Many of us encounter IT issues every day – but not all of them are immediately obvious or fixed by a swift restart. Here’s ten problems you might not know about…

1. Hardware: It’s often presumed that a PC will last four to six years. Your computers could well last that long but think of them in the same way as a car. Yes, you can still use it towards the end of that period but they will need a regular MOT and parts may well need replacing to keep them up to speed.

2. Batteries: It’s great to arm your employees with laptops so they can whisk them off into meetings, work on the move and catch up at home if necessary but beware. Laptop batteries need replacing relatively regularly and it’s worth being proactive – it would be frustrating for all concerned if you reach a stage where someone can barely get an hour’s work done before needing to find somewhere to charge up.

3. Software waste: How do you know that the software you are using is necessary, efficient and up to date? It’s so easy to waste money if you’re not on top of this but help is at hand, with software from the likes of 1E offering a comprehensive audit of your operations.

4. Up to date: Have you migrated from Windows XP? Microsoft stopped supporting that system last April and, even though it may be three versions out of date, many people were still using it then and still are now. The danger for an organisation is that there is now no technical support from Microsoft and, crucially, no regular updates to protect against viruses and malware – leaving you prone to hackers.

5. Back-up: Is your back-up process robust? Test it before you need it because the loss of critical or sensitive documents could greatly hamper your business. A poor back-up system that loses key files just at the worst possible moment could be a big IT pitfall waiting for you to stumble into.

6. Mobile encryption: Your employees could well be carrying around a potential problem in their pockets. Company phones will typically contain sensitive data that an opportunist thief can easily swipe. Good encryption software should be installed to stop data falling into the wrong hands – some software will allow you to remotely lock, wipe or locate a device.

7. Speed: Everyone gets frustrated by a slow moving computer system and it could be a sign of an underlying problem. Make sure you’re not being hampered by a background download or Torrent that maybe eating into your bandwidth. Keep a close eye on what you are running and where.

8. Memory: Unnecessary files and data can easily clog up your drives – taking up valuable space and, again, impact on speed. A regular disk clean-up can stop this building up to become a problem.

9. Dirt: Your PC may well be one piece of kit that you don’t necessarily consider in need of a spring clean, however a build-up of dirt can really affect performance. Roll your sleeves up for a clean or face storing up an IT problem.

10. Change: Technology is always moving on. It’s vital to at least try to keep up to speed. Failure to do so for a business could see you overtaken by a more ‘on the ball’ rival. As an individual you won’t want to get left behind in the workplace as your knowledge and skills become dated. It would be easy to store up a problem by falling behind the times.

This post was submitted by a contributor. Check out our Contributor page for details about how you can share your ideas on starting a business, productivity or life hacks with our audience.