Attention small businesses: yes, cash is king, but if there’s one area you shouldn’t reduce or eliminate spending in, it’s IT and IT support. IT is important for a number of reasons, but the biggest is your online security. A single hacking attempt can cripple your business if the hacker is successful. Once hacked, your customers may never trust you again.
Here are five reasons, including security, that prove your business needs IT support. IT is a fundamental component for businesses trying to thrive in today’s device-driven society. Ultimately, IT can help you manage your small business and improve productivity, all while you grow your small business into something bigger.
1. Online and Offline Security
Small businesses are frequently targeted by hackers because they’re known to lack Internet security. Consider that huge companies, including Home Depot and Sony Entertainment, have lost millions to hackers. If they couldn’t protect themselves, how do you expect to protect your business without the help of qualified security professionals? IT professionals can audit your current cybersecurity and hardware security, and make changes to improve its functionality.
Are you worried it’s going to cost too much? Don’t risk hacking; instead, save a bit of money by outsourcing your IT support. Independent IT companies, such as Firewall Technical IT support services, offer immediate IT support by phone and scheduled on-site service. Just like a full-time IT staff, outsourced IT support deploys, maintains, and improves networks, servers, desktop computers, and mobile devices. If money is the leading reason you’ve foregone hiring IT staff, outsourcing drastically cuts the spending without sacrificing the service.
2. IT Improves Overall Productivity
It’s impossible to manage every problem. If you’re not technical, when something breaks your entire business may suffer. IT professionals have the skills to quickly and efficiently fix broken peripherals, troubleshoot software, and ensure you’re back up and running. And, they can improve the processes and hardware you’re already using to increase overall productivity.
3. IT Simplifies Communication
One of IT’s major functions is improving communications. For example, your IT department can set you up with video chat or set up company devices, such as smartphones and tablets. These devices are going to make staying in contact a lot easier, which improves communications (which as we all know, leads to increased productivity).
IT support also manages complicated phone systems and VoIP. Trained IT professionals will install and maintain your phone system, connect it to fax and email, and ensure these devices are supplied with ink, toner, and other materials. You can even ask IT professionals to train your staff on how to use inter-office instant messengers, social media, and other chat technologies.
4. Data Storage and Analytics
Data storage is increasingly important to small business. Your data is your employee records, your client files, your financials, etc. etc. Unfortunately, this data is fodder for hackers; it’s exactly the information they’re looking for. IT professionals can set you up with an internal database that’s large enough to store all your records, and secure enough that you don’t fear hacking attempts. And, they’ll back you up to the cloud, so you can access your records no matter where you are in the world.
5. IT Professionals Understand New Technology
Not only can IT support staff direct you toward new and emerging technologies that can improve your business, they can also manage, monitor, and repair these systems too. Remember in 2015 when all credit and debit cards were updated to include an embedded chip? Business had to adopt new technology to accept their client’s method of payment. This is a great example of a situation where IT support would come in handy; support staff will install machines and provide ongoing support to staff running them.
Small businesses should look at IT support as cost-effective, not costly. If you’re hacked or your hardware/software fails, you may end up costing your business more than it would have cost to hire IT support to begin with. IT support is a worthwhile investment that has many benefits even beyond what’s listed here.