Published 26 January 2018 Category: Entrepreneurs, Businesses, Startups, SMEs, IT, Cyber security

Can Startups And SMEs Survive Software Failures?

The vast majority of businesses today are incredibly dependent on software for day-to-day operations, both internally and externally dealing with customers. As a result, it is becoming increasingly clear that software failures are on the rise and are having a major impact on global organisations.

In the last two years organisations in the health sector, aviation, business and even the US Government’s prison service have been severely impaired by software malfunction. In 2016 alone, software failures caused a loss of $1.1 trillion to businesses. The operational and reputational damage software issues can cause to businesses of all sizes are huge and with no sign of the problem abating, it is vital business leaders pay attention to the main reasons behind IT system failures and act now.

The most prevalent reasons behind software failures include:

  • Cyber attacks

  • Human error

  • Legacy IT

  • Power surges

  • Software bugs

  • Poorly tested software updates

  • High volume of network traffic

Don’t Be An Easy Target
As organisations’ IT systems become more complex, it is essential that quality assurance is prioritised above all else. Everybody has seen the alarming headlines of how cybercriminals have brought organisations, to their knees by exploiting poor security protocol and targeting legacy IT systems. However, it is often Startups and SMEs that bear the brunt of the majority of cyberattacks.

While a small business may not think they have anything worth stealing, hackers are acutely aware of this naivety and will exploit this mentality. Depending on the scale of a cyberattack, a small business may not be able to afford the financial ramifications a major attack could bring. It’s no longer a matter of if a business suffers a data breach, it’s how far reaching the effects will be and how they can be managed most effectively.

Address The Issue Before It’s Too Late
The threats to small businesses don’t stop there though. Software failures can lead to financial, reputational and operational repercussions. Smart home products have also suffered from software bugs.

While businesses are of course at threat, even advanced military technology is susceptible to the dangers of software failures. In an area where cutting edge technology is the difference between success and failure, software issues simply are not acceptable.

Quality Must Be Prioritised
Quality must be prioritised. Of course, small businesses can take steps to mitigate risks by ensuring quality assurance practices are employed throughout product lifecycles and internal processes to improve business agility. This means quality must be the key consideration right from the moment of conception, to reduce the impact of human error.

Small businesses must also consider the reputational damage IT failures can cause. By prioritising quality and taking a quality first approach, businesses can be sure they are doing everything in their power to avoid IT system failures and remain competitive.