6 Critical Mistakes an IT Consultant Can Help You Avoid

Bigger, better, NOW! Small businesses operating in today’s microwave society oftentimes don’t have the resources to track the latest computer news, security threats, or even common repair tips. And not all SMBs maintain the best technology practice scenarios. As a result, small businesses frequently make certain — and costly — mistakes.

Here’s a look at six of the 10 most common mistakes a reputable IT consultant can help SMBs avoid, according to Tech Republic.

Failure to keep up with technologyYour “leading edge” technology can become “outdated” seemingly overnight, and with so many day-to-day fires to put out, keeping up seems impossible. An IT consulting service can help position you exactly where your business needs to be when it comes to your business software and operating system choices, making your company more efficient and productive while maintain that competitive edge. 

Insufficient technical support.Any of these sound familiar? Your in-house computer guru is actually a friend, or relative, who’s “interested in computers” and willing to work on “on the side”. Fred, your reliable 10-year employee who loves World of Warcraft and “tech things”, has volunteered to provide assistance when critical systems fail for just a small hourly raise.  How ‘bout using the hardware manufacturer’s telephone support line for help, only to be frustrated when the solution requires yet another data-deleting reinstallation.

Small businesses need knowledgeable, trusted technology partners who are proficient with current technologies and willing to help learn their industry’s operations requirements. Once a qualified technology expert is familiar with a client’s needs, appropriate services and solutions can be recommended and deployed. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the result is more cost-effective and definitely more efficient.

Failure to create a disaster planIf a fire, hurricane or other disaster disabled a large part of your company, how would your IT system survive? “Truthfully, even a single power outage, surge, or spike can damage expensive electronic components and result in critical data loss,” says Eckel. “Neglecting to plan for worst-case scenarios can bring your business to an end.” To avoid such a catastrophe, an IT consulting service can help you set up your system to back up important information and files, keep the information stored safely and ensure business continuity.

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Flirting with illegal softwarePossessing illegal software may be the easiest trap into which many organizations fall, Eckel says. The issue is widespread — indeed, the Business Software Alliance estimates 22 percent of all North American software is unlicensed. Is it confusing? Yes! OEM, retail, and open license software differences can be perplexing, even to professionals, yet manufacturers are becoming more aggressive in locking down licenses via product activation technologies and prosecuting offenders. An reputable IT Consultant can ensure that all software, applications, and programs are properly licensed, protecting against errors and penalties, plus helping ensure the fastest recovery times when failures occur, by carefully documenting and tracking all software license purchases and deployments.

The wrong Cloud strategyIt’s cool to be in the cloud, but making the leap blindly without knowing about the options available can result in security lapses, features you can’t use, integration problems and missing out on the best that cloud computing offers.  Because no two cloud services are alike, IT consultants can review the best options for your business and explain the pros and cons of each.

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Focusing on the small picture – costWhen money is tight, it’s simple to go with the IT solutions that are the least expensive. This small-picture mindset, however, can backfire on you in the end. When you invest in quality products and solutions, you have the potential to make your processes more efficient and effective, increase productivity, make employees more content and make room for innovation. An IT consultant can help you look at the big picture when you need advice about IT spending so you can truly see what your money buys and determine which expenses are necessary.

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Which of these mistakes are you in danger of committing?