2023 looks as though it’s going to be a tough, tough time for businesses of all sizes. Start-ups may struggle to get off the ground and workers that find themselves out of job may turn to entrepreneurship.
The global economy may be in a poor state of affairs, but history shows that every financial crisis brings opportunities with it. The businesses that capitalise on opportunities are companies that are prepared.
In the digital age, being prepared means installing the IT infrastructure that enables you to move with the market, adapts to consumer behaviour and deliver services that resolve consumer pain points.
Cloud-based services have emerged as the must-have technology for the modern workplace. The question is how much support you need from IT service providers and whether you adopt a cloud-first approach or set up a hybrid environment. According to IBM, the majority of companies only store 20% of their data in the cloud.
Whilst the hybrid model can work for large businesses, the complexities can outweigh the rewards for small businesses and start-ups. That said, business IT services can bridge the gap and provide cloud-based services that enable you to take advantage of both worlds.
Cloud platforms and services are specifically designed to make it easy to onboard offboard users. Microsoft 365, for example, is offered as a per-person subscription service. You simply pay when you add an employee or save when you remove one.
In an unpredictable economy, the ability to scale quickly and easily can help firms manage capital and cash flow more easily. Cloud solutions are, therefore, more cost-effective than on-premise servers.
Business IT support providers also offer a range of services on a flexible arrangement. You can simply add or remove cloud services as and when you need them.
One of the key benefits cloud computing has borough to business work is reliability. Most IT service providers guarantee an uptime of around 99.99%. In contrast, a 2023 survey conducted by Uptime Institute recorded that over 60% of respondents reported losing over $100,000 due to network failures.
Having consistent access to your network is clearly crucial to businesses. And arguably more so in a recession where profit margins are already being squeezed. Business IT support providers deliver high availability.
Support BYOD Policy
The initial costs of starting up a business can be excessive. IT equipment does not come cheap. We are seeing that a lot of technology costs are being offset with strategies such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
According to Computer Weekly, more than 50% of employees use their personal devices for work. For start-ups, BYOD can represent significant cost savings you can use in other areas of your business.
However, it should be noted that allowing employees to use their personal devices to access your business network increases the risk of a data breach. And that could be bad news for a start-up.
Business IT support providers can deliver a BYOD IT strategy that ensures all end-points are protected. Vulnerabilities that appear on any devices connected to your network can also be addressed remotely in some cases. At the very least, threats can be detected and fixed before they develop into potential problems.
Installing a virtual desktop can also provide an extra layer of protection for BYOD users. A virtual desktop enables your teams to work from anywhere on any device without compromising your business network.
Reinforce Cyber Security Defences
Since the introduction of GDPR in 2018, cybersecurity has become a priority for businesses of all sizes. Or at least it should be a priority. A data breach damages the reputation of a company – and because businesses are obligated to report a data breach to affected parties under the auspices of GDPR, your customers know you have been hacked.
Cybersecurity firms report that young start-ups have a tendency to ignore implementing a solid cybersecurity solution. This is one reason why hackers target start-ups.
Business IT support services don’t have to be overly expensive. Many of the technologies that add layers of protection over your business network are already built-in to cloud software. And services like anti-virus software, MFA and patch management are not expensive. The key to cybersecurity is ensuring your employees understand where threats can come from, how to identify potential threats and how to deal with them.
Patch management is a critical service that can often be overlooked. Start-ups that use a raft of software can benefit from this business IT support service more than you might realise.
The reason patch management is so important is that software develops “vulnerabilities” – gateways that can be exploited by hackers. These gateways can provide hackers with a way to your business network. And from there they can steal critical data, take over your system or gain access to financial accounts.
Companies have an obligation to update software within a reasonable timeframe once a new security patch has been issued. Ordinarily, this relies on an automatic update of the system – which has to be authorised by the user of the device.
The crux of the matter is that you are relying on your employees to perform a software update on their devices. And if they use the device for work and pleasure, they may be reluctant to update the software.
In the event you suffer a data breach because a security patch was not updated, companies are obligated to follow the rules set by GDPR. You must inform your customers – which will result in a loss of faith and a loss of revenue.
Patch management services eliminate this potential issue. Business IT support services can update patches from remote locations – and at a time that is most convenient for the end user.
Outsourcing your digital need to business IT support providers may feel counter-intuitive for a start-up – but it could save you a lot of time and money. If your employees are not distracted or down-tooled by your business network, they are able to focus on getting your business off the ground.