If you run a small or medium enterprise (SME), chances are that you expected to tackle a lot of the day-to-day running of the business yourself – marketing, sales, bookkeeping, organising travel, HR, and more – before you even got around to your day job, your real passion.
IT, however, presents a bigger headache than it should for most SMEs. Often the issue is that many don’t realise the importance of managing and maintaining their IT and digital services until there’s a problem: which is often too late.
Got a lot on your plate and no idea where to start? Here are some key things you need to consider.
Regardless of what sector you specialise in, there’s now an expectation from most customers that products and services can be delivered and deployed quickly and easily.
That applies just as much to B2B services as it does to consumer goods. Customers have much greater access and visibility, and expect the businesses they deal with to support the customer service channels they use 24/7 – or at least anticipate some form of response (even if it is automated).
In a similar way, employees coming into a growing business will anticipate a high-functioning IT offering.
As more staff become interested in remote working, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and working outside of office hours, there’s a need for companies to provide the services that can make this a reality.
That doesn’t just mean giving them access to collaboration and communication tools to help them work together more effectively – it means putting the right security measures in place too – to ensure company data remains safe.
Considering many of the high profile data breaches we’re used to seeing reported – such as the recent ransomware attack on the University of Maastricht and Picanol in Ieper – it’s easy to assume that hackers are more likely to target bigger companies.
That isn’t the case at all. In fact, SMEs are more likely to be the victims of hackers than larger companies and 6 out of 10 Belgian SMEs have already dealt with cybersecurity issues. The reason? They’re more likely to have less stringent security protocols.
However, security comes in many forms – threat prevention is just one aspect of it (along with access control, data security, password policies – among others). It’s easy to overlook that when you’re dealing with so many other issues, but it should be a priority.
Ultimately, in order for small businesses to thrive and scale; they need to proactively set themselves up for future success. This doesn’t just mean reviewing business models/processes, KPIs, and objectives every few months; it means putting the necessary IT infrastructure in place ASAP – in addition to everything else.
That’s why working with a managed services partner can make a massive difference. Not only can they review your current situation (IST), offer the right support and guidance based on what a business needs, they can work them to determine why they need it, and consider what they will need to help them as they grow (SOLL).
In short, it’s vital that SMEs see the bigger picture and begin to futureproof their company’s IT and embrace more dynamic ways of working – to avoid getting left behind: or worse.
That’s easier said than done when there’s just one or two people in charge of everything. Some things are worth getting right though.
Interested in how your organisation can get help with a clear and understandable advisory report – with hands-on actions to improve your IT infrastructure and security? Book now your free consultation or subscribe hassle-free for regular updates.