The biggest 7 mistakes you could be making and how to avoid them with our handy checklist.
We count down some all-too-common tech mistakes – the kind that can damage a growing business, and even stunt its growth for good.
Buying tech for your business is pretty exciting. It’s a chance to drive faster growth and innovation. To do more, in cooler, smarter ways.
That said, it’s also absolutely terrifying. There’s the purchase cost, the hassle of implementation, the new security concerns – and the knowledge that if you make one big mistake, it could have a devastating effect on your bottom line.
So, be forewarned and forearmed.
Here are 7 tech mistakes too many growing businesses make…
1. Buying everything up front.
Getting a new server installed in your office feels good. You get a shiny new toy, a pleasant whirring noise in the background, and a number-crunching powerhouse. But, you also get a huge upfront invoice. And if your needs change, a huge paperweight. Oh, and by the way, you also have to pay to maintain it.
A better, more flexible alternative is to swap those big, one-off tech outlays for Cloud and as-a-Service solutions. That way, when change happens, it’s just a case of reducing, or – hopefully – expanding your existing contract. As an added bonus, you’re also reducing your upfront spend and moving it to an operating expense.
2. Not taking security seriously.
These days, every business is a potential target. So, make sure your firewalls are in place, your antivirus is up to date, your data and files are in a secure location and you’ve the power to shut down compromised devices at any time.
A security breach could bring your business to a halt, stunting your growth And even more damaging, if customer data is compromised, it could irreparably harm the relationships and reputation you’re working so hard to build.
When talking IT in the cloud, there’s a common misperception that it’s not secure because you can’t physically see where your data being stored. Don’t be fooled. One of the biggest benefits of cloud IT is that companies (think Google and Microsoft) can use world-class security experts (the kind only companies like this can hire) to protect their apps and servers.
3. Not keeping backups.
A burglary, a fire, a computer crash… any one of these is a headache for your business – but if you lose data that’s not backed up, it’s a potential catastrophe.
Whatever your size, it pays to pay attention to disaster recovery. Work out an efficient way of backing up your critical data before you need it. Better yet, consider cloud storage to make your data available on any device and ensure it will still be there if a disaster happens. Servers usually don’t survive floods or fires.
4. Not planning for the future.
Your set of Excel spreadsheets might seem like a fine way of tracking customers now, but what about in a year’s time when your customer base soars?
For the smaller business, not thinking about scalability is a big mistake. Whether it’s your business voice service, productivity apps, customer relationship management tools, wireless plans – whatever – you need to know your tech will grow with you, simply, quickly and without harsh penalties or capital investment.
5. Not doing your research.
There’s speed, and there’s carelessness. However agile your business aspires to be, research is a crucial stage in any tech investment.
Spend a little time analyzing exactly what you need, and exactly what each competing product or service will deliver – you’ll almost certainly save yourself a lot more time (and money) somewhere further down the line.
6. Not upgrading when you should.
When budgets are tight, tech upgrades can be the first casualty. Witness the number of businesses still on Windows XP – which retained an 11% market share in 2015, despite Microsoft dropping support for the operating system a year before, leaving it unpatched and vulnerable to new security threats.
Upgrading your tech may be a hassle, but it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with the fallout of a security breach. And that’s just one example. Eking more life out of any aging software and infrastructure than it’s designed for is a fast track to inefficiency and cost.
7. Trying to go it alone.
As you try to deliver the tech your growing business needs, it’s easy to grow a whole new department – which needs to be housed, equipped and paid.
But today – thanks to the cloud and managed services – there’s another option. You can outsource some or all of your tech burden to an expert partner, helping you keep your own business lean, even as its revenues swell.
How to avoid the mistakes – a handy recap…
1. Think Cloud and as-a-Service.
2. Take security seriously.
3. Backup. Backup. Backup.
4. Plan to scale.
5. Don’t skimp on the research.
6. Upgrade when you should.
7. Ask for help.
Watch out for these mistakes, and equipping your business with the tech it needs should at least be a little less scary – but no less exciting.
Choosing, and implementing the right tools for your environment can take a lot of research and time. We are here to offer our expertise, so that you can focus your time and energy on your business!
If you are in the market for a managed service provider that specializes in cyber security – CALL US! We can assess your IT environment, identify areas that can be improved and implement inexpensive, effective cyber security measures to keep you safe.
Email us at email@example.com or give us a call at 732.780.8615 to get more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals.