IT ChallengesAs a small business, we can commiserate with the challenges required to grow, enhance or even maintain a business. It means working overtime, wearing lots of hats and developing trusting relationships with partners and vendors. In a management position, you need to quickly analyze the top challenges in front of you, make an effective plan and execute decisively. With technology expanding as rapidly as it is, the landscape is changing faster than ever and new challenges and threats are emerging, which are important for forward-thinking business owners to consider as they invest in growing their businesses.

Interface Overload

Every service a business subscribes to, every vendor companies work with, and every cloud solution on the market now has a portal or a web interface. Nearly all of these are Software as a Service and cloud solutions which store the data in their own independent databases, and provide independent reporting and analysis tools. This creates a problem for two reasons.

One: It means there are more passwords and databases out there to remember and that can become a security concern. For an example, a company that used to access all company information over their network with a single username and password may now have files in DropBox, Google Docs & Office 365, all simultaneously. They may have an additional 5-10 portals they have to manage for other services like their phones, mail, social media etc. The number of user names and passwords spread out across an organization can be overwhelming and risky.

Two: it means the data becomes isolated in independent databases, making analysis across multiple systems or business functions more difficult. This is where all the discussion of Big Data takes off, but that can be very expensive for SMB’s.

Security Threats at Every Turn

Tied back to the proliferation of portals and distributed web data, security is a huge concern for small and midsize businesses. Without the resources to invest in advanced defensive infrastructure, businesses are vulnerable and naïve to the severity and pervasiveness of the threats just outside their (digital) doors.

Everything Cloud

Business owners are being pushed inevitably towards consuming everything in their environment as a service. This is a major acquisition shift in the buying cycle from capital expenses to operating expenses, in perpetuity. By migrating services like email, software, servers, even desktops from an on-premise to a hosted platform, companies commit to a consistent expense structure that is inflexible and generally grows over time. When the economy is strong, this is a convenient and cash savvy way to consume services, when the economy turns, there is no flexibility to defer the hardware replacement cycle a little longer. So our expectation is that business owners will have to make decisions between headcount and critical services sooner than ever before. Not an enviable position for a business owner.

All this being said, while these tech challenges do sound complicated, and perhaps even daunting, they’re ultimately not impossible to overcome. Consulting with a knowledgeable IT Service Provider will greatly help you navigate a clear and decisive path toward moving beyond these challenges. Interested in hearing more about how Upward Technology can build you a road map? Contact us today!