“Live and learn,” the old aphorism goes – but wouldn’t you rather learn as much as possible before actually having to live through an experience? Doing so can certainly save business leaders money down the road. Below, we list five of the most common IT mistakes business leaders make. As you’ll see, hiring an IT consulting service can help you avoid making these mistakes in the first place.
1. Clinging to IT solutions that worked in the past. IT is a complex, ever-changing field. Yet due to lack of time, SMB leaders often resort to whatever IT setup worked previously. This approach saves time in the short term but limits a company’s competitive edge (and IT security) in the long run. An IT consulting service has no attachment to older systems, since every IT consultant must stay up to date on the latest technological breakthroughs. You can rely on an IT consulting service to point out and improve the clunky, ineffective parts of your IT network.
2. Creating indispensable workers. When a certain employee is the only one with the IT experience and expertise to keep your systems running, trouble is lingering just around the corner. A former City of San Francisco employee, Terry Childs, proves our point. Terry was the only one who knew key network passwords – and eventually he was thrown into jail for refusing to share those passwords with his superiors. An IT consultant can point out which parts of your IT security palette are weak and suggest system upgrades to prevent the concentration of critical IT knowledge.
3. Forgetting the human element of IT security. Although the specter of a remote hacking attack is what keeps business leaders awake at night, the truth is that IT systems are most vulnerable at their human points – places where employees hold knowledge. For instance, a modern hacking scam is to get employees to divulge sensitive password information over the phone. An IT consultant can help you shore up your security system through employee education and improved security infrastructure.
4. Obsessing over IT cost, rather than value. Without an IT consultant on your side, it’s easy to slash IT-related items on your budget that are actually important to operational success. Many companies are eliminating employee training and choosing the simplest software versions, for instance, despite the fact that these cost-cutting moves reduce productivity and limit innovation. An IT consultant is an invaluable source of knowledge on how proposed accounting decisions could impact your IT performance.
5. Assuming legacy systems are outdated and should be replaced. IT is not immune to the dazzle of effective marketing. SMB leaders are barraged with emails, commercials and even billboards listing the advantages of the latest IT innovation. Yet the savvy IT consultant knows that older “legacy” systems may be preferable, as long as they provide the stability and security that an SMB needs. IT consulting firms are well-versed enough to recognize which systems should be maintained and which demand upgrades.