No business can afford to experience network downtime for any significant period of time, or face constant interruptions to business continuity due to faults in the IT infrastructure. Time is money, so if your organisation can’t keep things running ‘business as usual’, every second wasted because of an IT meltdown represents costs you would rather avoid. But what causes a company network to crash? And what can you do to prevent it from happening? Here are the main reasons why businesses suffer network problems, and how an outsourced IT support team in London can help.
Thankfully, we haven’t yet reached the stage when human workforces will be replaced by robots, but while we humans can bring great benefits to a company, we are also prone to the occasional mishap. Human error is therefore one big reason why a network failure can happen.
The causes can be anything from vulnerability to external threats such as ransomware that result in a denial of service, to pulling out the wrong plug, to mismanagement of IT assets including mobile devices. All can disrupt the network and result in an outage, but by hiring an outsourced IT support team, you can avail of their expertise and consulting service to implement the right training and processes, and create a cyber security culture so that staff can recognise cyber threats and know what to do to flag and deal with them.
Even the tech savvy in-house IT team can make a mistake, such as the misconfiguration of network devices, which leads us to…
The IT team needs to work constantly on monitoring, fixing and upgrading the network and all of the company’s IT assets. This can involve anything from everyday break-fix scenarios right up to an IT infrastructure overhaul. Faced with an ongoing list of tasks, and pressure to implement changes that will improve efficiency, they can at times make the occasional error, or not have time to see through upgrades, and put changes in place without first evaluating their impact.
This can result in a misconfiguration of the network as changes are made, or to new devices as settings are altered, and simple changes such as these can lead to devices suddenly becoming incompatible, unable to access the network. If this is the case with all staff, the business faces a big problem that must immediately be fixed, and that can become a big drain on resources.
An outsourced IT support team, on the other hand, can oversee upgrades to the IT infrastructure and business network from start to finish, evaluating the impact they will have and implementing the required changes properly, before monitoring the system to ensure all goes to plan and everything is working to maximum efficiency.
They will take a comprehensive view of the company’s IT roadmap and perform data mapping to understand how data flows through the network, and how each IT asset is connected, to ensure there is no danger of even one element of the network failing.
The company server is the beating heart of any enterprise, but many businesses let their server run itself into the ground, and only replace it when they absolutely have to. That can lead not only to inefficiency as the server ages, but to an outright crash that brings down the entire network. Replacing the server can be a big investment, but continuing to run inefficiently is too, as is facing a complete crash.
An outsourced IT support team can monitor your server and all of your other IT assets to assess efficiency and identify in advance any tech issues that may arise in the future. This proactive machine maintenance means your business can be assured that the server will be in full working order at all times, and if it does need to be replaced, your external IT team can seamlessly implement the new machine with the minimum of fuss and no disruption to business processes.
A lack of resolution resources
As we mentioned, the in-house IT team may struggle to keep up with the demands put upon them by the business, and this can lead to network failures as the manual checks they would do are not always carried out as more pressing issues are prioritised.
When they do get around to monitoring the network and connected IT infrastructure, and detect the danger signs of a network crash, resolution of any issues can take hours if not days.
An outsourced IT support team can act as a virtual CTO to take care of all of these issues, implementing automatic monitoring capabilities that can detect vulnerabilities, overloads or congestion well in advance, and putting the fixes in place ahead of time.
This leaves the in-house IT team with the resources to focus on innovation and growth, but can also prove a far more cost-effective way to have the IT support you need than hiring a full-time IT team.
While we rarely have to worry about destructive weather events in the UK, and the chance of an attack from Godzilla are slim to none, natural and man-made disasters can and do happen. Unforeseen events can range from rodents chewing through the network cables to power outages to fire or flood, and all of these can result in the network and systems failing.
With the network down, it is imperative for the business to be able to get back on its feet as soon as possible, and this requires having an effective backup and disaster recovery plan in place. However, many businesses fail to put these processes in place, and suffer as a result.
An IT support service can advise on and implement a backup and disaster recovery plan for your business, ensuring you have secure access to business-critical files, data, apps and systems to get back on your feet and minimise the downtime you will face.
Security breaches and unauthorised use
We mentioned that human error can lead to intrusions into your network, but sometimes cyber security threats can’t be blamed on individual misuse or mistakes, and when these do occur, they represent a major threat to your network.
Weaknesses in the firewall, gaps in cyber security protocols and systems, and a lax approach to authorised use can bring down the network due to malicious attacks from hackers, malware and general overloading.
While staff should be familiar with the cyber security culture and processes within the business, they can only do so much to prevent security breaches and other threats, and that is where the IT team needs to play an important role. It is up to them to ensure the organisation’s entire network is secure, up to date, and capable of preventing emerging threats.
An in-house IT team may struggle to keep up with cyber security threats, and may not have the resources needed to do so, but an outsourced IT support team can bring their expertise and their manpower into the equation to help keep your business secure now, and into the future.
They can run a security audit across your entire IT infrastructure, network and processes to assess your level of protection, and can advise on the upgrades, training and improvements needed. They can then implement these upgrades and fixes for you, and continue to monitor your network to detect and then act on any suspicious activity.
They can also implement the segmentation and authorised usage rules needed to ensure the right people have access to the right data, devices and systems, while all others are prevented from accessing the company’s IT assets and causing damage to the network.
At pebble.it, we can provide the security and maintenance your business needs to avoid a costly network failure.
Find out how we can help by getting in touch or by booking an IT audit with us: