The National Small Business Association’s recent Small Business Technology Survey found that 98 percent of small business owners agree that it’s important to keep up with new technology – but this can be difficult, and expensive, if you don’t do it right.
The following video identifies some of those problems and discusses some of the steps you can take to address your small business’ IT needs.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/29046591 w=960&h=540]
This is recorded in HD, so, to get the best effect, watch it full screen!
The same survey found that small businesses face many concerns when it comes to their technology. Approximately half of all small business owners consider security issues, upgrade costs, and maintenance as top technology challenges.
The aftermath of failure to properly maintain, upgrade, secure, and back up your IT infrastructure can be grim indeed.
- When your systems are down, you can’t communicate effectively with customers, suppliers, or other employees,
- This can make it difficult, if not impossible, to enter sales orders.
- It can dramatically reduce the productivity of your people, and
- Interfere with the smooth functioning of your business processes.
- These problems, in turn, can affect your reputation in the market,
- Cut into your profits and, ultimately,
- Cause your business to fail.
And yet, about one-quarter of small-business owners handle tech support for the entire company themselves. And 43 percent spend more than two hours a week just on technology problems.
The market for telecommuting and mobile computing is also exploding. Forrester Research projects that, by 2015, over 85% of the workforce will be mobile. And International Data Corporation forecasts that the U.S. alone will add more than 3 million corporate home office households between 2011 and 2015.
And it isn’t just during regular working hours. Small business owners and employees are especially likely to bring computers on vacation. 75 percent check in daily; nearly one third do so several times a day. There’s never a good time for computer problems, but encountering them while on the road or during precious leisure time is even more annoying than normal. Thus, small businesses are recognizing the need to provide comprehensive, well-managed support for telecommuters and mobile workers.
There are also direct threats to small businesses’ IT infrastructures. For example, there are the security threats posed by hackers who realize that small businesses typically lack the technical expertise to properly set up robust security and so look at small businesses as easy targets.
Industry experts have found that 80 percent of small businesses that experience a security breach go bankrupt or suffer severe financial losses within two years of being violated. If you don’t think you have the time and expertise to monitor these threats, you need to depend on a trusted technology partner who does. The investment is worth it.
For most small businesses, email consumes a very substantial part of your telecommunications bandwidth. But, it’s currently estimated that over 90% of all email is spam. When you have to download all your inbound email to in-house email servers, you’re wasting the bandwidth used by that 90%. So many businesses are moving to secure, hosted email services. By having your email service hosted, you download only the 10% or less of incoming emails which are legitimate communications.
It’s also critical that small businesses have a current copy of their data stored somewhere safe and accessible. With a purely on premises infrastructure, data is still backed up onsite where it’s subject to loss in the event of fire or natural disasters.
This is why many small businesses are considering Cloud storage or an offsite managed service for data backup and disaster recovery. Automatically storing archived data off-site in a secure private cloud keeps data safe but rapidly and easily accessible in the event of disaster.
So key IT issues that small business owners need to address are:
- Keeping your systems updated with the latest technology,
- Ensuring the security of your most critical data,
- Allowing your employees to work remotely,
- Providing for backup and disaster recovery,
- Holding maintenance and upgrade costs within planned budgets, and
- Minimizing the time that managing IT takes away from running your business.
When considering your information technology infrastructure, you really should look at the big picture. Clearly, traditional approaches aren’t working. Should you be focused on keeping your technology running or on growing your business? An outside IT provider can be a tremendous asset – freeing you up to give your full attention to your business.
These days, you need an IT service provider who can offer you a broad portfolio of capabilities. It can start with managing, maintaining, and upgrading your internal IT infrastructure. But it should also include offering hosted email and web services as well as Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery.
For those companies that are ready, moving your data and systems entirely to the Cloud can help to reduce costs. It’s highly scalable, universally accessible, and provides for automated backups and upgrades.
These are just some of the reasons I’m so impressed by DynaSis and the range of services it offers to help businesses more profitably manage their IT infrastructures. DynaSis can help you by:
- Managing on-site systems,
- Hosting email and websites,
- Providing online backup and disaster recovery, and even
- Offering full-blown Cloud Computing capabilities
based on your needs – for today and tomorrow.
If you’re not already familiar with hosted services and Cloud Computing, you may want to watch some or all of the other videos in this series. These explain what these services are and how they work, discuss their benefits, and address concerns you may have.
If you’d like more help understanding these new technologies, give the people at DynaSis a call. They’ll be glad to show you various ways to meet your technology needs.
If you need to cut costs while enhancing quality, increase productivity while responding quickly to the needs of your market, all the while ensuring that your systems and data are secure and confidential, DynaSis may have just the right solution for you. Call them today to find out.
And thanks for watching.