Spam email is nothing new. We’re all used to receiving spam messages, and having an overflowing junk folder is just part of having an email account. In fact, we may joke about the particularly funny or cringe-worthy spam emails we happen to find when we peruse that junk folder. Luckily, email filtering has gotten pretty good—most of us only see a fraction of the spam that’s sent to us actually make it to our inboxes.
Most business owners know the feeling… they head into the office early one morning, anxious to get to work on a critical meeting the next day. But when they arrive, they discover that their network is down, their email isn’t working, and the files they need are gone. Then they learn that their network is going to be down for at least a full week – maybe more. The cause: Their six and a half-year-old server just died.
Over the last 15 years, there have been thousands of IT disasters that we have read or heard about. A few that come to mind are: 2008 the Census Bureau attempts to go paperless by using handhelds. The project failed -paper was used and the cost was in the millions. Also in 2008, American La France builder of firetrucks in the US rushed an ERP implementation of new software and ended up filing bankruptcy. Heartland Payment System was hacked in 2009 compromising hundreds of millions of credit card accounts. 2013 saw Target have their own issues with hackers that exposed data and credit card information that cost them millions as well. Sony had problems with hackers in 2014 that cost them millions and exposed thousands of emails and other information that was not meant for public view. We could go on and on listing hundreds of well-known publicized IT failures and disasters that have occurred since the year 2000 rolled in. (Of course, who can forget the great Y2K debacle that cost private businesses millions of dollars?)
When talking with business owners, we’ve found time and again that many simply don’t pay much attention to their network. For many small businesses, it takes a little blip (or worse, a major catastrophe) before they realize that their network had been neglected for far too long. In the business world, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings true, perhaps most especially on the IT side of things. A haphazard or an uninformed approach to dealing with network issues ensures a few things. Time will be lost; and as a result, money will be lost. Network issues will persist even after the last fire is put out. Instability will inevitably lead to a network disaster at some point.
As 2014 winds down, many of us have already made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, or eliminate bad habits in 2015. In the spirit of these most popular New Year’s resolutions, we thought it might be fun to apply these same concepts to our computer networks. Here are our resolution suggestions for a happier and healthier computer network in 2015.
How much do you spend every year supporting your network? If you’re like most business owners, you probably don’t like to think about it. When you do think about it, you probably think in terms of the hardware you purchased or the time your IT company spent fixing a variety of glitches, issues, and problems. To you, IT support is a cost of doing business, an expense you wish you could eliminate. The truth is that the right computer guy will make you think differently about the cost of IT support. That’s because the right computer guy will save you far more money than he costs you, becoming a valuable asset your business can’t live without. Here’s how…