Common IT Issues for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses
Smart planning is essential for technology adoption.
Planning for your company’s growth is like looking into a crystal ball – and growing while implementing new technology can be a double-edged sword. Managed incorrectly, it can be just as likely to cause unexpected disruptions as much as it has become a problem-solver. The uniqueness factor isn’t going away, but it is possible to look into that technology crystal ball and plan for some common obstacles that are likely to appear as you move your company to the next level of growth. Here are a few you want to keep your eyes open for.
Remember how hearing the term “plug and play” made us all chuckle? It was more like “plug and pray.” Growth and innovation mean bringing in new technologies to increase productivity and spur growth. Marketing material for this tech boasts that it easily integrates with your existing software.
Alas, that’s often not the case. If you don’t take the time to do a deep dive into possible integration issues, your new technology may end up causing—at least initially—plenty of inefficiencies. It may be necessary to enter data in multiple places or look for information in several locations.
The good news is that most technology solutions that boost their integration benefits will get you there. It’s a wise idea, though, to be thorough in your research—plan, also, for a learning curve.
Disaster Recovery and Backup Glitches
We tend to be a lot more confident when we delete files nowadays. The worst that can happen is that we realize it was a bad idea, and off we go to our organization’s backup and recovery system to restore it.
That’s the scenario for a perfect world. Backup and recovery capabilities have become mission-critical for most companies. We implement solutions and put a checkmark in the box. Then, an emergency such as a freak storm or security breach happens—and we discover that our safety net has holes.
Play it safe and create a few (mock) disasters that your backup and recovery solution is supposed to protect you from – essentially, proactively test your system. Look at your procedures, as well as the technology itself. It’s essential to factor the actions of your team into these scenarios.
This one should have your technology crystal ball flashing in neon colors. It’s not just the Fortune 500 companies that have to deal with the threat of hackers. Supply and demand come into play here. There are far more small and mid-sized businesses to target, and hackers have already focused their attention on these areas.
It’s dangerous to assume that your small business is sailing under the radar. Think of the confidential customer information you have stored. What would happen to your customers—and you—if it was stolen?
Gloom and doom, for sure—but the consolation is that there are cost-effective approaches to cybersecurity, and they often are bundled in with outsourced IT management services. This solution can solve many growth-related issues, and it’s worth investigating.
Grumbles from Employees
Technology’s pervasiveness into everyday life means that your employees might have newer and faster personal productivity tools than those sitting on their office desks. What’s more, they probably want to use those tools to connect to your infrastructure.
Keeping your IT technology solutions on the leading edge can be an expensive proposition. Add a disconnect between your strategic business plans and the IT infrastructure to support them, and you’ve got a recipe for dysfunction.
The role of IT is moving up in the ranks of business. It’s integral to all areas of operation. If you haven’t gotten this clear message from your technology crystal ball yet, take this to heart: It’s time for an alignment.
Many small businesses have discovered that the optimal way to create this alignment—which also helps increase employee satisfaction—is to partner with an IT managed services provider. A dedicated IT department is often only a “sometime in the future” luxury for small businesses. Going the managed services route makes it a reality right now. It makes your IT capacity scalable as you need more resources, and it puts a dedicated team in place to ensure that your employees get the technology they need to be productive. This is much easier and less expensive when you take advantage of the cloud-based services that an IT managed services provider makes available to your company.
Keep these obstacles in mind as you plan for future growth and the technology solutions that can get you there. And if they’re not showing up in your technology crystal ball … try shaking it a few times, or maybe check its Wi-Fi signal strength.
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