How to Prevent an IT Service Failure
June 7, 2022
No matter your industry or area of expertise, every single business needs to prioritize information technology (IT) best practices and support. Any downtime or security breach can result in your employees being unable to meet their job responsibilities, your customers/clients having to experience long wait times, and the business reputation you’ve spent years building becoming tarnished.
What are some of the most common causes of IT failures? More importantly, what can you do to ensure your networks are as protected as possible?
Causes of IT Service Failures
While there are many IT issues that could affect different types of technologies, there are several common denominators that happen with so much frequency that it behooves you to proactively work to prevent them in your own business. These include:
Insufficient Software Testing
Every single software and application needs to be tested extensively prior to launch. This is done precisely to identify any risks of complications—both from a user experience and a cybersecurity standpoint.
If an issue is detected during pre-launch testing, it’s much easier to manage than when it’s already been launched and it’s affecting entire network infrastructures.
Older tech devices often aren’t sophisticated enough to handle newer trends in cyberattacks. Bugs aren’t identified as easily, any issues aren’t patched, and it makes your entire network significantly more vulnerable to cybercrimes.
To add insult to injury, if your system crashes, downtime will likely be significantly longer than with newer technologies; ultimately affecting productivity, your bottom line, and likely, your business reputation. One reason for this is that it may be harder to find qualified IT technicians for obsolete legacy systems that aren’t in popular use. Another is that parts for older hardware can be more difficult to find in usable condition.
Cybersecurity measures change constantly. Hackers and malfeasance events get more sophisticated with every passing day. Therefore, software that may have been adequate a few months ago may now be exposed to new threats. This is why it’s crucial to always update software—and to stay updated of new developments so that you can continue to update as soon as possible.
Insufficient IT Support
It’s one thing to have a go-to person who’s well-versed in technology. Maybe they know how to troubleshoot basic issues after something has already occurred, or can do some minimal damage control. However, it takes highly skilled information technology experts to truly understand not only any issues your networks may be experiencing but their potential ramifications.
It’s common for malware to lay dormant and undetected in IT networks for extended periods of time. An experienced IT professional providing fully managed IT services would be able to detect such issues through regular monitoring and vulnerability patching.
Poor IT Project Management
Good IT project management ensures that you have all of the resources to keep your networks protected: necessary skills, reporting, and even addressing resistance to change within a business. It requires strategizing as to how to prioritize tasks, who’s going to complete what, how to address identified issues, and reviewing deliverables.
Failing to plan out every detail could leave you vulnerable to a domino effect of IT issues.
Insufficient Employee Training
Human error is one of the most common causes of IT issues. This can include anything from misuse of hardware, making a genuine mistake, or negligence. Even the most robust IT support still requires companies and their employees to be proactive about following network security best practices.
While IT monitoring, risk assessment, vulnerability patching, damage mitigation, and data loss recovery are all among an IT team’s responsibilities, all employees should be provided with continuous training regarding the steps they need to take to keep networks secure and working efficiently.
Cyberattacks and misconduct aren’t the only causes of IT issues. Depending on your geographical location, you may be exposed to certain natural catastrophes, such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. Since this element is out of anyone’s control, it’s crucial to have a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan.
This process entails setting up processes for minimizing business operation disruptions in the event of a disaster. If you offer essential services, it ensures their continuity. And if you run any other kind of business, it helps diminish impacts to your ability to continue services — and ultimately, on your revenue.
Simple Fixes for Common IT Issues
While some IT issues could be catastrophic, others have relatively simple solutions. The key is in being aware of common troubleshooting practices, and training your teams on how to handle them.
Working with a slow computer is vexing and inefficient. It also causes a lot of employee and customer dissatisfaction. It can help to start with the most obvious advice: Reboot the device. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, look at whether you have too many programs running in the background or on system startup. If so, disable those you don’t need to start automatically.
Another basic piece of advice is to delete any files you no longer need. Next up, check whether you need to upgrade the operating system. Finally, run a virus scanner, to be on the safe side.
Just as with rebooting your computer, do the same thing with your router. Wait a full minute or two before restarting it. Also, ensure that the router is positioned somewhere unobstructed, such as on a desk surface. In the alternative, avoid placing it next to anything that may block its signal. If that doesn’t work, reset the Wi-Fi configuration on your device.
Another possible culprit may be that you need to upgrade your bandwidth. If too many devices are using the same network router or internet connection, it will slow down internet access. Keep in mind all of your computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and any IoT device.
If your devices are of the older variety, you may also need to install a wireless adapter. Also, check with an IT professional to see whether upgrading to newer technologies will help protect your networks. Also, although Wi-Fi connectivity has been a standard for years, some manufacturers may still omit them in newer custom-built machinery if you don’t specifically request Wi-Fi connectivity in the order.
Data loss can be detrimental to any business—especially if you work in an industry that uses this data to provide essential services, work on a deadline, and/or is heavily regulated. Yet, this is a common IT issue, since it can happen both intentionally and accidentally. The best strategy is to have a data loss prevention strategy, such as having an automatic backup that’s stored through cloud hosting services.
If it’s too late now, you may be able to recover lost files that weren’t backed up by checking in your computer’s recycling bin. If it's not there, you can install data recovery software. The faster you act, the higher the likelihood of recovering your data.
The blue screen of death (or BSOD) is an ailment of Windows users. They are rare, but when they do occur, if you haven’t backed up your work, you’ve probably lost it. To troubleshoot, run an antivirus and antimalware. You should also run a PC cleaning tool to run a health check and update your software. If this resolves the problem, you’ll also reap the advantage of having your computer run more efficiently.
Protect Your Business with IT Services from IT Proactive
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