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Technology in business can be a blessing. Other times, it can feel like a curse. When systems are running smoothly, it leads to growth and better efficiency. However when problems arise, it can bring business to a screeching halt. Having spent years in IT, I can say that I’ve just about seen it all. Here are some of the most common technology issues nearly all small businesses face:

1. Unanswered security risks

Spyware, viruses and other security risks can devastate a business and put sensitive, confidential and financial information at risk. And it’s not just the largest companies (think Target, Home Depot and JP Morgan) that fall prey to hackers. Small companies are also at risk. Viruses are particularly harmful because, unlike spyware, a virus can incapacitate an entire system. Investing in solid security measures can help you avoid problems that could harm your bottom line and reputation. Whether it’s as simple as ensuring all devices are up-to-date with the latest patches or implementing a company-wide training to show users how to detect and react to viruses, taking measuring to address security is critical.

2. Difficulty with technology integration

Sometimes, new and old technology don’t mix. In order for your business to run smoothly, the new technologies, programs or systems you introduce must be able to integrate seamlessly with your current IT infrastructure. When you fail to plan properly (choosing the right systems, for example) or your IT team has insufficient knowledge, it can result in incompatibility.

3. Insufficient backup and recovery

A reliable data recovery system is essential in the event of an outage or disaster. Most businesses understand this, but how many actually test and verify that their backups are easily accessible, successful and usable. If your business falls under this category, consider simulating a disaster recovery drill. If you find out your backup and recovery services doesn’t preserve all data, you can start looking for a suitable replacement. Ensuring you have a solid backup and recovery system in place can eliminate the stress and expense of attempting to recover or redo lost work.

4. Network downtime

A glitch in the system that leaves you offline for a short amount of time is a bigger deal than it may seem. Your phones, computers, services and entire infrastructure only work when your Internet connection is up and running. While the reasons behind network downtime can vary greatly, the results are always the same—lost revenue. For companies whose entire business model revolves around the online experience, the results can be devastating.

5. Suboptimal systems and hardware

Failing to maintain and update your systems regularly can leave you vulnerable to hackers, system crashes and a myriad of other preventable problems. Just as you perform regular maintenance on your car to keep it running smoothly, the same should be done for your IT infrastructure. Anything out-of-warranty or considered “end of life” should be migrated or updated.

6. Unaddressed underlying causes

Have you or your employees ever had the same IT problems occur over and over? When IT support provides a quick fix to a problem instead of analyzing data and diagnosing an underlying cause, the issues will continue to crop up. That’s why finding and addressing the root cause of specific issues is critical. This will prevent the loss of productivity and business that occurs when the issue pops up again. While every small business will run into an IT issue at some point, knowing the most common problems and finding the right IT team to help can make sure your business avoids the damage.