Small business owners wear many hats in expanding and running their companies, but one of the most crucial skills they need is enlisting other people’s expertise. Technology and information technology (IT) is one area in which a lack of proper knowledge and experience can cause major business disruptions.
Cyberattacks against large companies seem more commonplace because they usually garner more media attention and negative publicity. Data breaches at Yahoo compromised the personal information of all 3 billion of its users. However, 43% of cyberattacks target small business.
A business that finds itself facing some of those small business technology pitfalls may want to consider reaching out to experienced professionals to assess its platform and improve on it.
Poor security practices
Cybersecurity continues to emerge as one of the most important aspects of IT management, especially as the scale and complexity of digital threats continues to widen. Despite the increasing complexity of various phishing schemes and data breaches, improper password security remains a common entry point for malicious agents.
At the most basic level, small businesses should avoid using a universal password or generic user names and passwords for all programs and systems. Implementing two-factor authentication should be a standard practice, especially when dealing with sensitive third-party data or confidential information.
That security method is recommended on one of the Small Business Administration’s top 10 cybersecurity tips. Digital security experts can also recommend the best software tools for protecting against viruses or monitoring security incidents.
Lack of employee training and support
Another trouble area that affects small-business owners and workers alike is the lack of employee technical training. There are obvious benefits to organizations when employees are experienced in an industry-specific proprietary software, possess fundamental technical skills such as programming or know the ins and outs of Microsoft Office.
Workers who lack basic technological skills are not providing their maximum potential value to the business. In addition, most employees want to hone the job skills that can help develop their careers. Therefore, small businesses that sponsor classes and workshops, or simply host informal “lunch and learn” training seminars will see a productivity gain in addition to increased job satisfaction.
Reactive versus proactive approach
Many organizations take the approach of waiting until something is wrong or broken instead of actively monitoring or preparing for a technological disaster. A reactive approach introduces a severe vulnerability into all areas of business if an IT disruption interfers with normal operations.
Even small businesses should prepare for contingencies with a disaster-recovery or business-continuity plan. They should be incorporated into business processes so that teams know how to respond when the company website is down or a data backup is required.
Smaller companies and startups tend to hit the ground running when first entering the market. While that strategy is necessary for early-stage business growth, a common pitfall is making an unstainable upfront investment in technology that doesn’t meet long-term business needs.
Considerations such as selecting a server for data storage, installing physical hardware for networking and data communications or making the “buy vs. build” software decision will affect an organization for many years.
If any of those common technological pitfalls apply to your small business, you don’t have to tackle them alone. Schedule a complimentary Technology Business Review with Internet Contrasts, which can provide the external guidance to help you create a plan to ensure that you have a smooth technology platform.