In today’s market, nearly every aspect of a company’s operations rely on technology, no matter how small or large—from inventory to finance, from equipment maintenance to HR. Growing businesses need to keep up with the latest technology advances and eliminate bad technology habits in order to maintain a competitive edge.
When it comes to IT needs, falling behind will not only result in playing “catch up” with peers in your industry, it can pose potentially devastating consequences that impact your livelihood and that of your employees. Proactively addressing your IT needs is critical in today’s marketplace and can help your small or mid-size business avoid the following risks.
1. Weak Security
The latest global ransomware attack, known as WannaCry, affected millions of people in May 2017. The malicious application was unintentionally downloaded when users opened an email attachment. It affected Microsoft Windows-based systems by encrypting data which would only be released if demands for payment were met.
Such types of attacks are becoming more common, and the need for timely security updates and software upgrades to systems is critical in eliminating vulnerabilities and loopholes. If your business doesn’t have the manpower or expertise, consider a Managed IT service that actively analyzes systems to make sure proper security patches are installed. Consultants can also help establish security protocols, such as eliminating weak passwords and suggesting precautions for remote workers.
2. Financial Downfall and Tarnished Reputation
Several major companies have made headlines as a result of data breaches. The costs to recover data can run in the millions, and the publicity affects market share and generates negative public sentiment. While larger businesses often make the headlines, 55% of small businesses surveyed said that their company experienced a cyberattack in the last year. What’s more alarming is that 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cyberattack.
Because smaller businesses are more vulnerable and are less likely to maintain strict security measures, many hackers target them as easy prey. Half of companies that experienced a breach said that critical personal customer and employee information was compromised. Losing the confidence of your customers and employees can result in lost revenue, a tarnished reputation and disgruntled employees.
3. Outdated Software
Software platforms are constantly updating their systems to address potential security risks, compatibility issues and various glitches. Proactively applying these updates will not only improve security, it will improve efficiencies for workers. If older systems aren’t maintained, they will run more slowly and affect productivity. Sudden system shutdowns aren’t uncommon and can result in critical data loss, interrupting operations and potentially losing business as a result. As part of maintaining current software updates, other technology solutions should be implemented as well, such as updated licensing, disaster recovery procedures and remote monitoring.
Many smaller businesses don’t have dedicated IT support, so they rely on individuals within their organization who have the most “tech” knowledge, pulling them away from their regular duties when computer problems arise. This interrupts business and creates inefficiencies. Often, employees are left waiting for reboots, repairs or data recovery while someone scrambles to fix the problem, and when several employees are affected, the costs of downtime and lost production add up quickly.
With Managed IT support and constant system monitoring, software vulnerabilities are often resolved before they develop into greater threats, and troubleshooting can take place before users are even aware there was an issue. Outsourcing your IT needs provides a team of experts to solve issues 24/7/365 so work can continue without interruption and employees won’t end up working overtime or coming in on nights, weekends or holidays to address issues or catch up on work.
5. Increased Costs
Many smaller companies believe that implementing a Managed IT service won’t fit in their budgets. When calculating employee downtime, security threats, lost sales and potential liabilities of inadequate IT management, the costs are often minimal in comparison. Hiring an internal qualified IT team to handle all the technology needs of a company and mitigate these risks often proves impractical when calculating salaries, benefits and ongoing training. Partnering with a Managed IT service can ensure that all your IT needs are met and result in significant savings.Relying on a Managed IT service is more critical than ever before. It can protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build and free you from frustrating IT issues. Reach out to Gordon Flesch to receive a free, no obligation consultation today.