Even if a company works as hard as it possibly can to produce great products and services, it can still suffer due to outside circumstances. An obvious example is the current economic climate, which affects almost every aspect of business efficiency.
However, that’s not the only influential factor; using and relying on other technological resources, websites, and businesses can directly impact a company’s productivity. Here are the five biggest challenges companies face in terms of technology.
Google Search Penalties
A large part of the Google results criteria involves how many other sites link to your site and how credible those sites are. Because many companies try to improve their standing on the results — using an effort called search engine optimization (SEO) — Google made sure to employ specific rules that prohibit deceptive tactics by people trying to artificially increase page rank.
When Google decides a company has broken the rules, the company is placed in the “penalty box,” which entails watching your page rank plummet. This penalty usually lasts for about a month and can seriously damage the number of sales a company receives. Businesses constantly fear this punishment and try increasing rank while not angering the force that is Google.
Mobile Network Problems
BlackBerry isn’t known as the workers’ phone for nothing — many professionals carted the smartphone around to always have their work on the go, especially when BlackBerrys first came out. With features like instant messaging, contact management, online faxing, and easy to use email, Blackberry allows a business person to stay connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People in the working world, especially lawyers and IT managers, have loved BlackBerry’s durability, security, and easy-to-use keypad and GUI system.
However, being so dependent on an electronic device can lead to serious problems. In this case, BlackBerry’s email and Internet services went down for three days in October of 2011, leaving companies that relied on BlackBerrys struggling to go on with work as usual. When there are thousands of positions that require constant interaction away from desks, not having portable emailing was a huge hindrance. System failures like this can be extremely detrimental toward productivity and efficiency.
Social Media Lawsuits
Social media has become a huge part of marketing strategies for business of all types. Millions of people log into Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social media services, so businesses have been trying to take advantage of this outreach opportunity for years now. However, sites like Facebook have rules and regulations about what kind of content can be posted, and violations can lead to problems.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s even permitted in regard to copyright, privacy, and other major issues that can lead to lawsuits. If companies misstep, it can lead to campaigns being removed and content being banned. In regard to Facebook specifically, many companies have created ads and sweepstakes that violated Facebook policy, sometimes without even realizing it.
Hacking and Security Threats
Even the thought of being hacked can make executive cringe. Hacking exposes companies to a slew of problems, from losing control over secure data to encountering privacy lawsuits regarding the leaked information. There have been a lot of recent hacking problems, including a threat from Anonymous hacker group members, who say it’s time to “kill Facebook” in November.
For this reason, having a poor security system can lead to a catastrophic blow to a business. One of the biggest examples includes the TJX hack, which involved more than 45 million stolen credit card numbers. The retailer suffered major losses, and anyone exposed to this kind of security breach can experience similar consequences.
Complications of Cloud Computing
People have been raving about cloud computing ever since it was first mentioned, and there are obvious advantages to using it. But having all of your information on a third-party platform makes some people a little nervous. Because it’s one of the newest innovations in business technology, others are hesitant to get on board when it’s still in the process of growing and developing.
Putting all of your faith on a third-party data center means you could be signing up for some potential problems. Issues regarding security breaches, a decline in reliability, and a feeling of dependency may arise. For example, Amazon’s cloud services, AWS, went down earlier this year and caused popular websites like Reddit and HootSuite to experience technical difficulties or even be unavailable for days.
Internal efficiency isn’t the only way to maintain a thriving business. Many outside factors can contribute to the success of a company, so it’s important to evaluate every decision made and ensure that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.