5 Reasons Why Every Small Business Needs IT Support

The importance of IT support is often overlooked by small business owners, especially in the case of start-up companies. Although few small businesses are able to afford a full time IT technician, nor have the need for one, it is still important to have access to IT support. In the modern world, businesses are unable to operate without technology and when problems arise, returning your systems to full working order as fast as possible is essential. Here are five reasons why every small business needs IT services:

1.    Security 

Cyber attacks are not only becoming more common but they are increasingly targeting small businesses. Why? Because these organisations typically have low IT security, making them easy targets. Working with a qualified IT technician to improve your firewalls and install a virtual alarm system enables you to not only reduce your chance of being hacked but also allows you to take immediate action if the unfortunate does happen. IT support is more than just helping when something goes wrong: comprehensive IT services are preventative as well as reactive.

2.    New Technologies 

The number of new programs and systems which are released every week is staggering. It is the job of professional IT technicians to stay up to date when it comes to software which can help your business. They can not only install these systems but conduct IT support workshops to teach staff how to use the new software.

3.     Storing Data 

While hard drives have been used to back up and encrypt sensitive data for decades, many companies are now using virtual cloud-based hosts. These are often considered more secure and easier to manage. IT support teams can help your company transition from physical data storage systems to virtual ones, advising you on the best provider and helping you to change relevant company policies. As cyber attacks before more prevalent and the consequence for businesses suffering a breach increase, IT services are placing greater emphasis on the importance of secure data storage.

4.     Stay Connected 

So much of your business is likely conducted through IT systems. Whether it is internal or external phone calls, emails, social media management or an online store, an inability to communicate online can be catastrophic for businesses. IT services can not only install and set up these systems but they are also able to maintain them and ensure you remain connected at all times. When every second you are disconnected costs money, this aspect of IT support is of paramount importance.

5.     Productivity 

There are always techniques which can make business processes more efficient. Technology is advancing fast and being up to date with the latest tools and systems can help your business significantly increase its productivity. IT technicians are always up to speed on the latest software and are able to install them for you as part of their IT services. The more productive your business, the more money you can make.

Interested in securing IT support from expert IT technicians? Ctrl IT is a Melbourne-based IT services provider who specialises in small business. Call today to find out more about how we can help your business and deliver a range of IT services to suit any budget.

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Someone get these companies some emergency IT support!

The consequences of a computer system failure at your workplace can range from ‘a bit of a pain’ and some downtime to major financial loss and the ruination of a company. The proliferation of people offering IT support in Melbourne shows that most business owners understand the importance of keeping their computer systems up and running, but in the world of technology, the odd glitch is simply inevitable.

If you’ve been hit by a computer bug that’s caused you grief, maybe these examples of massive computer failures will ease the pain!

Airports

An IT failure at an airport is usually bound to have very annoying consequences for passengers. You can bet the IT support at Melbourne Airport is pretty tight for this reason! Nonetheless, bugs still happen. Take the headache suffered at UK immigration after a fault occurred on the UK Border Force computers. The IT fault, which occurred earlier this year, meant delays in conducing passport checks, and lead to huge lines forming at airport terminals across the UK as people waited for hours to enter the country.

There are many other airport computer bad news stories. Take the 2012 glitch in a United Airline’s dispatch software, which resulted in 257 flights being delayed and another 10 being cancelled in just a two-hour period!

But both of these are at least better than a computer issue during the flight – when it’s never more crucial to have on-hand IT support! A Melbourne flight to Delhi had to divert to Kuala Lumpur in February this year after all three of the Boeing 787’s navigation computers failed simultaneously!

Finance

One of the most well-known stories of financial loss due to a computer failure is that of Knight Capital, an American global financial services firm. In 2012, an incorrect algorithm in automatic stock trading software – which saw the company buy high and sell low on 150 different stocks – meant the company lost a whopping $440 million – in just thirty minutes.

When it comes to transport (and the desperate need for some good IT support), Melbourne’s embattled myki system has had its fair share of woes. While many have suggested the system is inherently flawed, part of its problem has been computer glitches.

Mapping

I’m sure we all remember the infamous 2012 Apple iOS 6 update, when the company ditched the Google Maps platform in favour of its own system. Unfortunately, this system had a few glitches, including its missing out entries for whole towns, incorrect placement of locations, obscured satellite imagery, and incorrect locations given for queries – among others. Everyone from Melbourne to New York felt the impact of the poor mapping. In fact, New York Times technology columnist called it the “least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.” Ouch.

Prisoners

Then there was the 2011 incident with the state of California. The state was required to significantly reduce its prison population by 33,000 by releasing non-violent offenders. However, a computer programming error led to “non-revocable” preference being given to 450 violent prisoners who were released into the public – and were not required to report to a parole officer. As of last report, it seems that many of these felons are still out there. Hopefully the state learned their lesson and invested in some better IT support!

All out war!

But that’s nothing compared to our last example, which could have led to war! In 1983, a malfunctioning Soviet nuclear early warning system warned that the US had launched an attack on Russia! Luckily, Soviet Air Defence officer Stanislav Petrov had a gut feeling that the alarm was false and didn’t sound the alarm – possibly saving the world from World War III!

Written by Bastien Treptel – Director Ctrl IT www.ctrlit.com.au

IT Risk & Security – Get a second opinion

Every day in the media we see another story about a new virus, a company being hacked and someone other than you having issues. This re-enforces your opinion that your IT Support Company is doing a great job which they may well be doing. Unfortunately from our experience over the last ten years the majority are not… businesses need to remember that a system running smoothly doesn’t mean your secure or free from risk.

Take for example a business on St Kilda Rd, an IT business of all things! They thought firewalls, backups, antivirus and fault tolerance were perfect until a few troubled teenagers were bored one day and downloaded some tools off the internet, the black arch toolkit which they used to break a very simple vulnerability and over the period of 1 month deleted all backups completely un-noticed and then wiped all hard drives… The company in question lost all their data and promptly went bankrupt after losing nearly 10,000 websites and 7 plus years of people’s stored emails which were safely “stored” in the cloud…?

The point being a simple vulnerability scan or audit would have shown this simple vulnerability in an otherwise well setup system and it could have been patched preventing many legal cases, insurance claims and general misery.

So our point?

  1. Get an IT Audit regularly
  2. Make sure your IT company are running external vulnerability tests regularly
  3. Get a second opinion even if your IT is run by a trusted professional

As always everyone happy computing and enjoy the appmazing world we live in safely with a dash of common sense 😉

Written by Bastien Treptel – Director Ctrl IT www.ctrlit.com.au