Whether you own a small business or work for one, you might have an opinion on what types of technology help your company grow. It’s cliché to say, but you can ask ten different people and get ten different answers. The role technology has in operations comes down to a variety of factors. No matter the role, one thing is for sure, you want everything to work toward the goal of being productive. Today, we are going to look at four technologies that bring that goal within reach.
In a study conducted by Capterra, small business owners of 699 different companies were polled to see what technologies they considered mandatory for the small business. The top four were: Data & Information Security, Website, Cloud Computing, and a Customer Relationship Management system. Let’s take a brief look at each to see just what makes them so crucial for the growing small business.
Data & Information Security
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see data and information security at the top of the list. Every piece of technology introduced to your network will present a risk. There are just too many people out there that want to infiltrate your network and take off with any data they can. The risk makes it vital to protect your organization’s most critical data from different avenues of theft.
One way is direct. This means having a robust set of network security solutions. We’ve talked a lot about a Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution, and with good reason. A UTM will provide enterprise-level firewall, antivirus software, spam filter, and content blocker. Everything you need to keep threats from freely accessing your network.
The other way is through deception. Today’s cybercriminals know getting into your network isn’t going to be easy. They need a little help. They get help by exploiting the vulnerability that has no patch: your employees. Keeping your staff current on all the latest cyber security threats and techniques will make them a valuable part of your network security.
On top of securing your data and information, you need to back it up. Having a well-planned backup and recovery strategy is the best way to protect your company’s data. Not just against cyber attacks, but in any event, you might lose data. Along with the backup, being able to recover your data quickly will ensure your business is back to work in no time.
If you’re running a business and don’t have an online presence, what are you doing? With social media, every business has some online footprint. But just having a Facebook or Twitter profile isn’t enough to consistently grow your business. Your business needs to build a website.
Think of your website as your business’ storefront. You want your customers to have a good experience going through it, find what they are looking for, and want to come back. By giving your customers options and features they like, you increase your chances of engagement and possibly referrals.
Cloud computing makes operating a business, big and small, easy and cost-effective. The cloud is a lot more than just storage though. It allows a company to utilize business applications and platforms without the responsibility of hosting or maintenance. Software as a Service, or SaaS, is a perfect example of this.
Another fantastic benefit of the cloud is the ability to host your business’ infrastructure, like phone and email.
There are a few different cloud computing options for businesses. You have the private (which your business hosts) and the public (which a provider hosts). Both have their advantages and disadvantages. An option many businesses go with is a hybrid cloud. This cloud option takes the best parts of the private and public cloud. The public cloud can host your business’ communication platforms, while the private cloud is for resources that require more security.
Customer Relationship Management
No management platform bridges all aspects of a business better than customer relationship management software (CRM). The CRM touches everything from sales to operations to fulfillment to support. Every department benefits from having a tool that provides consistency across the customer’s buying process.
The CRM comes in many different forms. There are platforms built for every type of business, and others that are specific to a particular industry. No matter the type, having a CRM provides time-saving automation, the ability to view and generate better ideas, and make statistic-based decisions.
When it comes to technology, there are always areas for improvement. Did this list get you thinking where your company could improve? If so, IT Support Guys can help. Call and speak with one of our technology specialists today at 855-4IT-GUYS (855-448-4897).