Random employees rather than experienced specialists in the field normally are in charge of hardware and software in small Lithuanian enterprises. And even though companies admit to be often facing technological malfunctions, they do not tend to learn from their mistakes. This was revealed by a representative survey of small Lithuanian enterprises ordered by Telia.
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"The biggest concern currently is the fact that people, who are poorly trained, lack experience and competence in the field, take care of the supervision over IT equipment in small enterprises. In as many as 82 percent of cases, company CEOs, administrators or other employees attempt to fix problems rather than entrusting the troubleshooting to IT specialists. This means that these people get distracted from their direct duties, while repairs carried out by them may be of poor quality, leading to potential reoccurrence of those same faults in the future. Not only is this inefficient, but also may pose a threat to the security of data of the company," Mindaugas Ubartas, Head of B2B at Telia Lietuva, notes.

More than half (62 percent) of companies face IT-related problems once or twice per month, or even more often than that. A tenth of enterprises experience them almost every day. According to Mr. Ubartas, this reveals that companies do not learn from their mistakes: having fixed the problem once, they resolve the issues, but do not eradicate their reasons, thus faults keep repeating.

When asked which IT problems haunt them, CEOs of enterprises and IT specialists named malware, spam attacks, inaccessible Internet and various computer problems.

"There were cases where people got into the habit of rebooting the router every day, and they no longer consider this an inconvenience or a threat to security. And even though many companies complain about Internet disturbances, our practice has shown that in 99.9 percent of cases, we detect problems in terminal network equipment of users – routers, computers, switches and other components. Using a reliable equipment provided and checked by a communications provider could help to avoid them," says Mr. Ubartas.

He notes yet one more faulty practice of small entrepreneurs: they store important corporate documents, contracts and other data on paper. 58 percent of small Lithuanian enterprises use paper archives and notebooks for this purpose.

"This is understandable: while mobile and electronic signature has not yet become a common habit, companies are using paper archives. But water or fire can instantly destroy these documents, thus it is important to understand that having backups is necessary in such a case. A server kept in the office or a PC functioning as a server is not a very reliable alternative either; storing such data in a "cloud" would be the best way out," says Mr. Ubartas.

But as the matter of fact, the survey of companies also revealed certain positive things. For example, a half of businesses (54 percent) use fiber-optic Internet, which ensures the fastest data download and upload, reliability and stability, while another one-fifth of the respondents use mobile 4G Internet for business.

Moreover, two thirds (66 percent) of businesses use PCs with the latest operating systems, while four out of five (78 percent) of companies use legal, paid anti-virus software to ensure security, or entrust their security to an outside firm.

Mr. Ubartas also notes that companies who have servers usually entrust their maintenance to a hired company (39 percent), IT specialist of the company (19 percent) or a hired specialist (18 percent).

According to Telia's representative, these are really good indicators and a welcome approach, which shows that businesses understand why taking care of IT equipment is important, as one incident can stop the entire functioning of the company.

"The survey results rendered both positive and worrying insights. Still, our most important conclusion is the fact that small enterprises lack knowledge and advice on how to properly manage their IT equipment, and they are not able to assess the full IT potential. Smoothly operating IT equipment contributes to the growing business success, while each employee can engage in exactly what he knows best," says Mr. Ubartas.

Telia has created a special tool for small Lithuanian enterprises, which will help assess the condition of their IT equipment in a few minutes, and its teams of experts is ready to give a free advice. For more information on this, refer to Telia's website at Telia.lt/verslui.

304 Lithuanian enterprises employing 10 to 50 employees took part in the telephone survey conducted at the order of Telia in August 2018.

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