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Friday, June 20, 2014

The bigger the company, the bigger the threat: Why IT support is essential for growing businesses

By Damian Coates

Think of your business as a city

The bigger the population of a city, the more money and time must be invested to protect its citizens and safeguard them from criminals. The same rule applies to your business: if you're still using the same level of IT support for your business of 100 employees when your business contained just 20 employees, you have a problem.

Do you know how much IT support you need?

Busness Information Technology solutions
Larger computing capacity often means higher IT risk
Generally, the money and time you invest in IT support should be equated with the size of your company. That's why international global corporations have dozens of IT departments, while small or micro businesses may only need to hire an independent IT consultant on a freelance basis. 

More computers mean more opportunities for viruses

Computer viruses cost businesses and consumers billions of dollars each year. When you have more internet-receiving devices, your company is collectively spending more time on the internet, which means greater exposure to potential viruses. Whenever you purchase new IT equipment, you must ensure that it is protected with the most up-to-date and comprehensive anti-virus software. All it takes is one device to become infected and a file or an attachment can spread the virus to your entire IT network.

The bigger your business, the more time and money you must invest in IT support

The bigger your business, the more frequently you will need help with common IT problems like hardware issues or data loss. For example, if you are a self-employed worker with just one PC and no other staff, you are much less likely to encounter IT problems like viruses, corrupt files, lost documents or frozen screens. However, the more computers and staff you have, the greater the likelihood that any one of these problems will occur and disrupt your business.

A greater risk of employee negligence

Regardless of the size of your business or how reliable you think your employees are, people are human and can still make silly mistakes. Downloading suspicious files or attachments that were already automatically allocated to a junk folder in an e-mail account, for example, could be considered negligent, because it should have been clear to the individual responsible that the content was potentially dangerous or just pure junk. Negligence is still the main cause of data breaches in UK workplaces today.

IT training can help minimise the risk of negligence

Unfortunately, IT support does not guarantee that someone in your business will not make a mistake like this, but ensuring that everyone receives IT security awareness training could certainly help reduce the risks.

Finally, don't forget to get the extra help before your business expands

When your company is booming and you have a new host of clients to focus on, your business could become particularly vulnerable if your IT support is not up to scratch. What if a critical IT problem occurs when you're about to distribute files to a brand new client? What if someone hacks into your business account and you don't know who to contact to get it fixed as soon as possible? Get all the support you need in advance so you have all the help and support you require when your company thrives.

About the author: Damian Coates is the Commercial Accounts Director for Utilize IT Support which provide IT services and solutions to Essex, London, Kent and the Home Counties.

Image: Author owned and licensed