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The Top 5 IT challenges for Small Businesses

It’s true—sometimes technology can be frustrating. If you’ve ever related to the printer smash scene in Office Space or wondered why your calendar won’t sync to all devices, you’re not alone. Below we outline some common IT challenges, how you can fix them, and when you should call in the experts.

First: Have you tried turning it off and on again?

This oft-repeated line from The IT Crowd is a tech support favourite for a reason. Often, you simply need to restart an application or your computer in order to fix a problem. 

It’s also worth making sure that your operating system is up-to-date, as new updates will provide important bug and performance fixes.

For other devices, such as a printer, try switching it on and off, or even disconnecting and reconnecting the device. It’s worth trying this before you call tech support—because you know they are going to ask you, anyway.

Problem 1: Slow applications

Ever open an application and wonder why it takes forever to load? The problem could be that you’re running out of free space on your hard drive. 

Alternatively, if you find websites take a long time to load, it might not be your computer’s fault. Sometimes, your internet connection could be the problem. You can test your broadband speed at Speedtest.net, or otherwise, check that your WiFi is connected.

You can also ask a professional to do a basic IT audit to get to the bottom of the problem.

Problem 2: No backups

If you’ve ever lost an important document or file, you’ll understand the importance of regular backups. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have regular backup systems in place. 

More than an inconvenience, though, neglecting backups is a serious security issue. Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that makes your computer or its files unusable unless you pay a fee. Ransomware gets onto your computer like other malware or viruses. If successful, ransomware criminals hold your files or data “ransom” and demand payment for its release.

The Federal Government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends that businesses proactively protect themselves against ransomware threats by creating regular backups of software and important files. These backups should be stored offline, for example with a reliable cloud storage provider, for at least three months. 

Problem 3: WiFi Keeps Disconnecting

Spotty WiFi can be extremely frustrating. The issue may stem from your service provider, your computer, your router, or even your environment. 

Before you throw your computer across the room in a rage, confirm that it’s within range of your wireless router. You should also make sure your WiFi is turned on and Airplane mode is turned off. On a Windows PC, select the “No internet connection” icon on the right side of the taskbar and make sure the WiFi is turned on.

You can also try connecting to a WiFi network on a different frequency band. Many routers broadcast at two frequencies, 2.4GHz and 5 GHz, which appear as separate networks on the list of available WiFi networks. 

If that doesn’t work, you can also run the network troubleshooter to help diagnose and fix common connection problems.

Problem 4: Software Doesn’t Work

It’s important to keep software up-to-date and understand that not all software is compatible with all operating systems. Older software might not function on Windows 10, and an app created for Mac OS X isn’t going to work on a Windows PC.

And it sounds obvious, but make sure you are using licensed versions of software, rather than illegal downloads. This not only will help you keep your software running, but will ensure that your business avoids hefty fines.

Problem 5: Hardware Issues

Many businesses run into problems with the lifespan of the technology that they use. Hardware will often require repairs or system upgrades after a few years. 

And unfortunately, sometimes you need to retire equipment. Standardizing hardware components and software applications will help, or you can work with an IT consultant to figure out how long your equipment will last.

Sometimes, you need to call in the experts.

Solving everyday IT issues can be time consuming (and frustrating) if you’re not a professional. Having tech support on speed dial is one way to avoid the headaches involved in troubleshooting and ensure that you’re never left stranded by tech problems.

With StormWarden Rescue, you can have your own IT professional on-call, ready to jump in and solve any tech issue at a moment’s notice. With no lock-in contracts or hidden fees, you simply pay for your tech support hours in advance and use them as needed. Find out more about StormWarden Rescue and arrange your free quote today.

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