If you don’t plan ahead, then taking care of IT issues is going to be a time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive process. Even relatively minor problems can bring your company to a grinding halt, and that is why you should have safety measures in place before your business grows too large. Here is a quick look at a few common IT issues that businesses run into and some steps that can be taken to deal with them.

No Data Recovery Plan

Before you save your first file, you need to have a data recovery plan in place. From power outages to crashed servers, it doesn’t take much to permanently destroy data if you don’t have a reliable recovery plan. At the very least, you should have three copies of all vital files, and those copies must be stored in two separate locations. You also have the option of keeping hard copies in your office, but that paperwork can easily be stolen or misplaced.

Relevant: Ready | IT Disaster Recovery Plan

Inadequate Onsite or Offsite Storage

There will most likely come a point when you fill up all of your hard drives and local servers, and you need to think about storage solutions before that occurs. Upgrading your onsite servers might be tempting, but many businesses have switched over to cloud servers. In addition to being an affordable solution, cloud server technology is also extremely easy to integrate into an existing network. Most cloud storage companies have redundant systems with multiple layers of security as well.

Relevant: How-to-Geek | You’re Not Backing Up Properly Unless You Have Offsite Backups

Security Risks

The challenge of IT security starts with your employees, but there are potential risks around every corner. Many business owners and management teams don’t realize just how vulnerable they are, and a single mishap or oversight could result in significant problems for your company. Cyber attacks and data breaches cost businesses billions of dollars every single year, and you need to make sure that your company is as secure as possible. In addition to training your employees, you must also update your software regularly. If you aren’t comfortable handling your company’s digital security, then you should contact an outside firm.

Relevant: Straight Edge Technology | 3 Reasons You Need Managed IT Services

Undertrained Employees

Properly training your employees is one of the most effective ways to avoid IT disasters. Recent studies have shown us that comprehensive training can also increase your bottom line. Every employee should go through a training course as soon as they are hired and whenever you adopt new technology. If you don’t have the resources to train your own employees, then you might want to find an outside training firm. Many firms will create personalized courses for each individual client. That curriculum might include sections that focus on basic computer literacy or digital security.

Relevant: Forbes | Train Your Employees And Increase Your Bottom Line

Outdated Hardware and Software

Keeping hardware and software up to date is another task that frustrates many business owners and IT teams. The most effective way to tackle this project is to come up with a long-term update and upgrade plan. At least once a week, every piece of software that your company uses should be updated. While that might sound like a lot of work, you can probably schedule automatic updates when your office is empty, or there isn’t much work to do. As for hardware, upgrading once every year or two is a good rule for most businesses, depending on the hardware involved. Upgrading your hardware more often than that is usually expensive and unnecessary.

Relevant: LinkedIn | How often should you replace your business computers?

Tackling IT problems is an ongoing process, but it doesn’t need to take up all of your time. With the proper support team, the right equipment, and a little bit of hard work, you will be able to avoid a wide variety of issues that many companies struggle with.