The network administrator at your company wields a tremendous amount of power over your company’s information technology, but is that person doing a good job?
For a small business owner, staying on top of the latest in technology is likely not the top priority and can take a back seat to things like serving customers and hiring the right employees to help the business grow.
So what is a Connecticut business owner to do? Look for these four signs that it’s time to replace your network administrator to make sure your business is using the best technology.
Does your technology belong in a museum? You will find many different answers as to when your business should refresh its technology, but usually every three years is a good rule of thumb.
Technology ages in dog years and running on outdated equipment will only hurt your business. You may be saying, “Yeah, but computers are expensive!”
Yes, they can be, but a new computer is roughly 50 percent more efficient than one that came out three years ago, so any money you save using the same equipment you lose that and more in lost employee efficiency. Ultimately, it’s the business owner’s decision to upgrade, but if your network administrator hasn’t brought up the need, it may be time to move on.
Have you been breached? Network security is a huge issue. Hackers want nothing more than to break into a business’s network and steal the personal information of the company’s employees and customers.
While big companies get the headlines, hackers routinely target small businesses as well. They simply don’t protect information well — usually thinking they are too small to be a target — and make for an easy score.
There are a number of steps your network administrator can take to make sure things are secure including two-factor authentication, data encryption and limiting network access to only trusted web traffic, among others.
Is your network slow? It’s easy to curse the Internet service provider, but network issues may be your administrator’s fault. Without the use of network management software and network traffic monitoring, networks can become filled with bottlenecks that slow your Internet speeds to a crawl.
Your business relies on its networks to operate efficiently. If the network that your company uses to run its operations lags in speed, it may be an issue your network administrator could have addressed.
Is your network up to date? Just like other software, the programs that run your network need to be updated regularly. Software providers that routinely send security patches and upgrades for different software and networks are no different. Without them, your network will be subject to intrusion or simply will not be running at peak efficiency. That will slow down employees, affecting your bottom line in the process.
Is your network admin also your secretary or HR director? In many small companies, the network admin’s duties fall on to the shoulders of employees who have some technical savviness. These employees may not have been hired to be the network admin but have taken on these responsibilities. If you have employees that are doing network administrative duties and their day-to-day job they were hired for, then you run the risk of not having the right resource when something breaks or needs updating.
If your network administrator is struggling with one or more of these issues, a possible solution is to look to find an outsourced IT provider. It can be difficult for small businesses to employ a person that can stay on top of all these functions where as an outsourced IT provider can typically provide all of these services — and more — for a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee and benefits.