Key IT Challenges Facing Businesses in 2022
Business has changed more over the past two years than in any similar period on record. Covid has forced us to fully adopt many new models that were long overdue — but this inevitably comes with problems.
Much of this change is built around IT.
So it’s more vital than ever to make sure your business has robust systems in place to ensure your IT is secure and efficient. With more people working from home, the potential for cybersecurity incidents has increased. Businesses need to focus far more on security — proactive monitoring to detect threats and educating staff to be cybersecurity aware.
These are the biggest IT challenges facing businesses in 2022.
Challenge 1: Getting Remote Working Right
Remote working has been increasing for years, as the growing sophistication of IT and communications have made it easier for employees to work effectively without being present in an office.
Over the pandemic, enforced remote working has highlighted its many advantages, and it seems likely that many businesses will continue on this course, perhaps using a hybrid model.
These models are going to need new technology if they’re to work effectively and safely. At a minimum, a business adopting remote working should be using cloud-based systems such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
Reliable remote working solutions will make it easier and more efficient for your staff to work consistently from multiple locations.
Challenge 2: Beefing up Cybersecurity
Since the dawn of IT, there’s been a war between security and hacking, and the threat increases as fast as the sophistication of the technology. Most of the danger comes from external sources, but human error is also a major problem.
The number of cyberattacks increased during 2021, and it will continue in 2022, with remote working opening up vulnerabilities. The most common forms of attacks themselves will be ransomware, phishing and distributed denial of service attacks, but businesses have legally enforceable IT compliance criteria to meet too.
Investment in rock solid end-to-end cybersecurity solutions is critically important for every type of organisation.
Challenge 3: Making Employees Cybersecurity Aware
While software vulnerabilities in IT systems are ever present and need robust security, some of the biggest dangers to cybersecurity in businesses comes from mistakes by employees.
These may range from carelessness in opening attachments to setting weak passwords — and the problem will get worse as more staff work on their own equipment at home.
Rather than thinking of having distinct security teams, it’s vital that every person in your organisation should be fully aware of what they need to do to protect your systems against breaches. Regular cybersecurity awareness training, delivered by experts, should be provided to all your staff.
Challenge 4: Staying Ahead of the Hackers
Hackers are constantly finding new ways of infiltrating your IT systems, so it’s vital to keep up with cutting-edge cybersecurity systems. Hackers have a wide range of motivations, from profit to political destabilisation, as well as different methods of attack, from penetration tools to deepfake technology.
Cyberthreat detection and prevention methods are constantly evolving to meet ever-greater threats, but patching of software on endpoints, servers and mobile devices is critical for staying ahead of hackers.
Patching can be done internally, but these days many organisations use specialist MSPs who can continuously access and monitor systems, to apply patches and updates and keep systems up to date.
It is also essential for a business to fully understand cybersecurity themselves. The government-led Cyber Essentials certification is advisable for any organisation to work towards, as it improves their knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity as well as requiring a set of measures to be in place to prevent cyber attacks. It can be a good idea to use a Cyber Essentials consultancy to help prepare for the assessment and increase your chances of passing first time.
Challenge 5: Moving to the Cloud
There are many advantages for businesses in moving their IT systems to the cloud, from security to saving on costs, but the explosion in remote or hybrid working, fuelled by the pandemic, has made this even more crucial.
Figures suggest that 70% of SMEs worldwide have increased use of digital technologies since the beginning of the pandemic.
However, this expansion of cloud solutions brings its own challenges. As more and more organisations embrace the use of cloud-based services, there’s likely to be the need to work in multi-cloud environments. The flexibility to do so will be a massive advantage but may require specialist support from a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to cope efficiently.
Challenge 6: Controlling Costs
The potential downside of increasing the use of technology can be increasing costs, and this can certainly be true when it comes to cybersecurity solutions.
As with so many other technical innovations, these will pay for themselves in the long run, but to control cashflow and capital investment you still need to avoid excessive costs in the shorter term.
The best way of ensuring this is to use an MSP who offers a pay as you go subscription-based service. You’ll have access to a unified suite of IT solutions that are scaled and customised to meet your specific needs, instead of buying off-the-shelf products that may include features you don’t need. Your MSP will also be able to update and upgrade your services to meet developing needs without excessive costs, as well as taking a proactive approach to monitoring your systems.
Challenge 7: Finding a Trustworthy MSP
Not all service providers are equal, and MSPs are no exception. A poor MSP is unlikely to deliver the standards you need and may even be damaging to your business. So what qualities should you look for in an MSP?
We’ve recently discussed the qualities to look for in an MSP in a separate blog, but briefly the important qualities are:
- Experience in enabling remote and hybrid working practices
- Skill and experience in delivering cybersecurity
- Ability to understand your business as a whole
- Evidence of longevity, to ensure your MSP is unlikely to disappear
- A fast-responding helpdesk
- Backing from a worldwide Network Operations Centre
- Proactive approach, such as remote monitoring and back-up plans
- Clarity in what’s being provided
- Ability to scale up or down to meet your needs
- A genuine interest in what you do
- Sufficient staff and infrastructure to meet your needs
- Glowing references and testimonials from customers
These challenges outlined above are significant, but addressing them can enable your business not just to be operationally efficient and secure, but to gain competitive advantage.
Get in touch with Alliance Solutions to find out about what we offer.
Here at Alliance Solutions, we can help you address all the IT challenges you face this year and in future years. We create bespoke packages fine tuned to the needs of each of our clients, and work in close partnership to ensure that the managed provision we provide combines security, flexibility, effectiveness and value. If you would like to know more then please contact us on 01438 900 830 or via email at email@example.com.