6 Common Self-Inflicted IT Wounds
Everyone wants a taste of technology, but not everyone is willing to learn how to properly use it. A common approach (and a common mistake, mind you) is to throw money at an IT infrastructure in hope that you’ll get a grand slam in return.
That’s not how IT works. Rather, it’s about precision and anticipation of errors—if you take the time to learn a thing or two about what you’re doing instead of letting your money make every decision, you’ll find that navigating on familiar ground can go a long way.
Let’s take a look at six common self-inflicted IT wounds. And by self-inflicted, I mean they’re preventable!
1. Focusing too much on costs
For some businesses, cutting costs is essential to building an IT infrastructure. My theory is that if cutting costs is your first priority with any specific task, then you’re probably not ready to take on that task in the first place. Point being—it’s important to build and manage IT on the basis of value. Why do you want such technology? How is it going to help make your day-to-day operations easier? If injecting cash into a project now will save you money in the future, isn’t it ultimately worth it?
Budget is relevant, but don’t let it cloud the goals you’re trying to achieve. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with mediocrity in the end.
2. Failing to backup essential data
This one is borderline iteration. I am constantly emphasizing the importance of backing up your essential data because, well, it’s damn important! Too often have I seen a promising business fall light years behind after a server crash sent all their files to the data graveyard.
Our informative guide on how to create and implement a technology disaster plan is something you should take a look at if you haven’t already. A permanent loss of data is one of the most common self-inflicted IT wounds out there, and preventing it involves a number of different measures.
3. Having a weak link
An IT infrastructure can only be efficient if every aspect of it is in top gear. A lot of managers will implement robust systems of technology in one department and then leave another department hanging, and that’s a big mistake.
This is more like project 101 than IT 101, yet the strategy is often overlooked. Generation after generation, empirical evidence has taught us that polishing every component of your business “apparatus” is fundamental in reaching a desired goal. It doesn’t matter how strong your chain of technology is—operating with a weak link is something that will come back to haunt you in the future, both in terms of money and performance.
4. Isolating IT knowledge and decision making
Speaking of seamless operations, physical infrastructure shouldn’t be the only thing that is in harmony. A failure to invest in the knowledge of your staff is another one of those self-inflicted wounds that can lead to all kinds of problems. This is especially true on the manager level—higher ups shouldn’t be the only ones outlining IT plans and making decisions. Rather, it should be a joint effort between managers and employees from all departments. How else can you build an infrastructure that is strong in every aspect?
Of course, people can’t contribute to a decision making process without first having knowledge about the subject. That is why it’s crucial to educate your staff on IT matters and allow them to explore opportunities for development.
(Once again, it seems like we’re preaching project 101 more than anything here. That isn’t a coincidence!)
5. “One-and-done” installation
Building an IT infrastructure entails a great deal of initial planning, but once everything is finally installed, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re finished. A failure to establish the parameters of a maintenance plan can be disastrous. IT is a long-term investment that requires extensive maintenance and updates, which usually means you’ll need a team of IT experts available for 24/7 support.
6. A lack of security
With any sort of technology comes a priority to protect it. There are a number of different ways an IT infrastructure can be liable to risk and it’s often stressful trying to assess every potential breach. That is why we’ve assembled a worthy list of 10 Reasons Why Your Business May Not Be Secure. I recommend you take a look at the list and see which ones apply to you.