Top executives must invest in quality IT support for their business to thrive
Sometimes it can be difficult to look from the top down and pinpoint gaps in your small business IT support. Part of the reason is that these IT support gaps usually stay hidden until an issue arises.
Rather than using IT to “fill the gaps,” CEO’s should invest in an IT support plan that identifies weak spots and prevents costly IT problems. The key to successful small business IT support is to look at IT as a preventative maintenance rather than emergency support.
But the problem is that many business leaders don’t realize how IT adds value to the bottom line and saves a company from big time losses.
Technological Progress Makes IT Support a Priority
Rapid technological progress has drastically changed how we do business. Most businesses store data digitally now. Fatal cyber threats grow more dangerous by the day. Because of this, proactive IT support is more important than ever for a small business.
Here are some IT support mistakes CEOS make that can harm the bottom line.
Mistake 1: Denying the severity of SMB cyber threats
Many SMB owners don’t believe they’re targets of cyber threats. Yet, more than half of all security breaches have targeted small businesses and organizations since 2005.
SMBs enable dangerous and costly security breaches by not investing in adequate IT defense strategies. Cyber criminals prey on small businesses because their naive outlook towards IT support and security makes them an easy target.
No IT security investment invites big financial losses
A single data breach can cost an SMB thousands of dollars to fix. And if one of the bad guys breaks in and compromises any sensitive data, such as confidential customer information, your company’s reputation could be flushed down the drain. Sometimes a hurt reputation can’t be repaired.
Many SMBs invest in an IT support partner to prevent these risks.
An IT support partner puts measures in place to lower the risks of malicious hacks. Some preventative measures a quality managed services partner would implement include:
- Watching for malicious activity and blocking it when if it attacks your network
- Safeguarding company documents with proper permissions
- Ensuring you can always access a fast and reliable internet connection
- Protecting remote computers when employees travel so no one brings back a virus
Mistake 2: Lacking IT security employee training
Firewalls, spam filters, and anti-virus software are important measures for keeping your devices safe. But these measures can only go so far. There is one important element businesses often overlook when it comes to IT security.
Employees with IT security training become your “human firewall”. Tech knowledge and common sense overlap when you train employees on IT security best practices. The “human firewall: is often your last line of defense in IT security.
To build a “human firewall”, provide employees with thorough training on software security and the deceptive methods scammers use to hack into personal and company information. You can take it a step further and enlist a managed IT support company to train and test your employees on their IT knowledge so you can gauge where you need improvement.
Mistake 3: Using outdated software & hardware
Outdated technology drags down company processing power and increases your long-term expenses. The cost of constant tweaks to meet compliance standards, fix performance issues, and fight off a security breach outweighs purchasing new hardware and implementing system updates.
When’s the last time your company implemented a software update or bought new hardware? Overseeing a company-wide update of tech tools reduces IT security risks and increases employee productivity.
Software & hardware updates improve your bottom-line
- Product enhancements consider customer feedback from your employees, so their voice makes the tool better meet your company needs.
- Keeping your software and hardware compatible ensures tools work efficiently for your employees
- Fixing software bugs eliminates weak spots. Think of a bug as an open invitation to malicious intruders.
Your company could also benefit from using a managed IT provider because they’ll suggest the right hardware for your business operations and budget. They’ll even initiate automatic updates of software and operating systems, which takes a load off your shoulders and frees your employees to focus on their job.
Mistake 4: Choosing the wrong data storage for their company needs
When improving your small business IT solutions, backing up your data is just as important as protecting it. A big dilemma seems to be making a decision on how to backup company data.
The choice lies between legacy data centers or migrating to the new-age cloud. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each to decide which works best for your company or whether a combination may be the best approach.
Trustworthy cloud services give you a decent amount of fairly safe storage for a fraction of a data center’s monthly costs. But, physical data centers up the ante on storage space and allow for high protection that’s customizable.
There’s certainly a rising trend in cloud-based data centers, as it seems to be a useful alternative for many smaller businesses. However, not all are dependable services. Important factors to consider when choosing data storage options include:
- Budget available for data storage expenses
- Amount of data storage needed
- Data accessibility (high-touch vs. low-touch data)
- Data confidentiality
- Speed of data recovery and ease of access (e.g., after a data breach or disaster)
Trust your small business IT support in professional hands
Having the latest anti-virus, this year’s OS, or employees with cyber smarts are important measures in a good IT program. But they aren’t enough on their own.
Partnering with a reliable IT support company is a key factor in making sure your business is protected.
IT managed service providers are more supportive and cost effective than one-off IT support or customer support hotlines when IT issues arise. They’re a valuable resource for SMB’s in the grand scheme of things. Besides saving money, in the long run, an IT support company will provide relationship development to grow with your company and deliver personalized solutions for now and the future.