A large part of what we do for our clients is help them focus on what to do and what not to do when it comes to technology and how it impacts their business either in a positive or negative way. Recently in a conversation with a prospective client, we were asked – if you had to sum up what the top 3 things any business should be doing differently – what would they be.
Stop treating technology the same way you do the cleaning services.
If you view IT and technology inside of your business as a monthly expense item, you are missing the boat… BIG TIME. According to a recent report from Deloitte, those small businesses that a high level of technology engagement experienced TWICE the amount of revenue per employee, and FOUR times as much revenue growth as those businesses that fell behind when it comes to technology. Think about that for a minute! If you were told today that you could create 4 times more revenue than your competitor with just a single change in mindset, would you explore it? The sad truth is that many business owners still want to look at technology as an expense like the utility bill instead of looking at how they can innovate and drive more productivity per employee and more revenue. Change that mindset today! Look at what tools, technology, and digitalization you can implement as an INVESTMENT in your organization. This is why this is number one on our list. It has so much potential to have a huge impact.
Stop ignoring security!
Just because technology is becoming easier and quicker to deploy doesn’t mean you can implement it without giving security the proper consideration. Compared to just a few years ago, you can not deploy quite a bit of technology without having a background in IT. In fact, many advanced hardware items now can be deployed through a wizard interface or even an app on your mobile device. HOWEVER – you still need to be aware of what risks you are exposing your business to when you go through those wizards or app setup features. We can’t count the time we have gone into a business to find open wireless networks, unsecured firewalls, and default security parameters set without anyone in the business being aware that there was a risk.
No matter how large or small your organization is, it is guaranteed that there are attempts to get into your network on a regular basis by someone wanting to do bad things. In fact, according to the 2017 Ponemon State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Sized Businesses, 61% of small businesses experienced a cyber-attack in the last year. By far the largest growth in cyber-attacks was in the small and medium sized business sector. This is not necessarily because the bad guys are specifically targeting smaller businesses, rather the smaller businesses are becoming easier targets. The data is clear… you simply can’t bury your head in the sand on this any longer.
Stop going without a strategic IT budget!
Again, as we talk with businesses on a weekly basis a very small percentage say that they have a detailed planned out budget when it comes to IT. Most of the time the answer is that they either just base the next years budget off of the previous years amount, or they don’t have any budget at all and just wait for things to break before they replace them. Both of these answers leave a huge hole because ideally you are looking to improve the business and operations by adding new technologies as well as maintaining the existing.
Most importantly, by not budgeting you are allowing your organization to fall behind as well as budgeting for loss of time when things ultimately break. Think of this this way – would you ignore your budget for payroll? The answer to that is always going to be no. So why would you allow your technology, which is just as important as the staff using the technology to go without a plan or budget.
Not treating technology and IT as a functional area of your business, just the same as you would HR, Finance, or Legal is no longer a prosperous model. By doing so you are missing out on efficiencies, costs savings, automation, and also not gaining a competitive edge. The data backs all of this up. One thing is for certain, regardless of whether or not you are looking at new ways that technology can improve, enhance, or deliver a better result, it is guaranteed that there is a competitor out there that is right now. Thats the culture of the fastest growing workforce in the marketplace today!
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