If You Rely On IT, You Must Know The Risks

Your IT systems can play a crucial role in helping improve productivity, make complicated processes much easier, and streamline workflow. However, the more you rely on it, the more you expand your network of devices and software, the more of a risk it can become. Rather than arguing that you should scale down your tech reliance, instead, we are going to look at how you ensure you cope with that growing reliance and stay protected.

 

Are you protected?

Every business owner, big or small, should be aware of the real security risks related to their tech. From antivirus software to ethical hacking, you need to consider what data is available on your systems and just how much of a risk it can be if that data falls into the wrong hands. The riskier it is, the more you should invest in protecting it. Studies have shown that the majority of businesses that suffer a major data breach tend to close their doors within two years, and if you lose customer data, especially financial data, you could be legally liable for their losses too.

What happens when the light goes out?

What percentage of your employees’ working day involves them using the computer as their main resource? There’s a good chance it’s more than 50%. In that case, does that mean they are 50% less productive when the power or internet goes out? Your business can suffer a huge blow due to downtime. Finding backup power sources scaled to the number of devices you need, as well as alternative internet connections such as accessible Wi-Fi dongles is essential if you don’t want that downtime to shut you down entirely.

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How do you cope with disaster?

Sometimes, a sudden event can do more than prompt downtime. A breach or a power surge can not only shut down your tech, but it can lose you significant portions of data, as well. Besides finding and preventing the risk of such disasters, strategic IT consulting can help you put a disaster recovery system in place. Such systems can help you get powered on and online much quicker, as well as ensuring that you have the data you need backed up so you are never at risk of truly losing everything.

Are you underutilizing it?

Finally, if you are scaling your tech reliance, you should also scale what you get in return for it. For instance, think about the data your systems produce. These can provide essential insights into the productivity of the team, the efficiency of your tech, and much more. Big Data consultants can help you find these insights and provide the answers to questions such as how to make your team more engaged and how to increase end-user adoption of new software, amongst many other things.

There are risks involved in relying more heavily on any one resource within the business. The more you rely on it, the more of a potential weakness it becomes. Ensure you give those weaknesses the time and thought they deserve and safeguard your business.

All The Signs That Your Business May Not Be As Strong As You Think

Are you sure that your business is doing as well as what you think it is? Sure, it can be quite difficult to tell when you are busy all the time trying to run the company; you could find that there is no time for you to take a step back and review your business objectively.

If things aren’t going quite so well, though, there are often some telltale signs that start to crop up. These following ones are some of the signs that happen in the early stages of a failing business. Do you recognise some in your own business? If so, it may be time to find some solutions!

You’re Repeating Mistakes

Entrepreneurs need to learn from their mistakes quickly and move on. And that’s nothing to worry about – we all make the odd mistake from time to time. However, if you seem to be continually making the same mistake without realizing it, then there could be an underlying issue with your company. So, it’s important that you try to get to the bottom of repeated mistakes as soon as you can. Otherwise, it could spell the end for your business.

Your IT Is Outdated

IT and tech are incredibly important to companies these days, no matter which of industry or sector they are in. Does your IT infrastructure appear to be struggling? It could be because it is dated. If this is the case, it’s worth finding a company that offers managed IT services and can help you update all your tech. Not doing this could damage your company’s productivity and efficiency, which won’t help you keep up with competitors.

You’re Struggling To Pay The Monthly Bills

There’s no denying that financial problems within your business are not a good sign. If you find that you are scrabbling around for money at the end of the month to pay all your bills and employee wages, there will certainly be some urgent improvements that need to be made. Simply reviewing and altering your budget could help you see areas in which you can save money. Otherwise, now might be the time to try and source some new investment.

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The Employee Turnover Rate Is Really High

Unhappy employees are going to jump ship very quickly. If you replace these employees without improving the company, then the new hires will also leave not long after they have arrived. So, take a look at your business through the eyes of your employees and see how things could improve. Perhaps you just need to offer regular reviews or make sure you focus more on employee well-being?

The Media Aren’t Interested In Your Business

There needs to be constant chatter surrounding your business. If the media aren’t talking about you, and no one is mentioning your brand on social media, then there is something wrong. Thankfully, an effective PR campaign can often fix this.

Fingers crossed that none of these problems affect your company for too long and that you can get back on the road to success!

Tackle Your Tech Future for Smarter Business Planning

Your business needs to have a plan when it comes to technology. Without a plan, you could forget to review and update the technology you use. This could lead to your company getting left behind your competitors, or you could end up wasting money on outdated tech and things that aren’t working. You might be wondering about the best way to approach planning your business’s tech future. There are several important factors that you should think about if you want to be sure of the best outcomes. You need to know what your company’s requirements are and what you should be doing to develop your technology at a pace that suits it.

Match Your Tech to Your Company Goals

Your company’s overall goals should affect your decision making in different areas. You need to keep them in mind when you’re deciding who to hire, how to market your products, and what sort of clients you’re looking for. Technology is another area that should be informed by your company’s goals and your hopes for the future. You need to consider what your goals are and how technology can help you achieve them. How will your choices in software and hardware support the things you need to do?

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Work Out Technology Requirements

You should think about your essential technology needs before you consider anything else. Everyone has a minimum level of tech that their business relies on to carry out day-to-day activities. From a computer for each member of staff to the right choice in accounting software, you have to think about what will keep your business ticking. Thinking back to your goals, you also need to make a technology plan that will meet your requirements as your business grows. Don’t just consider what you need now, but also how your needs will change in the future.

Ensure You Have Professional Help

Working out the trajectory of your technology development can be tricky if you don’t know much about tech. If you want to avoid feeling baffled and giving up, you need to get some professional help. By hiring IT consultants, you can ensure you have a plan for what your business tech will look like in the future. They can help you with life cycle planning for your hardware and software. This can help your tech to last longer and ensure you have a plan in place when it’s time to update. Professionals can make recommendations so that you can make better decisions.

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Have a Technology Budget

Money is, of course, important when you’re thinking about the future of your business tech. You can’t afford to perform every single technology update available, especially when some of them aren’t going to benefit your business. You need to create a budget for your technology, including buying new software and hardware, as well as paying for any services that might be useful to help keep your company’s tech running.

Don’t just make changes to your business technology as you go. Create a roadmap to get a better idea of what the future will look like.

Devious Dealings: Handling An Errant Employee Properly

Providing a comprehensive security in your business isn’t just relegated to your IT infrastructure, you have to consider the human aspects too. There are some industries where this can be low down on the priority list. But, there are personal issues that are very difficult for a business to deal with. An errant employee, either one who isn’t pulling their weight, or is even committing fraudulent activities on site, is something that every entrepreneur and business owner can have a struggle with. Firstly, it reflects poorly on the business if any employee does anything to undermine the company, but also, dealing with the person can be a very sticky situation. So, generally, how can you deal with the person, but also, how can you make sure that this doesn’t happen again?

Astute Observation

For something like an employee committing fraudulent activities on site, you need to make sure you gather enough evidence. Nowadays, there are so many different approaches to collecting this data, there are companies like WesTec Services that provide video security, so you can see exactly what is going on. On top of this, if the offending employee knows how to cover their tracks, you may need to spend a lot more time developing more sophisticated ways to keep tabs. You have to be very careful when amassing evidence, because if you are accusing someone of something that they will flat out deny, whether it’s a criminal offence, or if it’s something relating to their personal attitude towards the work, you need to ensure that you can display this evidence clearly before progressing with any form of punishment or feedback.

The Punishment Matches The Crime

For something like criminal behavior, it’s more clear cut; it’s usually an instant dismissal. But when it comes to making sure that the person who isn’t pulling their weight in a business is adequately punished, this is where semantics is best discussed. Especially, with regards to HR rules and regulations, you need to make sure that you are developing the member of staff appropriately, and not punishing them needlessly. Learning and development, as well as constructive criticism are things that will help, but also, implementing specific deadlines can be something to ensure that they are taking the feedback seriously. This is why quarterly reviews and one-to-one sessions are so beneficial now.

Give A Clear Message

It’s a very overused sentiment, using someone else “as an example”, but it’s important that you give a message to the other members of staff who are going down this slippery slope. For something like criminal activity, an instant firing can give the right message to the employees, but for those employees who are underperforming, using someone as an example is certainly a great way to make sure all that other workers are performing to standard. In addition to this, this communicates to clients and people outside of the company that you have a handle on dealing with these types of employees appropriately.

It’s very difficult from the perspective of a business owner, because you have your own reputation as well as your business’s reputation to maintain. You don’t want these types of employees to show up your company, and this is why you have to have something in place that deals with these errant types effectively.

Why Entrepreneurs Should Outsource IT

When it comes to managing a business in the modern world, there is no getting away from the fact that most entrepreneurs will rely on IT to keep their operation moving forward. That means those people have to decide between employing computer specialists in-house or outsourcing the job to professionals. Today, we’re going to discuss some of the reasons the latter option is most suitable. With a bit of luck, anyone who reads this post will have no doubts left in their mind about the value of outsourcing IT and why it’s vital to the success of their venture. There are hundreds of specialist firms out there just waiting to jump into action on behalf of your brand.

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Reason 1: Outsourcing IT saves money

Firstly, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that outsourcing IT services is going to save your company a lot of money. That is because you might only need assistance from your chosen partner a couple of times each month. So, it doesn’t make sense to employ someone in-house who will spend most of their working day twiddling their thumbs. Instead, you should entrust the task to an established and experienced brand with an excellent track record. Not only will you save money on wages, but you will also ensure you minimize any downtime.

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Reason 2: Outsourcing IT boosts productivity

Companies that offer managed IT services can help your venture to become more productive overnight. That is because those experts will conduct assessments and make recommendations based on your use of computer technology. There is a reasonable chance the specialists working for your chosen brand will come up with ideas that will assist you in reducing workloads and boosting profits. For example, they might tell you to use a new automated software package that removes the need for data entry.

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Reason 3: Outsourcing IT protects your company

No business owner knows when their company might fall victim to a hacking attack. There are hundreds of thousands of expert cybercriminals out there just waiting to penetrate your system and steal your most valuable documents. IT specialists understand the risks you face more than most, and they’re always willing to take a look at the protections you have in place, and then make recommendations on how you can improve and ensure hacking never becomes a problem. IT professionals will develop disaster recovery strategies for your employees to follow too!

Now you know about some of the primary reasons you should think about outsourcing IT this year; it’s time to speak to your trusted managers and team leaders so you can come up with a plan for the future. When it comes to discovering the best IT company, ensure you read as many reviews and testimonials as possible online. Some firms are better than others, and you need the best minds in the industry if you want the desired outcomes. Reading what clients thought about the service in the past should give you an indication of whether or not they were satisfied with the experience.

What To “Tech Away”? To Build Or Buy Your Computer Infrastructure?

When pushing forward as a dynamic entrepreneur, there are so many different aspects to keep a handle on. For most of us, technology is quite an alien concept, and, because there is such an importance on having the right server package, as well as an inappropriate IT infrastructure in place, it can seem like quite a big expense. So, either the topic of outsourcing comes to mind, or, whether you can harness the appropriate balance in house and build your own IT infrastructure. This is something that lots of people now do to build your own, or is it better, and cheaper, to buy?

To build…

Building your own IT infrastructure, whether it’s a server or a vast system, requires a lot more prior knowledge, of course. But in building your own server, there are many different things you have control over. In terms of how you are building the system, you will have the final say over every aspect of the system. From the circuit board design, all the way up to the data capacity, which is great in terms of wanting to save money. Building every little aspect of the system does require the best people on board. If you have limited assistance at your disposal, you will have to put more money into finding the best people for the job. This can be an expense upfront, but it can be worth it further down the line. In addition to this, by having the appropriate staff members on board that have this finite knowledge, you can utilize their unique skills when you want to expand the business. This does sound quite complex as a startup opportunity, but this is why so many of them outsource to external companies…

To buy…

To buy the server, or even to outsource to an external company, means that you have, to an extent, relinquished control over your IT infrastructure. While so many IT support companies make their living supporting startup companies, this means that you are in capable hands. Lots of these companies provide servers that are scalable depending on the success of your business. They can also provide 24-hour help, which might not be possible if you decide to build a server in-house. And while you are paying for this service, lots of these providers can charge through the nose, but some are cheap, depending on what you want out of your IT infrastructure. This begs the question, what do you want from your server? You have to crunch the numbers, especially if you are after considerable results from your tech.

But, in conclusion, this is why so many businesses decide to outsource in the first place. It’s simply, a solution that they don’t have to deal with in house. But, this does mean relinquishing your control to an extent. If you are an entrepreneur that has the overall vision of everything under one roof, this can be a fly in the ointment. So, you need to ask yourself if you can make sacrifices now to make room for this  infrastructure that is purpose built, or if you need to get the business up to a certain level and so, outsourcing becomes the only option. Budget is always the big takeaway from these issues, and you need to check the figures first.

Help Your Business Grow Through Virtual #CTO Services

CTO Services are vital IT Services required by all business entities. The services offered by the IT software consultants are inclined majorly towards the strategic planning of the website, applications, online learning etc. CTO services are a group of services assigned to the key professionals offered by the IT software consultancy firm in a large organisation.

Key IT professionals involved in providing CTO as a Service

Chief Technology Officer

When dealing with small and medium-sized businesses, the role of the Chief Technology Officer is to align their strategical curriculum and ensuring the smooth functioning of the IT systems. The CTO deals with the overall planning and strategy of the business plan making sure the business objectives are achieved, and values justified.

Chief Information Officer

A properly planned and strategically analysed CTO service offered by the Chief Information Officer for large organisation requires a high experience and high expertise in the industry. It deals with achieving and supporting the enterprise goals and objectives.

Trusted Advisors

The trusted advisors will provide the company with ideal web solutions for their technological queries.In case your SMB is encountering technical issues, these trusted advisors will be the first one to provide you with perfect web solutions.

Key Roles of a CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

Understanding the Business drivers

The Chief Technology officer holds an important position in a consultancy firm and provides responsible dealing with small or large scale businesses. It understands the vital role of business drivers in the market for ideal and optimum business exposure.

Meeting Business objectives

It ensures the accomplishment of the business objectives by understanding the radial flow and ideologies of the business drivers.The CTO as a service provides an immediate web solution, strategic analysis of the business plan etc.It also maintains a balance between the technological advancement and SMB growth in the market.

Alignment of values

It also keeps in mind the alignment of the company values with the strategic planning making sure the moral attributes of the consultancy firm is justified. Once the CTO finds the streamlining of the company values with the business planning it becomes easy enough for the further planning and detailing of your business project.

CTO as a service for growing SMB’s

CTO as a service is specially designed for small and medium-sized businesses as not every organisation hires a CTO on a full-time role. The services majorly include :

  • Proper management of Internal IT teams
  • Analysing business plans and strategies
  • Management of External IT Teams(Outbound)
  • Executing On-site Audits

The CTO services as stated above are the major attributes related to the growing small and medium businesses(SMBs). CTO consulting adds a lot to your already optimised business plans ensuring that the long-term vision of the company is achieved.

Benefits of taking up CTO as a Service

Small and medium businesses(SMBs) when taking up CTO as a service to facilitate an interrupted growth of their company are looking forward to  :

  • A planned business Strategy
  • An Immediate Web Solutions
  • Good Project management
  • Strategic Advice
  • Offshore development

In addition to the aspects mentioned above of CTO as a service, most importantly it is a direct cost to result service and provides an immediate result to your investment making it a unique and mandatory services in the market right now.

Technological advancement and the growth of digital media in all the spheres of the Industry has pushed the SMBs to expand their services and quality of work. And therefore incorporate CTO as a service offered by large consultancy firms.

Author Bio: James Fordham is the owner of Zenith Information Systems a principal learner and a tech-savvy who is always found tinkering with software and technology, especially the ones related to cybersecurity.