The prevalence of digital technologies that have permeated the business landscape promise to improve the efficiency of operations and increase productivity. Sadly, not all software delivers on that promise.

In addition, system errors can cause downtime which halts operations altogether. And it’s not uncommon for network errors to be caused by, ironically, a productivity tool.

survey reporting on the impact of critical IT issues indicated that businesses experience an average of 3.5 system crashes a month. The metrics focused on network downtime that resulted in a significant dip in productivity and profits.

It is thought that each employee loses around two and half a weeks due to system failures. The three most common issues are slow-running systems (65%), connection failures (54%), and legacy software (32%).

Needless to say that health and performance of a business network play a significant role in the finances of a business – both profits and losses. But to minimise disruptions and install productivity tools that actually do save man-hours, can help to optimise the profitability of your business.

Disaster Recovery Plan

On the topic of system failure, implementing IT solutions that help to eliminate errors is a good place to start reducing downtime. Documenting the potential points that might cause downtime in a disaster recovery plan enables you to identify where system errors occur and implement the right tools to reduce errors.

Analysing the potential IT risks to the productivity of your business also enables you to identify the best IT solutions. The goal is to find solutions that get you back up and running in the fastest time possible. But that doesn’t always mean the solution is technology-based.

For example, a disaster recovery plan should include the likelihood of a power outage – including natural disasters such as floods and fires. For every point of failure, there should be a practical solution.

You should also document how much time needs to pass before you suffer a significant financial loss. That will help you to make the most important decisions when it comes to assessing risk v rewards.

Remote Network Monitoring

Today’s IT solutions are so sophisticated they are able to detect issues that can potentially bring your business network to a standing halt. Digital technologies are even capable of identifying a weakness in the system from remote locations.

That means that no matter where a fault is located, remote network monitoring tools will identify it and rectify it. For example, an IT support team in London can observe the health of an IT network in Buenos Aires.

The key benefit of remote network monitoring is that potential issues are captured and can be fixed before they become a real problems. In other words, remote network solutions play a significant role in the continuity of your business. And they monitor your entire system 24/7.

Take Advantage of Automated Software

Most automated software has shown time and again that it improves efficiency – at least for performing repetitive data processing jobs your staff hates.

Not only does automated software afford your staff more time to focus on more interesting tasks, but it also improves their job satisfaction by removing tedious tasks and eliminating errors.

It should be noted, however, that automated software is not always the best option. Chatbots are a prime example of how automation can be negative for your business. Having said that, chatbots have improved in recent years – but more often than not they still fall short of the mark in many customer service enquiries.

Take Advantage of Cloud-Based Technologies

The cloud has revolutionised how we store, manage and access data. This exciting technology also has the capacity to improve productivity in a number of key areas.

First of all, cloud-based services reportedly deliver a network uptime of 99.5-99.99% – providing you have an IT support team on-hand 24/7 to deal with any issues that crop up.

Firms that have adopted the cloud as a key proponent of their IT network have reported significant improvements in uptime and an increase in productivity. It’s not only the reliability of cloud servers but also the ease of use.

Advancements in cloud technology have enabled developers to provide functional tools that don’t need additional coding – making multiple applications simple to download and use for anyone. Even non-tech people find it easy to use some cloud applications.

On a broader scale, cloud-based productivity tools such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are productivity enablers. Innovative tools give employees more options and functions to collaborate easier, communicate effectively, work efficiently, organise easier and manage projects from remote locations.

Install A Virtual Desktop

It has been said that virtual desktops (VDs) are the answer to remote working and Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) headaches. VDs provide a secure environment where employees can complete their work uninterrupted from remote locations.

Virtual machines may seem complicated but the general concept is quite simple. Users work inside a virtual environment and access files from your network as usual. They can do this from any location and on any device.

But the overriding benefit of VDs is they do not actually permit access to your main network. This means that hackers cannot penetrate vulnerabilities in software – which can be incredibly damaging to productivity and the continuity of your business.

Virtual desktops secure business networks on all endpoint devices which gives your staff more freedom to use their personal devices to access work files. Ordinarily, this would, or should, be a big no-no.

Invest in Cybersecurity Defences

Before you start puffing your cheeks out, cybersecurity solutions don’t have to be expensive. The cost depends on the industry you are in, the amount of private data you store and the size of your company. The bigger the enterprise the bigger the risk.

But in truth, the biggest risk to most businesses is your employees. Around 90% of data breaches are caused by human error – clicking on malicious links and downloading malware embedded in downloadable files. Fortune 500 firms are more likely to be cyber-attacked by competitors or state-funded hackers.

For the majority of firms, cybersecurity defences that protect your network do not have to be expensive. Providing your employees with cybersecurity awareness training eliminates 90% of the risk. Technologies such as VPN’s anti-virus software and multi-factor authentication are not expensive.

The complexity of your cybersecurity suite, of course, is highly dependent on your business setup. If you deploy a distributed workforce and advocate BYOD, you should also install the technologies and protocols described above to alleviate risks.