in lost productivity, and whether working from home or in the office, anyone can have IT issues. Thankfully, most of these problems can be resolved or at the very least minimised relatively quickly, with the proper knowledge.
In this blog, we will look at common IT issues, how they occur, some ‘quick fixes’, and what measures can be taken by either yourself or your IT support team to prevent these issues from happening in the future.
IT problem 1: Poor internal security – Hint: your staff are probably the problem
A robust cyber security setup is important to any business, and must be monitored and updated often to align with the potential risks. Studies show that 48% of all data breaches are caused by negligent employees in small and medium-sized businesses. If your IT is not well protected and secure, you risk viruses and malware becoming very serious and harmful.
Why this happens
Breaches and issues are usually down to one of the following common reasons:
- Phishing attacks via email and unsafe links
- Weak passwords
- The wrong people gaining unauthorised access to sensitive information
- Poor cyber security when accessing your company’s network remotely
- Viruses and malware.
What you should do
To combat this, there are some strategies that can be put in place to prevent any additional risk to your security. These include:
- Create maps and licenses of access to sensitive information. This is crucial to your internal security
- Use a central password management solution to store and access shared accounts
- You can also set up access rights within your company’s computer network to manage sensitive areas more accessible
- Make sure you have a two-factor authentication setup on all accounts. This will prevent access even in the event of a password leak.
Weak passwords and phishing attacks are most common in the workplace. The best way to minimise these issues is to educate your employees, implement security policies, set up rules regarding password complexity, and add filters in your email inboxes to highlight external or potential spam/risky emails. This is something that your IT support team should be able to assist with or consult an expert in IT cyber security.
The simple solution to prevent viruses and malware is to ensure you have invested in solid antivirus and malware protection, ensuring that it is compatible with the hardware and software you use. Most Windows PCs will require protection to be installed from the start, and it is crucial to make this a priority. All modern Macs come with built-in virus protection, but this is relatively basic so additional software should be added to supplement it – especially when looking to protect your business and its data, which is priceless.
Again, for any of these steps, primarily when investing in antivirus software, it would be advisable to consult your IT team or partner with a co-managed IT services expert who are specialists in this area and can recommend the best protection for you.
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IT problem 2: Data loss and recovery issues
Loss of data is one of the scariest issues in a business environment. Between 40-60% of small businesses don’t reopen after data loss occurs. Losing any level of valuable data and files can cost a lot of money and an incredible amount of time recovering or recreating that data. Not to mention damage to your company and brand’s reputations, your business insurance premiums going up because you’ll be deemed a “risk” by underwriters and possibly having to report a GDPR breach to the ICO.
Why this happens
This issue can occur from certain unfortunate events such as:
- Power outages – especially when in the midst of transferring data or uploading critical information.
- Malfunction of equipment and hardware. In 40% of data loss cases in 2021, the reason for data loss was hardware failure
- Human error, which is the number one cause as to why data loss occurs
What you should do
To avoid data loss, you need a disaster recovery plan that should include backup data via a cloud storage service.
A sturdy cloud service with solid cyber security will allow your business to store information knowing it’s safe from an unexpected data loss. Consulting an IT specialist can assist in creating a robust and workable disaster plan that should include the following:
- Multiple backups and a continuity plan for data loss issues
- Backup servers that are updated and managed regularly
- Adding an external server or managed cloud backup.
It is also important to note that your cloud services will need to be backed up regularly too as there is still a chance cloud storage data can be lost. Partner with an IT specialist to assist with building a reliable cloud service and disaster plan, where they can also monitor, manage and continually update with the latest data from within your business.
IT problem 3: Mac skills gap
Macs are an increasingly popular choice for business users. Studies show that over 90% of employees are more likely to join or stay at a company that offers them a choice between Mac or PC. However, they can cause problems for IT teams unfamiliar with the hardware and operating system. As we’ve addressed, solving many IT issues hinges on acting quickly and early. Without dedicated support for your Mac users, this won’t be possible.
Why this happens
The issue comes down to lack of preparation when/if onboarding Macs into a mostly PC environment, and the lower uptake of Macs versus PC for commercial purposes – however, this trend is reversing and more Macs are now being introduced and welcomed into the business world.
For example, if one or two employees opt to use a MacBook it’s no problem, and then a handful more choose to do the same… and then some more choose to do so. Suddenly you have more Macs than anticipated and no specialist team to assist. This is where the problem arises, and is further accelerated by mobile device compatibility and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in some sectors and work-from-home scenarios.
What you should do
With both Macs and PCs in the workplace, hardware and software problems will, with the best will in the world, happen. This means your IT team must be fully aware of how to help resolve these issues on either operating system (OS) as they do differ from one another. An example of this is running an internal diagnostic report to seek out any issues:
- Mac: Press and hold Command + D on startup, which will run an internal diagnostic of your entire system to identify any issues.
- PC: Once logged in, press Windows Key + R to launch the Run Dialog Box, type “perform /report”, and then hit Enter to run the diagnostic.
One simple action, performed in two very different ways.
A valuable task to undertake is to run an audit of the applications and software used by your business to see which ones will work with Macs and PCs and which ones won’t. From here, you will then be able to address areas that would need changing or seek alternative solutions to best fit your company’s requirements. Throughout this process, you need to be aware of software licensing for each OS, as this can also be different.
Understanding the key differences between Windows and macOS, from the interface to the antivirus software required, further highlights how vital a Mac specialist or IT partner with a depth of knowledge across both is to a business. This can be someone employed within your IT department or outsourced by partnering with a Mac specialist.
IT problem 4: Slow performance
One of the most common and frustrating issues is slow performance. It can disrupt operations and even stop specific applications and software from running. Not to mention costing you and your business money if your employees aren’t able to work efficiently and quickly. With this issue, it is crucial to identify whether it’s the computer itself that is slow or the internet connection that is slow. This can usually be determined quickly depending on what is running slow on your computer — whether it be the browser or applications that do not require an internet connection.
Why this happens
If your computer is running slow, there are many reasons why this could be happening. These include:
- Having too many windows and tabs open at once
- Unnecessary or unused software constantly running in the background of the computer
- Filling your computer’s available memory with applications and data
- Low hard disk space
- Having too many startup programs
- Not shutting down or restarting your computer every day
- Outdated software and equipment
What you should do
Many performance problems can be sorted and avoided by simply fully closing down the apps you don’t need at that time or cleaning up your memory of unwanted files, data and applications. Some other quick fixes that can be performed to help boost a computer’s speed include:
- Manage and remove any applications – specifically startup applications – that are no longer required for the business or user in question.
- Close windows and applications that are not being used to reduce your memory (RAM) usage
- Procure and update software and hardware often. PCs usually need replacing every 3-4 years, whereas Macs usually require replacing every 5-6 years. Having said that, there are still benefits to be gained from replacing Macs earlier than that – faster performance, enhanced security and next gen innovations that Apple are so renowned for.
Having high-speed or passable internet access is vital to any modern business. Especially in the context of hybrid and remote working, fast internet connections are essential to access wherever you are. If you are suffering from slow internet, it’s useful to see what speed of internet you currently have. With home connections there is often an issue with upload speeds, which can be a lot less than download and which can impact the overall performance. This will be exacerbated if, for example, you have security cameras at home that use upload bandwidth. You could be left with very little to do anything else with.
You can visit a number of sites that can test your broadband speed, such as Speedtest by Ookla, Broadband Speed Checker, and even by simply searching “test broadband speed” into Google, you can run a speed test directly from the results page.
Once you have identified your internet speed is slower than it should be, here are some quick fixes you can do to try and improve your broadband speed:
- If possible, use a wired connection via an ethernet cable instead of wireless.
- As mentioned above, if you have too many tabs open which are actively using the internet, do yourself a favour and close the ones that aren’t essential.
It’s advisable to contact your IT support team for assistance on any of these steps, especially if what you’re trying yourself to improve performance isn’t working.
Viruses and malware can also slow your performance down massively, and again, this would be something for your IT support team to address and handle. The correct cyber security solutions must be in place to prevent this potentially serious issue but that doesn’t mean your computer’s performance should be compromised.
Planning is key to success
Ultimately, the issues looked at here can happen at any time; however, many strategies and processes can be put in place to minimise these occurrences. Managed IT services and support are an invaluable resource for businesses looking to ensure seamless IT operations. Access to specialist on-demand allows you to respond to any problem when it occurs and, crucially, put the foundations in place that minimise those risks and issues in the first place.
We here at Dr Logic are an IT support business and consultancy, who pride ourselves on our Mac support expertise. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also be the vital business partner for companies who need help and support on PC and Mac. If you want to know more about us and our services, visit our website for more information, or contact us and we’ll call to see what we can do for you.
We can provide your business with tech and IT support that can improve security, increase productivity, and cut costs.
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- 1 IT issues cost companies £3.4 billion per year in lost productivity
- 2 Cyber Security and Employee Risk – What You Need To Know
- 3 15 Eye-opening Data Loss Statistics from 2021 | Data Security Matters
- 4 15 Eye-opening Data Loss Statistics from 2021 | Data Security Matters
- 5 Top 5 Human Errors that Impact Data Security
- 6 Macs in the enterprise: 6 stats every IT purchaser needs | Computerworld
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