The silent killers - IT dangers to ruin a business - Business Works
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The silent killers - IT dangers to ruin a business

by Mark Walker, Business Development Director, Ubertas IT  can make or break your business, watch out for these three company killers says Mark Walker, Business Development Director at Ubertas. Because IT is critical to your business, any kind of failure has the potential to ruin it Ė possibly permanently. Here are three IT dangers that have the potential to destroy your company in a matter of hours.

Storing your data locally

Believe it or not, one of the biggest dangers facing your business is keeping data onsite. Intellectual Property protection is no small task, keeping critical business data safe from loss or theft is a full-time job in itself. But can you spare the resources, or bear the costs of employing a full-time data security expert? Probably not.

By maintaining your own server you risk:

  • Outages should the company file server go down.
  • Potential data loss if the server fails completely.
  • Failed backups or data recovery if backup routines are not maintained and followed correctly.

'44% of SMEs said they would lose at least 40% of their data in the event of a disaster' according to the Symantec SME Disaster Preparedness Survey.

'If a fire, flood, or other disaster hits the office, the backup hard drives or tapes will be destroyed along with the computer systems. Physical hard drives and onsite computer servers can fall prey to viruses and other equipment failure. Employers or outsiders can steal equipment from the office or while it is in transit to a safe location.' (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Outages are expensive, failures can be fatal

Outages are expensive, failures can be fatal. Using a single server, your data has a single point of failure, dramatically increasing the risk of something going wrong. Far better is to use outsourced services to move your company data into an enterprise-grade data centre, devolving responsibility to qualified experts who can maintain uptime and recover data with minimal downtime. Your business will save cash and guarantee its intellectual property protection.

Outages

Outages are not restricted to company file servers either. Consider the following problems which, if left long enough, could fatally damage your business:

  • Business software can crash or corrupt.
  • PCs and laptops belonging to staff can break down or fail completely.
  • Network problems can reduce productivity.
  • Reliance on unsupported or illegal software for business processes.

'The median cost of downtime for an SME is around £8000,' according to a Symantec SME Disaster Preparedness Survey.

'The US government estimates that 25% of businesses will not survive a disaster,' says Mike Klein in How the Cloud Changes Disaster Recovery.

Without expert guidance, any of these problems can quickly escalate into an issue that threatens the business. Using an IT managed services provider, you can access new IT compliance routines that reduce points of failure and, as far as possible, prevent future outages.

Outdated software

The cost of new software often dissuades companies from upgrading, leaving them running critical business processes using outdated and unsupported systems. However, outdated software:

  • Is invariably slower than newer releases.
  • Is not supported by the original vendor, providing no intellectual property protection should the software fail.
  • Costs more to support and maintain.
  • Is generally more limited in functionality, so your business misses out on potential efficiency improvements.

'An organisation employing 1000 knowledge workers loses, on average, $5.3 million [£3.2m] annually if users canít find the information they need,' according to IDC Research.

'Knight Capital, the US market maker, has blamed a computer trading error that cost it $440 million (£282 million) on disused software that was accidentally reactivated.' (The Telegraph)

done wrong it could also be the beginning of the end

The combination of increased running costs, coupled with the risk to data stored in those systems, could potentially ruin a business. By partnering with an IT managed services supplier and establishing some IT compliance guidelines, your business can plan to replace outdated software with updated alternatives in an orderly fashion.

IT can be the platform for the greatest successes for your business, but done wrong it could also be the beginning of the end.

Remember ...

  • Managing your own IT onsite could be a huge business risk.
  • IT outages could cost your business £8000 or more every day.
  • Without properly managed software and IT systems, your business data remains at risk.



For more tips on how to outsource your IT support services, read the eGuide: Five tips for a seamless transition to a new third-party IT services supplier



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