Since the dawn of the digital age, IT departments have become an indispensable team in every organization. But many small businesses still forego it, resulting in various tech disasters and outdated computerized solutions.
Of course, not every small home-based business can afford to hire a whole IT department right away. Thankfully, IT companies found a way to help, offering office IT support services that will allow small businesses to utilize the latest technologies, even in their early stages.
A competent IT support is highly essential for your business because many technological challenges plague startups like yours. And when they’re not mitigated, they could affect your competitiveness and brand image. Let’s talk about those issues and how IT professionals solve them.
Common IT Issues in Small Businesses
1. Outdated Software
Software and other tech products also age, making them reduce in efficiency over time. As such, it could thwart productivity, prolong tasks that could’ve been streamlined, and make your computers perform poorly overall.
Hence, updating your software isn’t just a practical solution, but also an innovation that will help you gain leverage from your competitors. For instance, if you’re selling products online, it would be more efficient and fast to input your sales records in accounting software or the like, instead of using an outdated MS Excel program.
Communication has become crucial for all businesses when the lockdowns began due to coronavirus. Sadly though, a whopping 86% of small-to-medium enterprises said that they’re still grappling with significant communications, team management, or tech challenges that will allow them to conduct business as usual. Meanwhile, larger companies utilized Zoom or Google Meet to maintain communications and hold important meetings amid the crisis.
Of the SMEs that were surveyed, half reported that effective communication is the biggest challenge because they’re struggling to find the right platform that will facilitate high-quality group calls. Managing employees remotely is also a major hurdle, what with the work-from-home limitations and such.
The communication challenge has resulted in 37% of SMEs communicating less, which cultivated a mental well-being issue among employees. So aside from employing an IT’s help to solve this problem, managers should also promote and encourage more communication.
3. Social Media
You might think social media is the easiest tool to use, but apparently, small businesses also take a while to get the hang of it. Garnering thousands of likes is no easy feat, let alone going viral. Thankfully, social media started offering promotional solutions for business content, but still, only an experienced marketer with significant IT knowledge knows how to use social media to a business’s best advantage.
4. Finding the Right Tech Equipment
Without an IT professional, tech language may sound gibberish to you. You’ll hear such language spoken to you when you try to buy new equipment for your business, such as computers, cash registers, or printers. Your little knowledge about tech specifications may cause you to buy either the cheapest one or the priciest one, just to get it over with.
How IT Professionals Keep Your Business On Top
IT professionals or specialists are more than just people who fix your weak WiFi signal or your jammed printer. Rather, they are imperative members of your organization that help you stay competitive and curb your potential IT costs.
First off, they help you manage your data effectively, by the means of the cloud or any other online-based data management software. It is a huge upgrade from your computer’s hard drive, which can corrupt your files or accidentally remove it. On the other hand, online-based data management software automatically saves your files and prevents viruses, accidental deletion, and unauthorized access.
Employing an IT department will cut down your training costs. That’s because as you take in more hires, their training will be handled by your IT department themselves, as opposed to paying a third party IT trainer.
Moreover, they’ll be always available to fix the complicated issues your computers, network, or software might have. The latest technologies aren’t fool-proof, so they require high-end solutions to reduce their glitches and downtimes. And what team is more qualified to handle that than your IT?
Malware and malicious software will also be warded off by your IT. They’d immediately spot phishing emails, network security threats, and other cybersecurity problems that may compromise your data. And needless to say, they’re able to fight off hackers.
If you run an online store, then an IT department is even more crucial for your business. They’d monitor the performance of your e-commerce site at every stage, from a customer viewing catalogues down to their online payment. This prevents your website from crashing or your network from breaking down, which could result in financial losses.
And lastly but most importantly, an IT department safeguards your sensitive and confidential data, such as financial reports, HR records, and other critical documents. They also make sure that your employees won’t leak information about those data, giving your business impenetrable and reinforced security.