Businesses are turning to cloud computing. The cloud gives users many advantages such as enhanced scalability, easier disaster recovery, and cost savings. Indeed, more and more businesses are turning to the public/private/hybrid cloud for their computing needs.
From data centers to enterprise software, as-a-service models are fueling growth in everything. In fact, Gartner estimates that in 2019, global IT spending for just the public cloud will grow 17.5% to $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in 2018.
Nevertheless, in an era of relentless security threats, businesses that do not pay close attention to security considerations could be making a big mistake.
One problem is that an organization loses some control once its data is uploaded to the cloud. When using a cloud, your data is in another party’s hands, yet often organizations will rely entirely on their cloud vendor to keep their data safe. Research indicates a growing number of organizations are sharing their crucial data to the cloud, and are expecting their cloud provider to keep it safe.
Also, 36% of organizations upload data to the cloud in the belief it offsets their security risks, and 36% feel that the cloud provider should be responsible for their data. However, many cloud providers take a shared responsibility approach to data storage and security. This means your business must put steps in place to increase cloud security and also back up important data.
2. Failing to Stay Up to Date on Hardware
Too many organizations neglect to stay up-to-date with their hardware, and this problem is not exclusive to smaller businesses. There have been many high profile cases highlighting how failing to update hardware has left many organizations vulnerable to cyber hacks.
Ponemon Institute’s research shows that organizations that don’t update their technology are vulnerable to security risks, and are also less productive. And as one survey shows, there is a likelihood these companies could lose out to the competition. A study conducted by Microsoft showed that most consumers interviewed said they wouldn’t do business with a company using outdated technology.
Commenting on the study, Russ Madlener, senior director of US SMB group at Microsoft says, “Consumers definitely care,” about the technology small businesses use and they “care even more than I thought they would.” Madlener goes on to say, “More than 90% of people who took the survey would consider going elsewhere if they perceived the small business is using old and outdated tech.”
Conversely, 62% said they were likely to keep coming back to a company that used modern technology.
3. Inadequate Training for Employees
Some employees will be more confident using technology than others. Naturally, a percentage of workers will be more comfortable using technology because of their professional background, or they’re just more technologically gifted. However, some of your other employees won’t be quite so confident around tech and will need some guidance.
According to research, lack of tech training impacts older workers the most. 40% of older American’s surveyed by Docebo say they didn’t have the skills they needed to secure a new job, while 32% felt they were under pressure to learn tech-related jobs. In addition, 49% say more training in technology would enhance their chances of getting a job promotion or pay rise. Commenting on the survey, Claudio Erba, CEO of Docebo says, “Employees are the key asset of an organization.”
Erba continues, “Growing your people needs to be a top priority and this involves both upskilling and reskilling. Organizations need to invest in their people through investments in training tools capable of delivering personalized, accessible content in the midst of rapid change. This ensures employees have the necessary skills and access to knowledge to excel in the digital world, close skills gaps, and embrace new technology.”
However, it has never been easier for employees to keep up with the latest technology. One way to do this is through Experts Exchange where employees can get easy access to a range of tailored course packages.
4. Taking On Tasks You’re Not Qualified For
Some business owners try to be too independent, especially in the early days of start up, when they’re constricted by budgets. A common area where business owners try to compromise is with their IT support.
While this approach may save some money in the short-term, it won’t in the long-term. Trying to work out IT problems by yourself can be costly both in terms of time and money, which could limit your capacity to work and grow your business.
If you have a tech issue, get support from an expert team that can advise you. Although this may not seem like a cost you cannot afford, it’s likely to save you money. Alternatively, you could use a service like Experts Exchange for personalized advice from tech experts.
5. Email Messages Are Not Encrypted
Not enough organizations make use of email encryption. With common phishing scams doing the rounds, and new threats developing all the time, this can be costly in terms of time and money. The average phishing scam costs a company more than $50,000, and if the phishing scam is high-profile enough, it can erode consumer trust.
A report by Thales Group’s 2019 Data Threat Report found that less than 30% of organizations encrypt data across their organizations, while 60% had been victims of a data compromise. For example, Apple is one of the companies that has email encryption in place
6. Failing to Plan For the Future
Where do you think your organization will be next year? Or the next three? Every business should have a clear vision of where they want their business to grow and how they intend to achieve these aims.
However, achieving your goals will often depend on investing in new and emerging technologies. Have you factored these costs into your business plan and completed an assessment of how these technological advancements can assist your company in moving forward? If you haven’t, now is the time to think about it.
For advice on future-proofing, IT professionals can keep up to date with tech development by visiting and contributing to the Experts Exchange website.
7. Failing To Back Up Data
This problem doesn’t just apply to smaller companies. Regular backups will allow your organization to keep going in the event of a data loss and will be imperative in disaster recovery. In addition, the need to create a backup plan is growing in importance, as common data threats rise and more companies move to the cloud.
However, despite backup data being vital to business recovery in the event of a data loss, multiple studies show that a considerable percentage of IT professionals say they could not fully recover following a data breach.
8. Not Testing Your Backup Plan
Testing your backup strategy is every bit as important. However, a survey of 219 IT professionals shows how just one in three IT professionals are testing their backup systems regularly. And only 17% test their disaster recovery plans once a year, despite knowing there is a higher risk of cyberattacks. Carbonite suggests testing backup systems every month.
Jim Flynne, vice president of operations at Carbonite, explained, “All you need to do is identify some important files and retrieve them from your backup system. Once restored, open the file as you would the original to make sure it was recovered properly."
Flynne explains, “Database-driven applications can be more finicky and may require complete sets of files to be restored to ensure that there are no problems, but it’s worth testing backup systems before your business has to depend on them to run."
Technology is one of your most essential business assets. However, when it’s misused it can have a negative impact, such as hindering productivity, causing data loss, and eroding consumer trust. IT experts could avoid at least some of these mistakes by taking a common-sense approach to risks and getting expert support when needed.
To find out how Experts Exchange can support your IT professionals, click here.
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