At this stage of the 21st century, we all need a certain amount of technological know-how just to get by in life. But – at times – it seems like so many tasks have been automated and made incredibly user-friendly that once we have all the necessary hardware in place, there’s not much that can go wrong. That is, until things do go wrong, which they frequently do. For the 95% of the time that our computers work for us, that 5% can be all the more disruptive and frustrating.
According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, 58% of cyber attacks were on small businesses. This is but one of the reasons why smaller organisations need to be up-to-date, maintained, and closely guarded when it comes to technology. Fortunately, expert consultation from small business computer support is always on hand to keep things functional and optimised, and to avoid the worst possible consequences.
In a world where technology leads production in most industries, it’s no surprise that almost half of UK SMEs believe that technology increases productivity, as well as helping to upskill existing employees. A more positive outlook will reveal that software and tools will lead to an increased automation and a reduction of time-consuming tasks, which translates to a rise in efficiency and productivity. On the other hand, when employees are not needing to take hours out of their working days to tackle tech-related issues they aren’t trained for, the result will be costly for business.
In addition to the surprising figure for cyber attacks on small businesses given above, as many as 60% close within six months following the attack. This alone should be enough reason for any business owner in their right mind to take all the precautions available to protect sensitive data. As security is becoming tighter and more carefully safeguarded, so too are hackers becoming more sophisticated in finding ways of harming unsuspecting targets. This means the highest levels of protection need to be in place from the start, but also that security should be checked and updated on a regular basis. In addition to this, backups need to made safely and frequently to minimise any loss in the event of an attack.
It goes without saying that communication is central to the operations of any organisation, whichever field it may be in and whether the communication is internal or external. One of the most important recent advancements of technology has been in communications, and this can be seen in such office tools as instant messaging, video conferencing or personal assistants, which are used on a daily basis to save time and increase efficiency.
Rather than using landlines, an increasing number of businesses have been finding the extra benefits of using VoIP, a phone system that can be used in various locations and devices, with call directing services, the option of keeping various local contact numbers in different locations and more optional services, and all at a lower cost. This is a technological benefit to businesses of all sizes that can be installed and advised upon by IT support.
Data is perhaps the most essential part of any business, and in terms of security it’s the most vulnerable to cyber attacks. Depending on the nature of the business, it may be the most valuable asset to secure. This means that the strategy and procedures for dealing with and storing that data should be very carefully planned out and advised upon.
The last decade has seen an increasing number of enterprises migrating to cloud as well as a huge expansion of cloud services offered to SMEs. The global revenue from cloud technology is expected to reach $411 billion by 2020, and an implementation of this important technology is strongly advised to those businesses that haven’t already made use of it.
It may be hard to believe that some companies still don’t have a website, though with mobile devices accounting for 42% of all time spent online, the more important drive in recent years has been to release an app on which to offer your services. For marketing purposes and brand recognition, it’s also necessary to have a presence on social media, without which target audiences may be lost. Staying up to date in terms of technology is essential to businesses in a way that was not the case for previous generations, so for those without the training or the technical mind, a helping hand with IT issues should be accepted readily.
It’s true that handling all tech-related tasks in-house could mean some savings in both time and money, at least in the short term. To add to this, smaller businesses are usually concentrated on growth, so taking time out to make a series of upgrades or training employees could represent a considerable set back. And if the right safeguards aren’t in place, then costs could be much greater, as has been proven in the past. If the best possible strategies are not taken in terms of communication and efficiency, then growth may be severely hindered. SMEs that aren’t able to see things in the long run will pay the price, and those that don’t bring their business into the current century will be left behind. Sometimes some extra help can make all the difference.