In 2022, all small businesses in the US rely on technology. And just basic technology, like computers or phones, but information technology (IT).
IT is what connects all your devices, software, and digital tools to one another, to create an efficient work environment. The problem, though, is that most small business owners don’t know how to construct a seamless IT system, that can function the way it needs to.
There are countless IT challenges that your business is facing, and trying to piece together random tools or software programs isn’t going to solve those IT issues.
So what can you do to overcome the common tech challenges that small businesses in America face? Read on below to learn how to master business technology once and for all.
1. Not Having Backups
Everything you do in business should have a backup. You should have backups of your website, customer data, emails, work orders, incoming and outgoing invoices, and anything other document processed by your company.
You never know when problems might occur, such as a hacker destroying data through malware, a website going down, or a power outage causing data to be lost.
You’ll need to restore data from a backup at some point or another. It’s just a matter of time.
Not knowing how to maintain and organize backups, and not knowing how to restore them is one of the basic forms of technology problems that businesses of any size will face.
2. Integration Problems
Your business relies on many moving pieces to communicate and work together. For example, you’ll have a website, an email provider, customer communication software, employee communication apps, bookkeeping services, and many other systems that need to link together.
Data from one platform to another should be transferred seamlessly. If set up properly, and if the right tools are chosen to work together then everything can work as it should. An integrated system can save valuable time and money, as repetitive tasks and data entry can be eliminated.
But sometimes, the addition of a new piece of software, or an update to an existing one can throw a wrench into your system.
3. Cybersecurity Threats
One of the most important functions of IT systems is the ability to fend off threats from hackers and bots designed to steal data and implant malware.
Cybersecurity threats are becoming more and more of a problem every single day. Businesses large and small need to invest in the most robust cybersecurity they can afford, and then some.
If you fall victim to a cyberattack, it could result in stolen customer data, stolen proprietary information, or stolen funds. This in turn could lead to lawsuits, a ruined reputation, and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent fixing the issue and recovering from the aftermath.
Hackers are getting smarter, and attacks are mounting by the minute. Trying to save money on cybersecurity is one of the greatest risks, and mistakes, you can make for your business.
4. Slow Internet
Your internet connection is what empowers all of the devices and systems to work together. Without reliable internet, your business can’t function. With slow internet, your team is unproductive, and money is wasted every single hour, as the technology can’t work the way that it’s supposed to.
Working with a company that specializes in commercial internet is key to having the power, speed, and uptime that your company needs every single day.
5. Missing Important Updates
Your software, applications, computers, and other hardware needs to be updated on a regular basis. When an update is available, you should be implementing these right away.
Updates are the result of software providers discovering bugs that could be limiting potential or creating unnecessary security risks. Hackers know that one of the easiest ways to infiltrate a company is to enter through software that hasn’t been updated.
For the safety of your company, you need to keep everything up-to-date, which is easier said than done when running lots of different programs and devices.
While your team should be powering down all computers and devices at the end of each day, in order to refresh the systems and boost performance, updates may be missed as a result. You need to develop a habit or a system of regular checking for, and implementing updates.
6. Not Consulting Employees
Your company isn’t run by you, it’s run by your employees. They are the ones in the trenches, using the computers, software, and applications day in and day out to service customers and clients, and to move projects forward.
They depend on the systems that you implement in the business. If there’s a problem with the system, or room for improvement, they are likely the first people who will know about it.
But many business owners or IT personnel fail to consult with employees. You should make it a weekly or monthly habit to check in with individual employees to determine what their pain points are. With regular communication, you’ll more easily identify bottlenecks that need to be addressed in order to save time and make more money.
7. Managing Your Own IT Systems
You didn’t get into business to piece together software programs, troubleshoot internet issues, and learn how to backup and restore important data files. Unfortunately, these are real tasks that businesses need to master.
However, doing them on your own will lead to wasted time and an increased number of headaches.
Rather than managing your own IT system (or lack thereof), consider hiring a service provider to manage it on your behalf.
That way, when you experience issues (which will be few and far between), you can send an email or make a quick phone call and voila, your IT problems go away. Find out more about the process of switching to managed service here.
Beating Common IT Challenges
IT challenges are exactly that; a challenge. They aren’t walls that you cannot pass through. Nor are they thorns in the side, to be health with forever.
They are simply challenges that can be overcome with a little tenacity, or with the right team in place.
Hiring an IT company to handle these issues will be one of the best investments you can make in your business today. Stop limiting your teams’ potential, and instead give them the best software, hardware, and interconnectivity to boost their productivity.
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