It’s annual planning season! Review IT’s role in your business to help you work smarter towards next year’s goals. Since business technology evolves rapidly, it's essential to prepare for the future. To help you get ahead, let's look at the most common IT challenges small businesses face (and how you can solve them).
IT Challenge #1: Security
Today, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. According to a business insurer, 60% of these companies go out of business within six months (cnn.com). Traditional security tools like anti-virus, firewalls, and spam filtering won’t protect you from today’s threats.
Solution: You can stay safe by layering effective tools with end-user training and security policies outlining how to use tech. Also, it’s good to have a plan for handling an attack so you can react quickly.
IT Challenge #2: Disaster recovery plan
With disaster recovery, most only think about natural disasters like when an entire office floods during a hurricane. However, “disaster” refers to any event with major negative impact. Therefore, this means planning for various scenarios like human error, servers crashing, or ransomware taking data hostage. Do you know how long it will take you to recover?
Solution: Know your risks, what data you are willing to lose, and how long you can afford to be without access to critical tech (ie. data, email, internet). Being prepared with a reliable backup solution and plan for recovery helps get you back in action quickly. Also, don't forget that testing backups regularly is as critical as having a backup. You want to make sure the backups will be useful when you need them.
IT Challenge #3: IT strategy
To fuel growth, IT needs to know your business goals to be able to support them. Otherwise, it could work against you. Mis-aligned tech often leads to unexpected downtime and lost productivity.
Solution: Work with IT to create a technology roadmap based on your one-year and three-year business goals. This helps to make better decisions about tech.
IT Challenge #4: Reactivity
It’s hard to invest in new hardware when the old stuff seems fine. You’re not alone. However, waiting to replace technology until it gets too old (or breaks) adds to your costs long-term. Older hardware and software can be less reliable and secure and can lead to unexpected downtime, lowering productivity and raising the cost of support and repair.
Solution: It's easier to plan proactively than to respond to an urgent failure. Create a refresh cycle for computers. Budget for software upgrades. Also, perform routine maintenance and monitor the systems to keep in front of issues. Prevent problems from becoming urgent, and you can manage to a budget instead of paying a surprise cost.
You don’t have to do this on your own
The common theme with each of these problems: the fix requires a good plan and the right tools. Even without the cost of internal IT, you can have robust technology systems to support your business. Find the right managed IT services provider to get best-in-class tools and the expertise of a large IT team.
Learn more about WorkSmart's managed services here.