By: Karl Bickmore, CEO, Snap Tech IT
In a world where we are surrounded by technology, this may seem an unusual question. Most of us no longer question the value of technology in our lives, but where we might struggle, is tp to understand the value of I.T. is when we apply it to our business. Or rather, what level of I.T. makes sense to use for our business.
There are two fundamental reasons your business needs I.T. The first is to improve the efficiency and growth of your company. The second is to manage the risk technology can pose to your your business.
Let’s start with examining the risk side of this question. There are many business owners who sympathize with feeling the risk of technology. The news shares major data breaches, ransomware, and information stealing stories all the time. The sad reality is the news doesn’t even come close to representing the amount of mayhem going on. For every news story you hear there are thousands that are not reported. At this point, most all of us have either been hacked, held ransom or had our information stolen or we know someone who has.
More than a few times I have been introduced to a business who has just had a security event and the owner just can’t keep but feeling the senselessness of the attack. They ask why and why us?
The sad reality is that cybercrime is now the most lucrative form of organized crime. Now surpassing the world illicit drug trade. Everyone is a target and it’s a big money maker for criminals. Even worse, many hacking organizations are state sponsored groups that are funded by foreign governments specifically for the purpose of disrupting our country.
So, now the question, if there is so much mayhem, what can I really do about it? In our experience working with hundreds of businesses and several other IT companies and IT professionals, there is a lot of room to reduce your technology risk with competent IT services. In my experience, there is an enormous amount of incompetency in the IT industry. So many IT providers and professionals are simply not equipped with the knowledge and systems to prevent the current threats coming at our businesses. This problem is only exacerbated in the small business world where there is no IT professional on staff and they are fully reliant on what is most likely an incompetent IT provider. At least incompetent when it comes to IT security and reducing your risk. There are many IT providers that are great at doing traditional IT things, like running a helpdesk, managing your servers, network administration, setting up computers, managing your backup, etc…. but hey are totally out of there league when it comes to security.
So, why does your business need I.T.? The first answer is, when done properly, you are able to significantly reduce the risk in your business that a “hack”, ransomware, data leak, etc… might cause to your business.
The second and more exciting reason you should think about I.T. in your business is the efficiency and growth it can facilitate.
There is no doubt that email is more efficient than handwritten letters. There is no doubt that computerized accounting systems are far more efficient than paper ledgers. In fact, most business today, would not be able to be profitable if they didn’t have significant business functions computerized and used the Internet.
The real key is which systems and computerized processes make the most sense for your business. Should you leverage cloud-based solutions? Have a server in your office? Both? Should you have an ERP program? Use Office 365 or Google G-Suite? QuickBooks, Xero, or Great Plains?
There are a lot of choices to make, but the right IT professional or provider will be able to see your business requirements and help you with the right fit for your business. They will be able to select the correct scale of cost-to-benefit solutions.
After you have your tools and software set, a good I.T. provider will help you maintain the solution, make sure it is backed up, safe, and working smoothly for you. They will help you with your computer asset management and will help you with ongoing I.T. planning.
There is no doubt that almost every business is more efficient and can grow faster with the right use of technology in their business. I like the analogy of a train. You, as a business owner are charging your business ahead like a train and I.T. is a big part of laying down the tracks in front of your business so you can drive the train towards your vision and goals.
I hope you understand better why I.T. is important to your business. Fundamentally, its risk management and efficiency for growth. Just remember, like many other professions (mechanics, lawyers, doctors, etc.…), not all I.T. professionals are the same. They don’t all provide the same level of service and unfortunately, many are struggling with keeping up on the risk side of I.T. Be sure to check out our ebook Power of Security it will empower you with knowledge & understanding of your security controls, best practices you have in place & where you have gaps in your security program.
The more you know, the better you will be able to choose the right I.T. partner.