(818) 501-2281 info@ceocomputers.com
We have been in IT service business for over 35 years. We have seen a pattern on common IT mistakes that small businesses make. Here is our take on it. The list is not in any order or priority and it is a summary not detailed analysis.1-   Inexpensive or no firewall router– A router is your gateway to the internet. It does not necessarily have a firewall capabilities. Many small businesses rely on the inexpensive modem that the Internet Service provider installs for them. Or purchase inexpensive routers from Office Depot or BestBuy. The other major issue is that Wireless security settings and features on these routers are inadequate to protect them from intruders. So they leave themselves vulnerable to cyber-attacks and hackers.2-   Skimping on security –These days the majority of calls we get are not computer repair related. They are security related. “ My computer got hacked”. “ I have a virus or a Trojan”, Etc. Then we find out the computer or the network did not have an adequate security protection. Many small businesses think they are immune from being hacked. Investing in antivirus and security protection software with 24×7 support is a necessity that many small businesses cannot avoid. Also, ensuring that you have a good spam filter saves you time and money. It would be a good practice for small businesses to have a security policy.

3-   No regular maintenance– If you look at an average business computer users, they are using a variety of software to do their daily tasks. All these software from Windows, Antivirus, Microsoft Office, Adobe, Java, etc. require regular updates. Not having a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that these updates are done and checking the eventviewers and other report logs brings hefty repair costs and causes a long downtime.

4-   No Backups– Backup is the most important part of your data protection plan. Many business owners assume that they have a good or adequate backups. Again only during a crisis they realize that their backup plan was insufficient or non-existent. The integrity of your backup needs to be checked on a regular basis.

5-   Engaging an employee or a friend to take care of your IT needs– We often see that a small business assign IT responsibility to an employee because that person is more computer literate than others. Or ask a friend or a relative to take care of their IT needs. These helpers are not properly trained or follow any Industry standards. The danger is majority of the times these helpers are either novice, hobbyist and unavailable.  Rectifying their mistakes costs more than the savings they bring. It is also important for Small Businesses to believe in Disaster recovery, online backup and having a data protection plan and policy.

6-   Inexpensive or substandard equipment– including Power protection, cabling, etc. Now days computers and IT equipment are becoming a commodity. You can buy them from major retailers and their staffs give you free advice. You can even buy them directly from the manufacturers. So naturally most small businesses go for the least expensive hardware and software. What is worse we see the same mentality for the Power protection, cabling and electrical and other infrastructure. We see more network problems caused by poor cabling than anything else. Lack of power protection is another major source of problems. It is important to remember that IT equipment and software become obsolete every three years and have to be recycled. It would be a good practice for small businesses to have an IT budget to accommodate these upgrades.

7-   Not having a website or substandard website–  Now days more and more commerce and operation are done through websites. Everyone searches for anything they need by going on the web. Most of the small businesses websites are occupying cyber space. Searchers cannot find what they are looking for when they navigate their websites. Most important factors in a good website are, use of current technologies, content, calrity, Call to action and consistency.

8-   Not using the right application software for their business- Not having their staff properly trained. Many small businesses do not put much thinking behind picking up the right software to automate their business. Many pick up inexpensive off the shelf packages or choose to pick the least expensive vertical market packages written for their industries. This combined with the lack of training hampers their growth and productivity. Once you are invested in any software, migrating and transferring your data to another software package becomes very expensive and most small businesses chose to live with what they have instead of what is right for them.

9-   Not knowing what you have-  Not many small businesses know what kind of servers they have, what software they use, what are the passwords, what are the values of each equipment for insurance purposes. Having an accurate inventory of your equipment, knowing your software and hardware versions, serial numbers, license policy and values saves small business owners a bundle in case of a crisis.

10-   Software Piracy– We see many small businesses buy a copy of a software and install it on many computers or they buy software from the internet at way below the retail costs. Software Manufacturers are making it difficult to install their software on more than one computer and limiting updates on unregistered copies.  The Business Software Alliance (BSA) actively is pursuing businesses that use software illegally.

To avoid these costly mistakes, CEO offers Free analysis to small businesses. Call us at 818-501-2281 or emails us to set up an appointment.