IT Best Practices for SMBs

When used strategically, the right technology tools can set your business up for success, preventing data breaches and reducing downtime.

On the other hand, if technology is ignored, it can pose serious threats to your operations. To keep you on the right track, we have five IT best practices small businesses can implement today to reduce risk and grow their businesses.

But, first, consider these two issues that can arise when technology is not incorporated into your overall business plans.

How technology can hurt your business

Downtime

Downtime occurs when employees cannot work because systems are down, or your workers are attempting to troubleshoot IT issues. Downtime costs your business productivity and revenue and is what catastrophic IT failure really looks like.

Reputational Risks

In a survey by RSA, almost 70 percent of respondents said they would stop using a company if they believed the business did not have strong data protection practices. Most businesses would not be able to sustain this loss in customers, and it is estimated that 60 percent of small businesses close within six months of a cyber attack.

5 IT best practices for small businesses

The problems outlined above only become issues if you let them. By following these five best practices, you’ll be using technology in a way that helps your business grow.

1.     Update Your Software and Hardware

Failed software, insufficient backup solutions, and many other problems can be traced back to the same root cause: old or dated technology.

Keeping your systems up-to-date is an important first step, but you can optimize this practice by updating your hardware and software at the same time. If you only update your hardware, you may be left with applications that no longer function, or it could take longer to run programs, causing downtime and preventing your employees from working as efficiently as possible.

Plus, new technology often has better security features making your data and your customer’s data more secure.

2.     Back Up Your Data

We hinted at this earlier, not backing up your data can cause serious problems for your business. If a virus wipes out your data, you want to be confident that your backup system is working.

Our advice is to use a trusted IT partner to manage your local and offsite backups. That way, instead of spending weeks or months recovering lost files, you’ll be back up and running with minimal downtime.

3.     Protect Your Information

The reality is, most businesses have information like passwords for sale on the dark web, and you need to employ a variety of tactics to protect your data.

One that we consider necessary is Multifactor Authentication or MFA. This simple and cost effective security solution is frequently avoided because it takes extra time to enter a passcode when logging in.

The few extra seconds it takes to receive and enter the passcode can prevent hackers from successfully using stolen information to log into your systems.

4.     Implement the Right Solutions

Along with making your team more productive, technology can provide insights. For instance, Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems pull data from different departments, and applications offer a comprehensive overview of your operations. It can help you track resources, manage goals, and increase communication between departments.

5.     Think Strategically

Many of our clients have questions about cloud services and want to know how moving to the cloud will benefit their business. In reality, moving to the cloud might not be beneficial.

For instance, a sales team might heavily rely on cloud services because they are constantly out of the office. Being able to remotely access documents and collaborate with other employees in the cloud keeps their sales goals on track.

On the other hand, a firm where employees mainly work from the office might not see any operational or costs benefits from the cloud. Having to download each document rather than accessing it from a local server can steal time from an employee’s day, decreasing productivity.

Ready to use technology to grow your business? You can contact us at (952) 258-8200 or online to learn more about how to match your goals with the right tech solutions.