Like most industries the IT industry has it's fair share of hearsay, untruths and straight up falsities. Today we present 5 common myths that seem obvious on the surface but we often see perpetuated in many environments.
1. All systems are "set it and forget it"
One of the biggest benefits integrating technology into business is it frees up time and resources for more productive tasks and projects. However, not everything can be set up and forgotten about as this can create big problems down the road. Everything ranging from software licensing to backups can present lurking issues if not regularly checked or kept track of. Hardware systems can suffer breakdowns and failures if not properly maintained.
Of course businesses and companies change and evolve as well. A solution or set of solutions that worked well a few years ago may not necessarily be ideal today. Some solutions don't scale well with company growth or rapidly changing needs. Then there's the seemingly ever-changing regulations in industries such as healthcare, banking and more. Even retail stores need to keep up with things like PCI compliance.
The moral here is: it's important to keep up to speed on the technologies and processes in your company or to rely on a partner who can do it for you.
2. Technology never breaks
Of all the major misunderstandings in the tech world, this one tends to be the biggest. Everything breaks, technology is no different. The key is to set your company up to not be caught scrambling when something does go wrong.
This includes more than just having a backup. What happens if a critical piece of infrastructure goes down? Do you have the ability to "flip a switch" and keep going? Or will you incur significant downtime? While most businesses don't have the budget to ensure full consistency, you should regularly review your infrastructure and ensure you have something in place for the most critical pieces.
3. Hackers don't care about you (or your customers)
While the above point might be the biggest misunderstanding, this one is probably the most dangerous. Cybersecurity needs to be a top priority for modern companies and organizations no matter the size or market. It's not uncommon for smaller organizations to have the mindset they're "too small" to be targeted which is definitely not the case. In fact, smaller businesses with less than 50 employees tend to make very attractive targets for ransomware and phishing/whaling attacks.
Instead, you should be actively focused on creating a security-first mindset for business development. Utilizing things like 2-factor authentication and secure password policies, and proper permission levels tied to individual accounts (the receptionist does not need unfettered access to the company server, ever). Also look at solutions such as web filtering, email phishing protection and unified threat management to build a layered security system that is far more effective than end-point antivirus alone.
4. Downtime isn't a big deal
It's really easy to say you're not worried about downtime when everything is functioning. It's much harder to make that same claim when things aren't functioning. Yet, for those who have yet to experience it, downtime doesn't seem like that big a deal. Don't let yourself fall into this mindset. You're just setting yourself up for a world-class panic attack further down the road.
Having a business continuity solution in place is important but it should also be combined with regular testing and, perhaps more importantly, a regular maintenance and/or refresh strategy for hardware and software. Preemptive action is key to preventing unplanned work stoppages and undesirable outcomes.
5. Software piracy is okay
Finally, we come to the item that everybody secretly knows is true but some still choose to ignore it (even sometimes on the advice of their existing IT personnel): don't pirate software. We hear all kinds of excuses for why certain software(s) are pirated. "We can't afford it", "XYZ company doesn't need the money", "we never got around to buying it" and more. Thing is, software piracy is increasingly being cracked down on and the penalties for being caught with illegitimate software are steep.
Make a point to know and track the software and services used in your organization. Limit what users can install on their systems and audit those systems regularly. Software is a tool, and while you may not necessarily see it the same as a tool you may use or work with every day, it doesn't make it any less valuable to your company.
Keeping things manageable
Trying to keep track of and manage your infrastructure can be time consuming at best and may even feel impossible. Fortunately, we're here to help. From process consulting to fully managed systems in the cloud, we can help ensure you have the tools in place to avoid falling into one of the pitfalls mentioned today.