Top 10 IT Problems
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Top 10 IT Problems and How To Solve Them

In today’s fast-paced digital world, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) rely heavily on IT infrastructure to stay competitive and efficient. However, the complexities of managing IT can present several challenges that can disrupt daily operations. 

In this blog, we explore the 10 most common IT problems SMEs face, provide practical solutions to address them, as well as show how our IT Support and Services can help you with each.

1. Slow Internet Connectivity

The Problem: Slow internet speeds can severely hinder productivity, leading to frustration and delays in completing tasks. Whether it's slow browsing, lagging video conferences, or delayed data uploads/downloads, unreliable internet can be a major bottleneck.

The Solution: Upgrade Your Plan - Ensure you are subscribed to a high-speed internet plan that matches your organisation's needs.

Use Wired Connections - For critical devices, a wired Ethernet connection can provide more stability and speed compared to WiFi.

Update Network Hardware - Regularly upgrade routers, modems, and network switches to the latest models.

Implement QoS Policies: Quality of Service (QoS) settings can prioritise bandwidth for essential applications and services.

How our IT Support Services can help: As part of our IT Support Services offering , we have a dedicated team of IT Procurement specialists who can support you with all of your IT Software and Hardware needs. This includes connectivity requirements including WiFi/internet, leased lines, and Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA). 

Our IT Procurement service involves the identification of IT needs, selecting the most suitable products or services, negotiating contracts and pricing, and ultimately purchasing and deploying these assets for you.

2. Data Security Threats

The Problem: SMEs are prime targets for cyber attacks such as phishing, malware, and ransomware. A data breach can lead to financial losses, reputational damage, and legal issues.

The Solution: Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software: Invest in robust security software to detect and neutralise threats. 

Regular Security Audits: Conduct periodic cyber security audits to identify vulnerabilities. 

Staff Training: Educate all team members within your organisation on cyber security best practices, including recognising phishing attempts. Firewalls and VPNs: Use firewalls to block unauthorised access and VPNs to secure remote connections.

How our IT Support Services can help: We often recommend a multi-layered and holistic approach when it comes to cyber security, ensuring the best protection for your organisation. Our IT Support Services: Business Cyber Security offering includes Firewall Protection, Email Security, Endpoint Security, End User Education (Security Awareness as a Service), Cyber Essentials as a Service, and a Cyber Security Audit.

Our Cyber Security Audit assesses 6 key areas in your IT environment to identify any high-risk issues that could leave you vulnerable. These 6 areas are:

1.Internal Infrastructure Review 

2.Microsoft 365 Phishing and Impersonation 

3.Dark Web Scan 

4.Microsoft 365 Security Review 

5.Copilot Readiness Assessment 

6.Cyber Essential Gap Analysis

As part of the audit, we flag weaknesses within your IT environment, key areas of improvement and provide expert recommendations to help strengthen your IT security. Recommendations can range from minimal changes to more substantial project work. Download a sample audit here.

3. Outdated Hardware and Software

The Problem: Using obsolete hardware and software can result in inefficiencies, compatibility issues, and increased vulnerability to cyber threats.

The Solution: Regular Updates: Establish a schedule for updating or replacing outdated hardware and software.

Support-Backed Software: Use software that is still supported by its developer to ensure you receive security patches and updates.

Cloud Solutions: Consider migrating to cloud services which often include regular updates and maintenance. Cloud solutions are used to run applications, deliver content, and store/manage data. Cloud servers are typically found in dedicated, secure data centers.

How our IT Support Services can help: Part of our IT Support and Services offering includes a team of IT Procurement specialists who can support you with all of your IT Software/Hardware needs. 

Our IT Support Services do not end once your items have been procured, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Procurement Consultant to manage your IT Procurement, upgrading your hardware/software when required. As well as providing you with the best and most cost-effective solutions – through our partner relationships - as your organisation advances or its needs change.

Our IT Support Services also extend to Cloud Solutions, where we can assist you in migrating to cloud services and provide ongoing management and support through our Account Managers, Technical Consultants, and IT Helpdesk – all of which you will receive by partnering with Sharp.

4. Insufficient IT Support

The Problem: A lack of dedicated IT Support can cause delays in resolving technical issues, leading to prolonged downtime and productivity losses.

The Solution:
Outsource IT Support: Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like Sharp can offer comprehensive IT Support Services.

In-House IT Team: If budget permits, you may consider hiring an in-house IT specialist or team.

Remote Support Tools: Utilise remote support tools for quick resolution of IT issues without the need for on-site visits.

How our IT Support Services can help: We offer a wide range of IT Support Services for organisations of all shapes, sizes, and industries which includes IT Helpdesk Support, remote support, and on-site assistance. Our IT Support Services are always tailored to meet the needs of your organisation, scaling and growing, with you.

Many organisations utilise Outsourced IT Support to access specialist expertise, reduce costs, and free up internal resource. Partnering with us means that the burden of managing your entire IT environment on your own becomes ours.

5. Data Backup and Recovery Issues

The Problem: Data loss due to hardware failures, human error, or cyber attacks can be catastrophic for SMEs.

The Solution:
Automated Backups: Implement automated backup solutions to ensure data is regularly backed up without manual intervention.

Regular Testing: Periodically test backup and recovery processes to ensure they work correctly.

Cloud Storage: Use cloud storage solutions for offsite backups, providing an additional layer of security.

How our IT Support Services can help: Do you feel confident that your IT disaster recovery plan is robust enough to limit business downtime if you were to encounter an IT issue?

With our Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution, you are reassured that your data can be recovered quickly in the event of an unforeseen issue or breach, limiting downtime. We will work with you to understand your organisations needs and the systems you use, recommending the best, industry-leading cloud backup , or disk-based backup solutions give you peace of mind that your systems and data can be recovered should the worst happen.

6. Poor Network Management 

The Problem: Network issues such as downtime and congestion disrupt operations, affecting everything from communications to data access.

The Solution:

Network Management Tools: Deploy tools to monitor and manage network performance. 

Network Segmentation: Segment the network to reduce congestion and improve performance.

Maintenance: Regularly maintain and update network hardware and software to prevent issues. 

How our IT Support Services can help: When partnering with us for your IT Support Services, we’ll provide continuous monitoring to detect and resolve issues promptly, through our advanced management tools and techniques. We will also handle the maintenance and updating of network hardware to ensure reliability.

7. Software Compatibility Issues

The Problem: Different software applications not working well together can cause operational inefficiencies and workflow disruptions.

The Solution: Standardise Software: Use standardised software across the organisation to minimise compatibility issues.

Integration Tools: Leverage integration tools or platforms to ensure different software applications work together seamlessly.

Pre-Deployment Testing: Test new software for compatibility before full deployment.

How our IT Support Services can help: Our highly skilled team helps in standardising software across your organisation to reduce compatibility issues. They’ll also support in integrating services to ensure different applications work seamlessly together. We conduct thorough testing of new software to ensure compatibility and smooth deployment.

8. Lack of IT Training for Team Members

The Problem: People are not proficient with the IT tools and systems they need to use, which slows down productivity and leads to errors.

The Solution: Regular Training: Provide ongoing IT training and workshops.

User Guides and Tutorials: Develop comprehensive user guides and tutorials for common IT tasks.

Continuous Learning: Encourage continuous learning and skill development to keep employees up to date with the latest technologies.

How our IT Support Services can help: Our Security Awareness as a Service (SAaaS)  solution offers a comprehensive solution to mitigate risks by providing ongoing cyber security training and educational resources for your team. This service ensures consistent cyber security education throughout the year.

SAaaS doesn't aim to turn your workforce into cyber security experts but equips them with the tools and knowledge to recognise and report potential threats. This helps protect your organisation from cyber attacks and breaches.

The service includes an initial assessment to evaluate the cyber security knowledge of team members in areas such as incident reporting, internet use, social media, email security, passwords and authentication, mobile devices, and human firewalls. This assessment helps us understand the overall knowledge level within your organisation, allowing us to create tailored cyber security awareness training.

9. Scalability Challenges 

The Problem: As organisations grow, IT infrastructure needs to scale accordingly. Inadequate scalability can limit growth and efficiency. 

The Solution: Scalable Cloud Services: Utilise cloud services that can easily scale with your organisation. 

Scalable Network Architecture: Design the network architecture with scalability in mind. 

Regular IT Reviews: Regularly review IT resources and adjust as needed to support growth. 

How our IT Support Services can help: When it comes to IT Support and Services, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all, which is why we learn about your organisation, the way it operates, your goals and objectives both short and long term, before coming up with a tailored solution that meets your specific requirements. 

Our Managed IT Services offer dynamic scalability, allowing organisations to adjust resources as needed. This ensures they have the necessary technological support without straining systems or budgets. Such flexibility facilitates smooth transitions during growth periods, keeping IT infrastructure efficient and capable of meeting increased demand. 

Conducting regular reviews is also a key component of our IT Support Services offering, making required adjustments and recommendations to ensure that your IT resources meet your business needs at every point in time.

10. Compliance with IT Regulations 

The Problem: Keeping up with regulatory requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, and others can be challenging for SMEs. 

The Solution: Stay Informed: Keep abreast of relevant regulations and updates. 

Compliance Audits: Conduct regular compliance audits to ensure adherence to regulations. 

Compliance Management Software: Use specialised software to manage compliance requirements. 

Data Handling Practices: Implement data handling practices that meet regulatory standards to avoid penalties. 

How our IT Support Services can help: Our team of technical experts always stay informed on relevant regulations to help ensure your organisation remains compliant, as well as support you in implementing best practices for data handling. 

Did you know that many companies won’t partner with those that don’t have a Cyber Essentials accreditation? Cyber Essentials is a collection of cyber security recommendations supported by the UK Government and adopted by many organisations across all industries. It outlines essential measures that organisations should implement to safeguard themselves, their teams, and their data from unauthorised intrusion and theft. Cyber Essentials is now a cyber security best practice.

Our IT Support Services: Our Cyber Security offering includes Cyber Essentials as a Service, which allows you to maintain year-round compliance for all your endpoints against Cyber Essentials requirements, including Cyber Essentials Plus. As part of the onboarding process for this service we’ll conduct a gap analysis of your entire IT environment, where we will highlight the areas in which you currently fall short of Cyber Essential requirements. We will then propose the necessary remediation work to get your organisation compliant,  ensuring you achieve your Cyber Essentials accreditation.

Benefits of Addressing These IT Issues

Addressing these IT issues proactively can help SMEs enhance their efficiency, security, and overall operations. By investing in the right tools, training, and IT Support Services from MSPs such as us, SMEs can navigate these challenges and leverage IT as a powerful enabler of growth and success.