Running a successful business is what you do. You’re good at it and you’re confident your competitive, profitable small business has growth potential. While you are busy running your business it would be easy to ignore the importance of your IT systems.
Small business IT systems
Your IT systems and needs may be more extensive than you realise. These systems and requirements will grow over time as the business expands. Your IT systems include
Hardware and Devices
The modern business uses a range of devices to access their data and systems. Data and systems may be installed on a server. Employees and customers need to be able to access your IT systems 24 hours a day. Access will be via laptops and tablets, or ‘phones from anywhere with wifi availability.
In addition to their laptops, employees will need access to monitors and keyboards for working comfortably. You will certainly need printing, scanning and photocopying facilities.
As the organisation and IT requirements expand, you will need to manage the IT network. This involves monitoring and maintaining the data transfer channels, routers, firewalls connecting your system.
Security and access controls
Cybersecurity has become an industry for good reason. The risk of malicious access to IT systems is always present. Whether it is a teen practising hacking skills or an organised team seeking a ransom, your valuable data and IT systems are potentially under threat.
If you offer online sales, customers will expect you to ensure their private data, such as addresses, credit card and banking details, is secure, or they will shop elsewhere.
You must apply recognised security protocols to your website and systems. Access controls will help ensure only authorised users can get into your systems.
The ongoing global pandemic has changed our world and, likely, our future too. Regular lockdowns across major Australian cities mean your employees and your customers are likely housebound. The only trade options for most businesses are online. Without IT systems, you will no longer be able to trade. You should have a disaster recovery strategy, it should be documented and tested regularly.
An IT disaster means losing part of, or all of your IT system. The cause can be fire, water damage, power failure, malicious access, hardware failure and more. The business is at risk of not being able to trade until all systems have been restored. Employees will not be productive and customers will use competitors. If a business stops trading there is a risk it will become insolvent and never restart.
Your IT support options
You could employ an in-house IT team. This provides you with resources who know the business and systems and report to you. This will give you control of your team and systems. A downside, particularly for a small business, is the size of the team needed to support a modern IT system.
IT resources tend to have a fairly specialised skillset. The analysts and developers supporting data and software systems will be taking regular backups, in case of disaster. They are unlikely to have the specialist skills needed to administer your growing network. Cybersecurity has become essential more recently and involves a different knowledge base.
The best, most cost-effective and secure solution for most businesses is to outsource IT support.
Starboard IT for your IT support needs
Outsourcing IT support is often more affordable than employing your own resources. Starboard IT has a comprehensive range of services and years of experience in supporting businesses like yours. We provide pre-paid IT support services. For a single monthly payment, you gain 24/7 access to our Australian-based helpdesk. You will have a full team of IT experts with a vast knowledge base supporting your business.
We can administer the network and help to ensure the security of your IT systems. Our experts will back up systems and document and test a disaster recovery plan.
Contact Starboard IT to discuss your business technology requirements or for advice on our services and solutions. Our goal is to focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.
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