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Concerns over systems support

NETWORK systems management isn’t a full-time job, it’s a full-time business.

That’s the gospel according to WiredCity chief executive officer Chris Farquhar. And he said small and medium-sized companies should be asking if network systems are their business.

Speaking at the WebLoop conference last week, Mr Farquar said small and medium business were spending too much time and money maintaining their computer networks, even though they didn’t have trained staff to deal with the problems (which may not be part of the company’s core business).

“The smaller the business the less time you have to actually worry about your network and the less time and money you have to hire people to do it. It’s important to automate and outsource as much as possible,” My Farquar said.

He gave the example of a financial services company with a staff of five trying to cope with network problems. The company’s superannuation adviser was spending about five hours a week on the network, equating to 260 billable hours a year.

Mr Farquar said urban tech myths often stopped businesses from getting the right level of network solutions they required.

He cited the myth that email and system crashes were often considered normal, suggesting that a system down for more than three hours a week was out of action for too long.

“It’s up to you guys, as business people who use the network and email, to tell your service providers to get their act together,” Mr Farquar said.

He also said companies should consider offsite backup of their data to protect from hacking and theft. Mr Farquar said that, in January 2000, there had been 122 security holes in Microsoft software, something he called a security concern.

“Now that doesn’t mean Microsoft doesn’t know how to write software, it actually shows there are a lot of people trying to hack into it,” Mr Farquar said.

If you have systems and you value the data within it, this is a quite a shocking statistic.”

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