Five digital don’ts when starting a business
You’ve launched a new business, hired your employees and started making a profit but have you thought about IT? Keeping ahead of the rapidly changing technology landscape is difficult and some businesses might think to invest as much money and time as they can in the latest tech. There isn’t a wrong answer – but you should be smart with your investment and make sure it aligns with your business objectives. As your business grows, your IT strategy should grow with it.
To ensure you’re on the right track when it comes to IT, here are some digital don’ts you need to remember.
Don’t leave IT as an afterthought
In the first few months of operation, you’re probably concerned with making your business a success – but don’t forget about how technology can help. Businesses struggle to integrate IT if they see it as a separate entity – it’s not something to be added on as a support function, it should be included as an integral part of the business strategy. It is essential for creating new products and services, marketing, improving customer experiences, growing revenue and keeping your workforce productive. Tagging it on the end will affect your return on investment.
A managed IT provider can conduct a strategic review to assess where your business is and work with you to deliver a strategy – leaving valuable time for you to concentrate on survival and growth.
Don’t forget about security
Even though your business is just starting out, your data is still one of your most valuable assets. It’s a myth that cybercriminals don’t target smaller businesses – they’re attracted to the businesses they can get easy access to. 90% of small to medium businesses that experience a disaster will go out of business within two years of an event – so without the proper protection, your business is at risk.
Ransomware, malware, and phishing are just some of the most serious cybersecurity threats you should be aware of – ensure your business has good malware protection software installed and regularly carry out data backups. Having a backup recovery plan in place will also keep your business functioning, whatever happens.
Don’t take a one size fits all approach
What works for another business may not work for you – your IT strategy should be unique to your business and its goals. The benefits of this include efficient processes and faster response times because everyone is working towards a common goal and aware of what others are doing. Consider your organisation’s workflow and culture – if your employees are flexible workers, or work from home you may find that cloud-based workspaces are the most effective communication tool – in the same way, if you have different departments, cloud-based applications allow for collaborative working.
Don’t forget staff training
No matter what equipment or software you invest in for your new business, purchases will be useless without the right training. Small businesses need to keep staff up to speed and train them on how to manage all aspects of IT – to save time, money and hassle down the road. Employees should also be trained on the kinds of security threats you could face and how to handle them – e.g. using personal devices at work is another access point for company data to be stolen by cybercriminals.
Giving staff an instruction manual, conducting regular meetings or offering training courses will help avoid a large number of tech problems that could have a serious impact on a business just starting out.
Don’t assign IT to one person
If your IT person left tomorrow, could your business carry on as normal? A lack of technical support is a key issue among small businesses – one person might not have the resources or knowledge to handle major tech issues, which could set a business out of action for days. It’s in your business’s best interest to get additional support – whether that’s inhouse or from an IT provider.
You may feel like you don’t have the funds to hire an external specialist – but outsourcing your company’s IT infrastructure and IT strategy can not only improve the efficiency of business operations but also reduce costs in the long run.
Starting a business is daunting and to help you get the most out of your tech, Aura can provide a bespoke IT strategy that grows with your business, as well as fully managed IT services, from IT support to business continuity and the cloud.
Contact us for more information.