Technology enhances daily business activities by speeding up production processes, making customer encounters better, and keeping business data safe. However, it can also become a stressful and expensive problem when it doesn’t function well.
When IT solutions underperform, it causes a rippling effect on a company’s productivity and efficiency. Small businesses are especially susceptible due to their lack of time and resources to solve these problems on their own.
Tech issues can be encountered both in hardware or software and can have costly consequences. For example, if you can’t log in to your computer, or your internet connection slows down to a crawl, or the blue screen of death (BSoD) pops up on your screen, it can disrupt your operations.
To avoid these problems, it is essential to understand the IT challenges your business might face and how to address them properly.
Challenge #1: Vulnerability to cybersecurity threats
Most small-and medium-sized businesses don’t have a dedicated IT specialist to prevent cyberattacks. Without proper cybersecurity in place, your business will be vulnerable to phishing emails and ransomware that lead to data breaches.
Data breaches are no joke because these can cripple a business. According to the Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime Study, the average cost of cybercrime for an organization grew by more than $1 million in 2018 to $13 million in 2019.
Solution: Cybercrime measures
Along with putting security safeguards in place — such as having strong passwords, locking workstations, encrypting data and installing antivirus protection — your business must also invest in network monitoring.
Network monitoring is the process of continuously maintaining and optimizing routers, switches, firewalls, and servers to make sure that these are free of faults or potential causes of disruption. A trusted managed services provider (MSP) can perform this on your system. Premier MSPs have 24/7/365 monitoring and can catch cyberattacks early to minimize the damage it may cause.
Challenge #2: Risk of data loss
Accidental deletion of business-critical data such as financial files and customer information can cost your company time and money. This is why backup and disaster recovery plans are crucial.
Solution: Data backups and disaster recovery plans
Keep a copy of your data on your hard drive, a local backup, and off-site storage. Likewise, along with your backup, make sure your disaster recovery plan and processes consist of the following:
- Inventory of hardware and software – Create a complete list of IT equipment and applications.
- Recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) – Evaluate the acceptable amount of time to resume normal business operations after an outage and the amount of data you can afford to lose after a disaster.
- Disaster recovery team – The key roles, responsibilities, and rosters of both IT and operations should be clear during a disaster recovery.
- Third-party contact list – Keep on hand a thorough list of all necessary contacts outside your company, including hardware and software vendors and data centers.
You can also hire experts to make sure your backup and data recovery plans are executed without a hitch. Outsource your backup and disaster recovery plans to an MSP. Their experienced technicians can conduct unobtrusive solutions and keep your backup data as current as you need it to be. They also perform integrity and security tests regularly.
Challenge # 3: Managing tech sprawl
Aligning technology with business strategy and goals is no small feat.The many components of your IT system — such as hardware, software updates, cybersecurity, upgrades, and maintenance — can be overwhelming to manage.
Solution: Find a technology partner
There is no smarter move than to find a reliable IT partner that can manage your technology landscape for you while you focus on running your business.
Challenge #4: Preparing for the near and far-off future
Businesses often ignore the importance of strategic IT planning. Only when they are suddenly faced with downtime do they react to save face from angry customers or stave off sharp increases in expenses.
Solution: Create and implement a strategic IT plan
Beyond mitigating short-term risks, a technology plan makes a business proactive rather than reactive. An effective plan ensures that limited resources are prioritized to get maximum benefits for the company. It should also allow the firm to adapt to changes in the market.
Take time to craft an IT plan and strategy for your company. Consult experts to meticulously outline the roadmap of your business’s technology future.
Simplified IT Consulting provides comprehensive and customized managed IT services. Our aim is to help your business grow without breaking your budget and provide much needed proactive 24/7/365 monitoring by tech experts. Call us now to learn about our services and a FREE consultation.