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  • Writer's pictureIles Systems Ltd

IT Wake-Up Call: The High Cost of Ignoring Business IT Until it Bites Back

The role of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure has become paramount. From managing our data to facilitating communication and ensuring cybersecurity, a robust IT infrastructure is the backbone of any successful enterprise. However, despite its undeniable importance, businesses often find themselves undervaluing IT infrastructure until a catastrophic event occurs.

The Reactive Approach:

The old sayings, such as "shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted" or "Prevention is better than cure" really apply here. The most common pitfall that businesses fall into is adopting a reactive approach towards their IT infrastructure. Many companies only recognise the significance of IT when they encounter a major issue, such as a system failure, data breach, or downtime. This reactive mindset can be a costly mistake, as addressing IT problems after they occur often involves more resources, time, and money than implementing proactive measures.

Underinvestment in IT:

Undervaluing IT infrastructure is often reflected in the budget allocation. Some businesses allocate minimal resources to IT, viewing it as a cost centre rather than a strategic investment. This approach fails to acknowledge that a well-maintained and secure IT infrastructure can significantly contribute to operational efficiency, innovation, and ultimately, the bottom line.

Legacy Systems and Outdated Technology:

Another manifestation of undervaluing IT is the persistence of legacy systems and outdated technology. Some organisations resist investing in newer technologies or upgrading their existing systems, assuming that their current setup will continue to function adequately. This mindset not only stifles innovation but also increases the risk of security vulnerabilities, as outdated systems may lack essential updates and patches. As well as the risks involved with retaining legacy systems, the systems hardware must also be taken into consideration. Older & aged hardware can result in performance issues, so a slower device will also have a greater impact on productivity within the workplace!

Inadequate Cybersecurity Measures:

With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, cybersecurity should be a top priority for businesses. However, undervaluing IT often leads to inadequate cybersecurity measures. Failure to invest in robust security protocols, employee training, and regular system audits can expose a company to the devastating consequences of a cyberattack, including data breaches, financial losses, and damage to reputation. As well as this, a resistance to implement multi-factor authentication where it's available (especially with cloud-based applications) is also commonplace. Sometimes this can be due to a lack of knowledge in understanding of what kind of risks these cyber-threats pose, although some users feel that the extra steps are an inconvenience.

The True Cost of Downtime:

Businesses that undervalue their IT infrastructure may not fully grasp the true cost of downtime. Whether due to a system failure, cyberattack, or other IT-related issues, downtime can result in lost productivity, missed business opportunities, and damage to customer relationships as well as your businesses reputation. The financial impact of downtime can far exceed the investment required to build and maintain a resilient IT infrastructure.

IT IS Your Business:

And here comes the big one... Amidst the frustration of undervaluing IT, one crucial realisation often escapes businesses: the IT infrastructure is not merely a support function – IT IS THE BUSINESS! In today's digital age, operations, customer interactions, and even revenue generation heavily rely on the efficiency and security of IT systems. Ignoring this reality is akin to neglecting the very heart of your business.

Shifting Towards a Proactive Mindset:

To address the frustrations associated with undervaluing IT infrastructure, businesses must shift towards a proactive mindset. This involves:

1. Strategic IT Planning: Develop a comprehensive IT strategy aligned with overall business goals. Regularly review and update this strategy to adapt to evolving technologies and business needs.

2. Investment in Modern Technology: Allocate sufficient resources for upgrading and modernising IT systems. Embrace emerging technologies that can enhance efficiency and competitiveness. You don't have to update everything, everywhere, all at once, a staggered approach in updating hardware is more beneficial to a business. This allows the business to spread its costs over time. It also means that not all devices hit that replacement point at the same time.

3. Cybersecurity as a Priority: Prioritise cybersecurity by investing in robust firewalls, antivirus software, employee training programmes, and regular security assessments.

4. Regular Maintenance and Updates: Implement a proactive approach to IT maintenance, including regular software updates, system checks, and hardware upgrades to prevent potential issues before they escalate.

Undervaluing IT infrastructure is a risky proposition that can lead to significant business disruptions and financial losses. By recognising that the IT infrastructure is the essence of their business and adopting a proactive approach, businesses can build and maintain a resilient IT infrastructure that not only safeguards against potential threats but also contributes to long-term success and growth. It's time for businesses to view IT as the heartbeat of their operations, ensuring a more secure, efficient, and technologically advanced future.


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