With technology being so important, businesses have become completely dependant on computers and IT systems to ensure they function properly. Consumers, too, have built a dependence on technology, but are able to put simple things in place by way of supporting it. Those who regularly use laptops and computers for work purposes are able to back up their work by simply using a USB data storage device from http://www.usbmakers.co.uk/. It isn’t as simple as this for the business world, however.
Although technology has revolutionised the business industry, with many companies able to increase their offerings to consumers, it isn’t always reliable, as NatWest bank found out last week. The bank is one of the biggest in the UK and serves millions of people. Last week a massive IT system-failure meant that consumers were unable to access their accounts or even use cards for electronic payments. It was quite possibly the worst time to happen, especially with so many people frantically trying to finish their Christmas shopping. Customers were outraged as this was the second time this had happened to NatWest in the last 18 months.
In June 2012, a system failure left customers in the same position. The bank was forced to set aside £125 million to fix the problem and to compensate those who really kicked up a fuss. The official word from NatWest is that the problems were caused by a technical glitch, that was unexpected and had since been repaired.
But many think their technology is too out of date to handle the large amount of users and the millions of transactions that take place every day. The frantic Christmas rush could have merely pushed the systems over the edge.
The reputation of NatWest has taken a hit and customers are concerned about the security and accessibility the bank offers. Can they be trusted with consumer money? Technology failures can be devastating to a business and can result in a loss of business and profits.
There is no room for poor technology in a sector that is driven by competition, and with many other companies snapping at a successful organisation’s heels, the need to be the best is so important.
So how can a company protect themselves from technology glitches? In truth they cant. With technology forming such a huge part of the functions of a business, there is little that can be done. Unfortunately, if equipment is going to fail or systems crash, there is no preventions that can be put in place.
It is quite simply the risk you take with technology. Back ups need to be in place, should the worst happen, and procedures developed to switch from electronic operations to manual, but this isn’t always possible, especially with a bank now built on electronic transactions.
The most important thing to put in place is the care and consideration around technology. It may seem silly, but businesses need to ensure their technology is not only up to date, but is also well cared for, as this could prevent massive failures, which have a huge impact on the reputation and function of the company.