Not protecting your network can be a very costly error. From simple
things like enforcing the need for strong passwords to having a correctly
configured business grade firewall, protecting a business computer network
is a complex task and should be done by a professional company.
3. Not protecting the company’s data
Look at the table above again. The largest financial cost is for the reproduction
of lost data.
This comes down to having an automated and tested backup/recovery/
continuity solution. Don’t leave this to a human in the office – humans
make mistakes. Put your trust in a professional IT company that can look
after your valuable business data correctly.
4. Insufficient technical support
“A family member helps me”; “I know a kid who is good with computers”;
“My friend is a ‘computer guy’” – these are all reasons that people choose
not to seek professional support for their computer system. They believe
that any casual assistance they can find is sufficient, but this raises red flags.
However, trusting valuable business data, your income, the income
of your staff or even your retirement to an unqualified person puts you
at tremendous risk. There is more to technical support than being “good
A business needs professional IT support. Yes – this costs money, but
that money is easily recouped by computers that do what they’re supposed
to, run faster, are more stable and are safe to use.
5. Running on old, tired computers
Whether it is the computer or the software installed on it, it has to be up
By design, computers get twice as fast every 18 months; the software
that we use is written knowing this, and so will use twice as much horsepower
every 18 months.
All software on a PC should be updated regularly to keep it stable and secure.
Furthermore, PCs should be replaced every three to four years if you
want efficient use of staff.
6. Not paying attention to
The power in Saskatoon is not the most stable. Even a small spike could destroy
a computer. Ensure that correctly sized surge protection and battery
packs are used for all network equipment.
7. Unprotected email systems
Any business should not be using an email like “businessname@sasktel/
hotmail/gmail.com” for a few reasons. Aside from looking unprofessional,
these free systems have no protection for the business from spam, virus
payloads, dangerous links or unsolicited emails.
Email continues to be the most dangerous interaction a company can
have with the outside world, being the main delivery system of viruses, spyware
Also, the amount of time spent by staff dealing with the torrent of unsolicited
emails is staggering. When staff are spending time on emails with no
benefit to the business, this can affect the bottom line.
Obtain the services of a business-grade email system. For a small
monthly cost per mailbox, it is a reasonable price to pay and your staff will
be much more effective.
8. Paying as you go
Remember the days when you would call a plumber to fix your toilet and
the cost would increase every time he/she breathed? Pay-as-you-go computer
service professionals are still working this way.
Nowadays, this pricing model is not the best way to keep your business
operating. It is not about how fast a computer person can fix a problem – it
is about not having the problem in the first place.
Any IT support company in Saskatchewan worth its salt must have proactive
services in place, daily hardware tests to ensure PCs are running effectively,
warning systems that inform of problems before they happen and
managed and monitored systems to keep your network safe from the outside
9. Waiting for a problem
Computer networks can be very complicated environments. When a problem
does occur, the last thing a business owner needs is an IT professional
turning up and taking four hours just to understand the network before being
able to diagnose an issue and then begin to fix it.
Engage with a professional IT support company that will get to know
your network from top to bottom. Ensure they manage and monitor the
network – this way they can notice problems before they cause issues and
can fix them quickly.
10. “Buy nice or buy twice”
In an effort to save money, many people buy less expensive equipment, resulting
in PCs/routers/switches and many other devices that simply do
not work for them.
Again, speak with a professional IT service provider. There are many areas
of an IT ecosystem that can cause bottlenecks:
• PCs that are underpowered for the software
• Switches that are too slow for network requirements
• Routers that are misconfigured
• Wi-Fi points that are not built for business use or are mis-located
• Poor cabling
This requires struggling with what you have and causing staff to underperform,
it means buying equipment a second time.
Don’t let your business fall into these common mistakes with your computer
network. Everyone believes that they don’t have a problem until one
occurs; unfortunately, network issues can be costly to resolve without the
proper plan in place.
Burnt Orange Solutions is an IT support company based in Saskatoon.
52 | Quarter 1 2020 | saskheavy.ca