According to a recent survey by Melbourne digital firm, WebOracle, one-in-five Australian small businesses are losing up to five working weeks to technology woes.
Needless to say, this is an alarming statistic given IT is critical to operations for most companies, and if things aren’t operating smoothly, IT issues can become expensive and frustrating roadblocks to achieving business goals.
It’s not all doom and gloom though; here we discuss the most common technology challenges facing small businesses in Australia and provide some recommendations to help overcome these issues.
Top 6 Technology Challenges
1. Selecting and Integrating the Right Technology for Your Business
a) Selecting the Right Platform
New technology platforms can be a fantastic opportunity for solving business problems. However, most small businesses are time-poor and technology is not their core business, so evaluating new platforms can be challenging to say the least.
Small businesses are unlikely to be familiar with development standards, architecture, frameworks, integration requirements, etc., so many revert to basing their decision on the cost involved.
Alas, the cheapest solution is often not the most feasible, and may result in higher long-term costs – and possibly frustration and issues – that may not occur if a business invests in a better solution with a higher up front cost.
b) Integrating new technology
As most business owners are aware, new technologies often don’t play nicely with older applications and systems.
It’s crucial to conduct proper system integration planning and execution through the careful construction of an IT Strategy. Without this, your new platform may require manual configurations, workarounds, or even custom builds to integrate with your current technology. This can result in higher costs, staff frustration, and process inefficiencies.
Thorough planning before you select and implement a platform can minimise the risk of these issues occurring. If you feel overwhelmed by this task, an experienced IT consulting company can help select and integrate the right technology for your business. They can help guide your IT strategy, analyse your business needs, scrutinise your options and support your platform implementation.
Cybercrime is an ever-increasing and serious threat to Australian businesses. Every day companies fall victim to cyber attacks, phishing email scams, ransomware, and more. Companies that don’t take cybercrime seriously by implementing best-practice security measures risk losing money, data and their brand reputation.
To minimise this risk, even small businesses need to work with a cyber security consultant, create a strong firewall, secure video conferencing, and ensure staff are well-educated to minimise the risk.
Taking the time to implement cyber security measures for your business will absolutely be a worthwhile investment in the long term.
3. Reliability and Maintenance
Reliable IT should be a necessary requirement for all businesses, but too often, the ability of a small business to implement and sustain reliable IT is hampered by a limited budget and lack of technical nous. A few minutes every day or week spent troubleshooting internally or with outsourced IT support, can rapidly result in a significant loss of revenue over the course of a year.
Using slow, outdated systems with frequent problems also results in employee frustration and reduces their output.
All too frequently, small businesses wait until something breaks before it gets the attention it deserves. IT systems need regular maintenance to ensure they run properly and securely. And with the right IT processes, problems may be predicted, planned for, and resolved before they become urgent.
Ensuring you have a maintenance plan can help identify and resolve potential issues before they turn into time consuming and expensive technology emergencies.
4. Backup and Disaster Recovery Challenges
If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a file, had a business server crash, or even experienced a natural disaster like flooding, then you will understand the importance of your business having a reliable backup and disaster recovery plan.
But many businesses wait until it’s too late and are subjected to the downtime and expense of lost or damaged files and systems.
This can be prevented by spending time planning your data backup process or engaging a company offering IT support for business that can assist with implementing an effective backup and disaster recovery plan and procedure for your business.
5. Lack of Strategic IT Planning
For many business owners and managers, strategic IT planning is too time consuming or difficult or is not even on the radar. However, taking the time to develop an effective IT strategy can reap dividends.
When you consider how your IT can be aligned with your business goals, it can save you money, help define priorities, create efficiencies, and flexibility and the opportunity to implement IT that can grow and adapt to your expanding business.
6. Getting the Right Advice and Support
Many small businesses do not have the internal IT expertise to evaluate, select and maintain suitable IT platforms and support. Some do not consider accessing appropriate external expertise due to a fear of cost or escalating budgets.
But choosing the right IT service provider can actually reduce IT expenditure, increase efficiencies and minimise the risk of implementing inappropriate platforms.
The right IT partner can help align your technology with business goals, ensure new technology becomes a valuable investment, and provide seamless IT support.
Want to take the hassle out of your business IT? Surety IT Brisbane understands the business challenges of technology and how it can help you achieve your objectives. We will work collaboratively with you to develop a tailored IT Strategy for your business and ensure you clearly understand what needs to be done when to do it, and the total cost.
As well as comprehensive IT strategies, we also offer:
- IT Support including IT Helpdesk, Managed IT, and Outsourced IT services
- IT Services including Backup and Recovery, Cloud Hosting and comprehensive business IT services
- IT Health Checks and Cyber Security Strategy
Contact Surety IT today to discuss out how we can help your business.